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Finding the best startup business grant for your small business

Australia is home to more than 2.3 million small businesses. It should come as no surprise, then, that there are plenty of grants to support SMEs.

Startup business grants are funding programs that provide businesses with much-needed capital to realise an idea. There is a wide range of options, including government funding grants and industry-specific grants. However, knowing which ones are available — and which to apply for — can be challenging.

In this post, we look at the best small business grants out there, from government grants to private funding.

Top government grants for small business

  • Austrade Landing Pad. These grants help startups take their business global in key markets, including Shanghai, Berlin and Singapore. SMEs get access to global innovation hubs, introductions to local business networks, and advice to help them succeed in a new market.
  • Export Market Development Grant. Designed to encourage SMEs to develop export markets, this grant is a financial assistance program for current and new exporters. In response to COVID-19, the EMDG export performance requirements for 2020–21 have been waived and the Initial Payment Ceiling Amount (IPCA) is $100,000.
  • Accelerating Commercialisation. This grant provides SMEs with up to $1 million in project funding to commercialise a novel product, process or service. Eligible applicants need to be exploring commercialisation opportunities in different states or territories from their state of business.
  • State government grants. Each state has its own small business grants to support startups and scale-ups. The following are a few examples:  

Grants by state

  • New South Wales: the MVP Grant offers up to $25,000 to help early-stage startups develop a minimum viable product. Local Innovation Network (LIN) is a $2.1 million commitment by the NSW Government to develop regional entrepreneurship and support startups and SMEs in seven emerging regional locations.
  • Victoria: Future Industries supports job creation in high-growth industries including medical, new energies, food and fibre and construction. The Small Business Digital Adaptation Program allows businesses to apply for a $1200 rebate upon purchase of a digital product to build digital capability. 
  • Queensland: for training and accelerator programs explore Startup onramp Regional Queensland Program. While the Business Basics Grants Program provides support to help increase your core skills and adopt best practice.
  • Australian Capital Territory: Innovation Connect Grants (ICON) supports entrepreneurs to develop and grow ideas. Grants usually range between $10,000 and $30,000.
  • South Australia: the SA Venture Capital Fund (SAVCF), provides a portion of the initial startup funding, with the rest needing to be matched by other funds or investors.
  • Western Australia: the New Industries Fund is an initiative to support and accelerate new and emerging businesses. There are a number of programs you can explore. Keep an eye out for City of Perth grants as they become available. 
  • Tasmania: Business Growth Loan Scheme provides concessional loan funding to support businesses to recover and adapt and allow new projects that contribute to employment in Tasmania.
  • Northern Territory: Business Growth Program helps businesses, not-for-profits and Aboriginal enterprises receive support from grants and funding outlets.

Free Business Grant Finder

Looking for funding to grow your business? Find out in just 10 minutes what grants you could be eligible for from a range of over 1500 government grants worth almost $40 billion. To start browsing, simply join My Business as a free member.

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Industry-specific grants

  • Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF). Created specifically for the health industry, the BTF provides funding to help SMEs develop and commercialise biomedical discoveries. The fund is run by three fund managers and has over $500 million in capital to invest.
  • Industry 4.0 grants. These are a range of grants designed to fuel the fourth revolution in Australia through transformative technologies. Grants include funding for smart factories, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.
  • Agricultural grants. Both state and federal governments provide a range of grants to support SMEs in the agriculture industry. This includes the Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, as well as grants for carbon farming and natural resources.
  • Tourism funding grants. Tourism Australia provides grants and subsidies for small tourism businesses. These include subsidies for digital marketing for tourism business, as well as grants to promote regional and state tourism.

Other grants for small business startup

  • CSIRO Kick Start Grant. This is a matched-funding grant that provides SMEs with up to $50,000 to undertake research with CSIRO to grow their business. Eligible companies need to have an ACN, be registered for GST and have an annual turnover under $1.5 million.
  • Grant Guru. There are always new grants and Grant Guru allows you to search from a database of more than 1500 government grants worth almost $40 billion. These include private grants, public sector grants and industry-specific grants.
  • The Grants Hub. This directory includes over 1,000 grant programs in Australia, including those from private donors, corporate enterprises and more.
  • Grants Assist. Provides a wealth of information for small business, startups and non-profit grants and you can search by sector or state.

It’s important to note that each grant has eligibility criteria and applications can close without notice. 

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