Welcome to DELIA

NCFDC’s DELIA fund is an affordable lending solution for women-owned businesses across Canada. With the support of The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED Canada), DELIA provides $15K loans to qualifying women-owned enterprises for business start up, stabilization, and expansion.

NCFDC’s DELIA fund is an affordable lending solution for women-owned businesses across Canada. With the support of The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED Canada), DELIA provides $15K loans to qualifying women-owned enterprises for business start up, stabilization, and expansion.


What started as a pilot project in 2019-2020, NCFDC partnered with CORL to develop a fintech-driven microloan platform that would help to address the access to capital gap for Women-owned enterprises across Southern Ontario. The project was supported by FedDev Ontario and the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy and backed 42 companies with $675,000 in targeted microloans. The result: DELIA ventures soared.

Fast forward to today, DELIA stands as a revolving and evergreen microloan fund for women-owned businesses across all of Canada.

DELIA also takes its place alongside StrikeUP Canada (NCFDC’s annual digital conference for Women entrepreneurs) as part of our commitment to gender equity in economic advancement.

To learn more about the importance of providing entrepreneurial finance and development services to diverse Women entrepreneurs, please visit:

DELIA Term Sheet at a Glance
  • Microloans normally in the $15,000 range
  • Prioritizing diverse, intersectional and under-served Women entrepreneurs
  • Interest rate: Prime +2% to Prime +4% risk-rated
  • Standard 2-year term
  • Secured by GSA and personal guarantee, insurance assignment, no collateralization
  • No pre-payment charges
  • Instant pre-qualification via online application (can be completed in less than 30 minutes)
  • Concurrent mentoring, training and development opportunities for select microloan recipients (1:1 advisory sessions, workshops, etc.).
  • If the application is approved, a Loan Administration Fee of 1% of the principal will apply (to be deducted from the advance).

Required Documents


(in business <12 months)

Business Plan

12-month cashflow forecast

Personal resume(s)

Established Businesses

(in business >12 months)

Financial Statements for last two years
    (in-house or accountant prepared).

Application Guide

Information to Have on Hand for your Application
  • Scanned image file of documents confirming your personal identity and that of any major shareholders/owners/principals
  • Articles of Incorporation/Business Registration
  • Business Bank Account online sign in information (username and password)
  • Other online business account sign in information (e.g. cloud-based accounting software, payments, e-commerce services, etc.)
  • Business performance metrics (e.g. income, expenses, gross margin calculation, etc.)
  • Other optional documentation you may wish to include, such as a business plan (a concise document outlining major planning assumptions).
Basic Applicant Eligibility

Loan applicants must be a Canadian citizen or a legal entity owned and controlled by a Canadian citizen, including:

  • a sole proprietorship, an unincorporated business that is owned by one individual;
  • a for-profit small Canadian business federally/provincially/territorially incorporated in Canada that is controlled directly or indirectly by one or more resident persons;
  • a for-profit co-operative corporation incorporated under a federal, provincial or territorial co-operative Act, or;
  • a social enterprise that earns revenue from the regular supply of personal property/goods and services and meets the profitability and equity criteria above;
  • not-for-profit organizations are not eligible for loans.

Individuals submitting loan applications must be:

  • At least 19 years of age
  • A Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Residing in Canada

Eligible businesses are those which are over 50% Women-owned. In the case of a Sole Proprietorship, the Sole Proprietor is a woman.
Further, the business is managed and controlled by one or more Women, where a Woman is a signatory of the business’s legal documents and financial accounts, and which is operated independently from businesses that are not owned by Women.

Applicants must have and maintain:

  • a valid and separate business bank account and satisfy basic liquidity requirements,
  • a Business Number registered with the Canada Revenue Agency

DELIA is restricted from making loans to companies primarily engaged in certain activities, such as:

  • holding or managing real estate
  • extracting resources
  • selling, marketing or providing gambling, pornography, alcohol, tobacco, weapons or illegal goods.


Prioritizing Diverse, Intersectional and Under-Served Entrepreneurs

DELIA is committed to prioritizing the following diverse Women-owned businesses:

  • Indigenous/First Nation
  • Official language minority community (French)
  • Black
  • Visible minority
  • Recent new Canadian
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Located in a rural or remote area

Inclusive of Gender non-binary entrepreneurs.

Use of Proceeds

Eligible expenses that can be financed by a DELIA microloan include:

  • Capital assets (including machinery/equipment, leasehold/property improvements)
  • Office and equipment rental
  • Salaries and benefits (excluding owner’s salary)
  • IT/Software license purchase
  • Professional services
  • Inventory/Supplies
  • Intellectual Property
  • Working Capital (e.g. payroll, lease payments, accounts management, rent, overhead costs)
  • Digital (including website/E-commerce development)
  • Marketing/advertising/business promotion
  • Employee training
  • Short term receivable financing (i.e. financing to service a contract)
  • Business start up costs (legal fees, business incorporation fees, business plan preparation, etc.).

Ineligible expenses include:

  • Capital expenditures on real property (e.g. land/building purchases)
  • Goodwill
  • Amortization Costs
  • Purchase of assets for more than fair market value
  • Owner’s salary
  • Payment of bonuses
  • Refinancing existing debt
  • Purchase of stocks/shares
  • Franchise fees
  • Research and development
  • Management fees
  • Dividend payout
  • Increase to shareholder or management committee compensation.

DELIA investment may not be used for any of the ineligible expenses listed above.

DELIA Application Process

Begin by clicking APPLY NOW.

Applicants will be taken to NCFDC’s fintech-driven DELIA lending platform powered by CORL (which will generate a credit enquiry).

The application normally takes no longer than 30 minutes and sometimes as little as 10 minutes if you have all of your information ready and are able to link directly to online accounts. You will be instantly informed of your application status (PRE-QUALIFIED or IN REVIEW). A DELIA representative will contact you regarding the final decision (APPROVE or DECLINE). If APPROVED, NCFDC will issue a Letter of Offer and Loan Agreement to successful applicants and ultimately disburse funds via EFT directly to your business bank account.

Normally, successful applicants can expect to receive funds net of two weeks from the date of submission of a full and complete application.

At the same time, NCFDC reserves the right to carry out extended due diligence in review of any application and does not guarantee any amount of funding to any applicant. Lending decisions are made in the sole and unfettered discretion of NCFDC.

About the DELIA Algorithm

An algorithm is simply a process or set of rules to be followed in making calculations, especially via software and automated processes like financial technologies.

The problem that is solved by our algorithm is simply: how to rapidly deploy microloans to viable Women-owned businesses without bias, so as to unlock potential, maximize success and accelerate business growth.

How do we achieve this? Working with our Canadian fintech partner, CORL, we built DELIA.

1. DELIA is in the first instance, a fund for Women, which eliminates any peremptory, invisible, subconscious or inadvertent/unintentional bias.

2. The proprietary credit engine evaluates the applicant’s business quantitatively based solely upon our determination of its objective merit across multiple dimensions.

3. Objective risk/predictive analysis is then adjusted based on macro-assumptions about what we believe to be the unrealized potential of Women entrepreneurs (that accessing capital yields a higher rate of success for this traditionally underserved client segment).

4. Finally, decisions are made quickly via a simplified online process, and loans disbursed at the earliest possible opportunity through automation, further accelerating timelines for realization of business growth and success of Women-owned firms in Canada.

5. As the DELIA data set grows, we further evolve our credit engine to ensure the recognition of the full potential of women entrepreneurs and to optimize microfinance for true gender equity.

About DELIA Mentoring Opportunities
Successful DELIA applicants will be contacted by a member of the DELIA team who will organize an onboarding and orientation session.

Select DELIA loan recipients may benefit from additional 1:1 mentoring and support including business advisory, networking and referrals, group-based training and workshops and other supports.

About the DELIA Brand
DELIA is derived from the acronym: Develop, Educate, Lead, Innovate and Accelerate, which defines the nucleus of the DELIA project from inception. The next layer of meaning derives from Artemis, the ancient Greek goddess of the hunt. DELIA is one of her many and diverse titles, meaning ‘from Delos’, the island where she was born. When we think of DELIA in this sense, we think of a strong deal for Women entrepreneurs who are on “the hunt” to access capital for their ventures. With the support of the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, we are pursuing gender equity in economic advancement. The DELIA brand encompasses all of this and more.
Other FAQs

Q. Who administers the loan?

A. Northumberland CFDC (“NCFDC”) administers the DELIA loan, with the support of ISED Canada.

NCFDC is a non-profit entrepreneurship NGO governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of entrepreneurs, experts and innovators. NCFDC has provided financing and strategy to entrepreneurs since 1985 in Northumberland and since 2001 through the Community Futures Program. NCFDC is a member of the CVCA and is located at Venture13 in Cobourg, Ontario.

Q. What about the confidentiality of my application?

A. Please review our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Information is collected for the limited purpose of assessing your application to DELIA, and for ongoing loan monitoring and reporting to the Government of Canada. DELIA loan recipients are not disclosed publically except with the recipient’s prior written consent.

Q. Will a DELIA application affect my credit score?

A. Completing the full credit application via NCFDC’s fintech-driven DELIA lending platform (powered by CORL) will result in a credit enquiry. For more information about how loan applications affect your credit, read this helpful article from Equifax (click here).

Q. Should I revoke authorization of my accounts linked to the DELIA fintech platform on CORL after a decision is made?

A. This is entirely up to you. Maintaining authorization will allow us to monitor your progress and assist in additional lending solutions. You are not required to maintain linked accounts and may revoke authorization at any time. If you require any assistance, please contact delia@ncfdc.ca.

Q. How much can I ask for?

A. Applicants can request up to $50,000 for a DELIA Microloan. The amount approved will be based on our analysis of your request. Approved amounts are typically $15,000.

Q. How do you calculate the interest rate and is it the same rate for all clients?

A. DELIA microloans are automatically risk-rated by on our credit engine and confirmed by NCFDC. The interest rate varies between Prime +2 and Prime +4% based on the personal and business information provided. As a result, the interest rate will vary with each microloan recipient.

Q. When I applied for DELIA, Corl indicated I already had an account and I could not proceed (I previously received a loan from NCFDC). Can I apply again?

A. Yes. First, you can log into Corl with your existing company credentials (go to https://cfdc.corl.io/login). When there, we would ask that you update your company information including linking any missing, delinked or deactivated online business accounts. That will give us your current business profile. After you’ve done that, simply email us at financing@ncfdc.ca and indicate your interest in a DELIA microloan. Please include DELIA in the subject line. We’ll take it from there! And please note, this will generate a credit enquiry.

Q. Can I accept financing from DELIA if I’ve received loan(s) from other Loan Administrator(s) delivering the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund?

A. Eligible borrowers cannot receive more than a total of $50,000 from all Loan Administrators of the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund.

“Statistics show that it’s more challenging for women to get financing for their business from traditional banks. When I started the business, there weren’t options like DELIA. For new businesses, it can be a little daunting to go out and raise money. This is areally accessible way to get started and build a business.”

Candace Tierney
Oat & Mill

“I found applying for the DELIA loan to be a very pleasant experience—it wasn’t drawn out. A long-drawn-out process isn’t going to work for founders who need to have capital infusion to help their business grow.”

Dacia Rohlehr
Paws en route

“In addition to the DELIA financing, I met regularly one-on-one with a dedicated advisor who helped with tailored sales and marketing. Together we established clear goals, and the regular coaching kept me focused and accountable and able to hit my objectives for platform and business expansion.”

Medha Saraiya, RPN

“Baking is my call, therefore I did whatever it took to get to where I am today. Previously working as a city bus driver, even though paid well along with great benefits and pension plan, the stress of the job was getting to me and my dream to own a bakery became more desirable. It took a lot of thought and consideration to take such a huge risk, but as I stand here today, the risk was well worth it.

Christine Monfriese
Monfriese Rum Cakes

“I was so glad to be a part of DELIA. The program really gave me the tools and confidence I needed to forge ahead in creating Tilaus.”

Jennifer McCann, CPA
Founder & CEO, Tilaus

“Being part of the DELIA ecosystem fund for women founders was a game-changer during a critical inflection point in our company’s growth (and in the middle of a pandemic I might add). We are grateful for Northumberland CFDC support and for building such a vibrant community of founders.”

Jennifer McDougall

“The DELIA program has been amazing and the Northumberland CFDC team highly responsive whenever I reached out with a question.”

Julilyn Woods
The Small Social

“First and foremost the funding has been great and it came at a crucial time for our business. The concurrent training was excellent and helped us stage for growth.”

Katharina Otulak

Help us promote the initiative

Click here to access our Social Media Kit for DELIA social media content, graphics and other resources.

StrikeUP Canada: NCFDC’s Digital Conference for Women Entrepreneurship

We encourage all women entrepreneurs and supporters to join us along with thousands of participants for our FREE StrikeUP conference event. Each year we help to kick off Women’s month and International Women’s Day momentum with an exciting program of inspirational keynotes, learning labs, networking and entrepreneurial development opportunities that will help stage you and your business for growth and success.

For more, please visit strikeup.ca

StrikeUP Conference for Women Entrepreneurs

“It is so great to see our Women Entrepreneurship Strategy in action… the first ever program of its kind in Canada. I recognize what is riding on all of your shoulders”

The Honourable Rechie Valdez, Canada’s Minister of Small Business

“StrikeUP is a terrific opportunity to share ideas, learn, and hear about the many incredible ways Canadian women entrepreneurs are growing and contributing to our economy.”

The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development
“This event is about bringing together women-led organizations and businesses, entrepreneurs and exerts – who are all committed to seeing women entrepreneurs thrive.”

The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister,
FedDev Ontario, Government of Canada
“Really grateful for not only the wonderful resources but the tremendous quality of the speakers and the value added! Generous and generative. Thanks so much for making this available.”

Sue Braiden
“I’ve attended many events over the years & this one: @StrikeupCanada was one of the most diverse and inclusive events I’ve participated in. Each speaker was incredible, so many practical and heartfelt insights shared. Well done @NrthmbbrlndCFDC @scotiabank @ExportDevCanada.”

Jill Poulton
“Fabulous conference lots of meaningful advice and connections.”

Sherry Caldwell

“It was amazing! It was the most connected I felt to women in the ecosystem in a long time. The speed networking was long overdue, and we loved it. Way to go!”

Idas Levato
“Ah-mazing as usual. So much useful (and immediately usable) info.”

Karine Ewart

“Really good event. Well done! Great speakers and keynotes.”

Andria Barrett

“Wonderful conference … inspiring speakers and content .. thank you for another great year!”

Watershed Magazine

“It was a great event! Meeting women entrepreneurs from across Canada was awesome!”

Carmen Lasante

“I’ve never been in a virtual conference that has French closed captioning AND sign language! Amazing!”

Rose Tassone

StrikeUP Conference for Women Entrepreneurs

Your DELIA Team

Wendy Curtis
Executive Director
Director, CF Ontario East

Kim Botrie
Loan Manager

Heather Cannings
Program Administrator

Abby Elder
Financial Administrator

Victoria Pichler
Marketing Communications Lead

Jennifer Kennedy
Program Administrator

Latest News

DELIA Spotlight: The Canadian Barley Tea Company

DELIA Spotlight: The Canadian Barley Tea Company

Meet Janice Ishizaka and Cilla Watkins, founders of The Canadian Barley Tea Company, producers of North America’s first and only mo’mugi barley tea. Proud to have an organic and 100% Canadian product, learn more about their ‘eureka moment’ that propelled them into manufacturing the more than 500-year-old Japanese beverage staple.

read more
DELIA Spotlight: Paws en route

DELIA Spotlight: Paws en route

Meet Dacia Rohlehr, Founder and CEO of Paws en route, a business committed to revolutionizing travel for pets. Offering safe and reliable ground and air travel solutions for pets, Paws en route is dedicated to treating pets like family, not cargo and prides itself on transporting any pet to any place at any time.

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