Welcome to DELIA
NCFDC’s DELIA fund provides affordable $15K loans to qualifying women-owned businesses across Canada, a project made possible with the support of FedDev Ontario and ISED Canada.
Our pilot project in 2019-2020 backed 42 companies with $675,000 in targeted microloans. The result: DELIA ventures soared.
Fast forward to today, with the support of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED Canada), we are now able to make DELIA available across all of Canada. Our goal is to ensure that by 2024, DELIA stands as a revolving and evergreen microloan fund for all Canadian Women entrepreneurs for start up, stabilization and expansion. DELIA will take 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:
- The Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES)
- The Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH)
- Our strategic funders, FedDev Ontario and ISED Canada.
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).
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)
- 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
- 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)
- 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
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
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?
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
“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. I see myself building an empire and getting my product worldwide, not just in Canada and the US, but worldwide.”
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.”
“The DELIA program has been amazing and the Northumberland CFDC team highly responsive whenever I reached out with a question.”
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.”
NEW! DELIA Mentorship Program Powered by MNP
On International Women’s Day 2023 NCFDC and leading national professional services firm MNP announced a new partnership to help accelerate high-growth potential firms participating in the DELIA Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund (click here for the official press release via Business Wire).
How it Works
- NCFDC shortlists DELIA/Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund recipients that match the selection criteria.
- NCFDC confirms the interest of shortlisted DELIA recipients in participating in the MNP mentorship program. Entrepreneurs are asked to sign a form consenting to the transmittal of basic company profile information and requested advisory services.
- NCFDC recommends clients to MNP for the mentorship program with accompanying form.
- Clients accepted into the program by MNP are onboarded by MNP and normally matched with mentors at the nearest regional office.
- NCFDC reviews client progress and development with MNP quarterly. Additional support plans, referrals, and opportunities may be identified in continuous support of entrepreneurial connectivity and success.
Please note: this is a voluntary mentorship program and there is no obligation to participate. Client consent to participate can be withdrawn at any time. MNP is providing this service free of charge in support of the advancement of women entrepreneurs across Canada. The scope and content of each mentoring engagement will be determined by MNP in its sole discretion.
- Scalable growth firms with an existing multi-year financial track record.
- Innovation-driven enterprise, including retail (B2C or B2B).
- Located anywhere in Canada with a preference for rural and remote regions and overall regional equity.
- Preference for diverse founder teams.
- DELIA micro-loan recipient in good standing.
Clients may have identified a need for:
- Digital Solutions
- Performance Improvement – Business Growth, Operations, Supply
- Chain, Distribution
- Tax / Accounting / Cloud software solutions
- HR Management / Organizational Strategies
- Valuation / M&A / Succession
- Other key areas of practice
Please contact us and someone from the DELIA team will reach out to start the conversation.
Please note that you must apply for and be approved for a DELIA/Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund micro-loan first in order to be basically eligible for consideration under the MNP mentorship program.
Click here to apply to DELIA today for financing for your women-owned enterprise, for business start-up, stabilization, or expansion.
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 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
The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister,
FedDev Ontario, Government of Canada
“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!”
“Really good event. Well done! Great speakers and keynotes.”
“Wonderful conference … inspiring speakers and content .. thank you for another great year!”
“It was a great event! Meeting women entrepreneurs from across Canada was awesome!”
“I’ve never been in a virtual conference that has French closed captioning AND sign language! Amazing!”
Your DELIA Team
With the support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program, NCFDC’s Summer Internships are back with three new positions posted for youth interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. CSJ is designed to help young Canadians successfully transition into the labour market.
NCFDC and MNP are proud to announce the launch of a new strategic partnership designed to accelerate the advancement of women-owned ventures across Canada. The collaboration provides mentorship to select women entrepreneurs who have secured microloans through the DELIA Women Entrepreneurship Loan Fund, a project made possible with the support of ISED Canada.
Our partnership with Corl continues with the second round of DELIA, a fintech-driven microlending platform now available to women-owned businesses across Canada, in all Provinces and Territories.
Jennifer Kennedy Biography
Jennifer Kennedy (Paralegal and Law Clerk Dual Diploma from Fleming College) is an administrative professional who thrives on supporting entrepreneurs. Her previous experience spans the legal, non-profit and healthcare sectors with a concentration in accounting, data management, executive and governance support and general client services. Jennifer is also an avid volunteer having contributed to various local initiatives including cultural and small business associations.
Victoria Pichler Biography
Victoria Pichler graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, and holds various digital sales and marketing certifications (Google, Hubspot, CRM Group). She is a recipient of multiple awards including the Rick Norlock Citizenship Award and the Silver Achievement Award (Duke of Edinburgh Program, Youth and Philanthropy Initiative Winner). Her interests include Marketing Strategy and Management and Product Development.
Heather Cannings Biography
Heather Cannings (BA, Criminology and Psychology, University of Ottawa) is an experienced Risk Analyst (formerly with 360insights) with a demonstrated track record in the Information Technology and Services industry. Heather is skilled in Trend Analysis, Department Administration, Microsoft Office, Trade Compliance, and Policy Enforcement.
Kim Botrie is an accomplished lending professional with nearly 25 years of consumer, mortgage, commercial lending and administration experience. After attending Trent University for Administration and Policy Studies, Kim went directly to work in the financial services industry, spending 18 years at Ganaraska Credit Union and earning her Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation. Kim joined NCFDC in 2010 as Program Administrator, providing support to Lending Services. In 2018, Kim took on the role of Loan Manager at NCFDC, providing superior service to local entrepreneurs in need of funding—propelling business start-up, expansion and stabilization in Northumberland.
At NCFDC, Kim’s work has included the modernization of Lending Services: she has played a key role in the development of NCFDC’s fintech-driven microfinance platform, closely collaborating with lending partners to improve and enhance alternative access to capital pathways for SMEs. Her interest in a multitude of diverse industries and innovation-driven enterprise underscores her commitment to providing lending solutions through the Community Futures Program as well as other entrepreneurial finance and development initiatives.
Wendy Curtis Biography
Formerly Director of Trade Marketing, Pillsbury Canada Ltd, Wendy Curtis (Bachelor of Commerce, Queen’s University) is a recognized multi-award-winning leader in our regional innovation ecosystem. Wendy leads progressive, dynamic firms to superior results via management principles that value individuals, teamwork, quality and strategic focus. She is described by the Government of Canada’s Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario as “Northumberland’s Woman of Influence.” The success Wendy has experienced in her career is mirrored with her personal commitment to the community. She is a multiple recipient of the Town of Cobourg’s Civic Awards and was named the Northumberland Business Woman of the Year (2007) by Northumberland Publishers.
Abby Elder Biography
Born and raised in Cobourg, Ontario, Abby Elder graduated from Algonquin College with a Veterinary Technician Diploma, but later went on to a career in the restaurant industry. After ten years in general management, Abby expanded to business bookkeeping, obtained her Small Business Accounting diploma from Fleming College, and gained seven years of full cycle bookkeeping experience. A Tae Kwon Do 4th degree Black Belt (Master), she is currently responsible for financial administration at NCFDC.