Whether you're looking for funding to kick off an idea, or a grant to take you from the domestic market to international, herein lies a list of the many grants available for small businesses in Australia. Many of these have helped power a start-up, supported a business exploring new technologies or helped a SME keep going post 2020. Check them out.
Government Grants for Small Businesses 2022
A small business could be silly not to look into the billions of dollars of government funding available year on year. There are even more dollars available through private donor or corporate grants. Many of these grants are paired with supportive programs or exclusive networks worth tapping into. Which grants are worth a look? That depends on what you need.
Are You Starting a Revolution?
If you're pursuing innovation like transformative technologies, there's a range of small business grants available. Think smart factories, the Internet of Things, augmented reality, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. There's grants for new ideas, grants for product development and grants for exploring export opportunities.
Grants For New Ideas With Commercial Potential
There are government funding grants that may help a you get a new idea up and running, both at a State and Federal level.
- Australia-wide: The CSIRO Kick Start Grant is a matched-funding grant up to 50k to help you research an idea that has commercial potential, or help you improve a product or process. This grant is being used by companies to create new products like a smart collar for cats and dogs, or a platform powered by AI that turns PDFs into searchable data repositories. To access this grant your turnover needs to be under $1.5M.
- Australia-wide: Are you an Elon Musk wanna-be? There are enticing grants up to $1 million if you have ideas to support Moon to Mars activities. Yep, that's right, if you've identified a supply chain opportunity you could soon be the Elon of Australia.
- QLD: If you're a Queenslander, you're in luck because the Queensland government has been supporting start-ups now for decades with programs like the Ignite Ideas Fund, which offers funding between $100-200k. The government is looking for commercial ideas that could help diversify the local economy and create new jobs. If that sounds like you, applications will reopen mid-2023.
- QLD: Another Queensland opportunity is Made in Queensland, a government grant up to $2.5M for manufacturers to help them implement innovative processes or technologies. If you need to update your tech to deliver an improved product or range of products, this is worth looking into. This grant is also suitable for those exploring product development.
- SA: Matched funding up to $500k (2:1) is available for start-ups with serious growth potential. Seed-Start promises you don't have to do it alone. And, if you're not based in SA, it sounds like they're ok for you to apply if you promise to be based there after kick-off.
Want to add to what grants are available for small business in Australia? Drop me a line.
Grants For Developing or Updating a Product
- Australia-wide: The Research & Development tax incentive is designed to encourage those developing a new or evolving an existing product. It's more of a rebate than a grant, but it allows you to claim back a whopping 43.5% of costs related to market research. Capilano Honey used this program to expand their range of honey flavors and to literally turn their packaging on its head with an upside-down bottle. If you need to spend over 20k to take your product from grey to display, this R&D tax incentive could be for you, too.
- Australia-wide: Got a game-changing idea for the Australian Defence Force? They want to know about it. The Defence Cooperative Research Centres Program is looking for next-level security tech to defend Australia. Here are all the details.
- NSW: The Minimum Viable Product grant provides up to 25k of matched funding to technology start-ups in NSW. Funds are for those with scalable ideas, without any revenue (yet). Use the funding to help you 'test the waters' before you scale.
- Canberra: Innovate Connect offers matched funding up to 30k, to tech-based business in Canberra that need to develop a product prototype or develop a more formal marketing strategy working with a marketer like me, or an agency.
- WA: 15-60k of grant funding is on offer to creative industry individuals and organisations to deliver a one-off project. Arts 15k Plus is funding novels, jewelry collections and textile design.
Health Related Grants
Do you have a nifty idea to improve health? If you have a new take on wearables or a biomed' discovery that could be commercialized, there's government and venture capital available. This funding is helping companies create new products that improve the health of Australians.
Grants To Help You Expand Into Global Markets
There are grants to help a small business push out of the domestic market and into the global arena. Heard of one that's missing from the list? Let me know.
Grants To Help A Small Business Grow
- Australia-wide: The AusIndustry Entrepreneurs' Programme offers matched funding grants between $2.5-20k to help SME's to become more competitive in global markets. Some of the ways this grant is used is to acquire new industry certifications, improve marketing and communications strategies, or review the digital marketing strategy. You must have an annual turnover of at least $750k OR be a part of Australia's high-growth sectors. Read all the details about eligibility here.
- VIC: The Victorian Business Growth Fund helps SMEs with annual revenue of at least $5M find investment partners that take on equity or a debt stake rather than providing a grant.
- NSW: Are you a tech start-up? Investment NSW are offering rebates up to a whopping $1.9M to attract technology companies to their new innovation hub, Tech Central. 250,000 square meters of affordable rental space is up for grabs for startups and scaleups.
- NT: The Northern Territory has a business growth program for SMEs and non-profits, offering 10k of funding towards marketing and organisational growth strategies. The state government is also supporting tourism marketing activity with $5k of matched funding available through the Domestic Distribution Grant Program or move to an online booking system, with the Book Now Grant Program.
- TAS: If you have a manufacturing business, this could be a grant for you. The Advanced Manufacturing Tender Incentive Program provides funding up to $40k for Tassie-based manufacturers to engage professional bid and tender writing services.
Help To Develop An Export Market
- Australia-wide: The Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) offers marketing funding to small businesses wanting to export OS. All eligible EMDG applicants receive a grant, with the amount varying depending on the number of applicants and funding available.
Like many government grants, funding must be matched dollar by dollar by the business. It's often used for marketing consultants like me, advertising, market visits and marketing training.
Apparently, one of the best ways to access this funding is via The Landing Pads program, a network-focused program linked to Austrade, that administers EMDG. They provide market-ready startups and scaleups opportunities to land and expand in global hubs like Berlin, Shaghai and Tel Aviv. Cool huh?
- Australia-wide: Did you know the Australian government has an export credit agency that provides loans to Australian export-related businesses? The loans are used for anything from ecommerce websites to renewable energy infrastructure.
- VIC: Team up with Victorian university students to undertake market research on your export market. The Global Victoria Intellect Program is free, and is helping aspiring export businesses throughout the state explore OS opportunities.
- SA: South Australian? There's state government funding to help expand high-priority sectors including creative, tech, space and agriculture. Land your business up to 50k to expand into new markets. You'll have to move quickly, applications close mid-September this year.
Grants To Help You Run Or Market An Event
Are you an event organiser? Most of these event related grants are about generating economic activity in the host destination. These government grants are available for small businesses in Australia.
- Australia-wide: If you're looking into running a music tour, the Contemporary Music Touring Program is helping Australian artists take their music to regional destinations. Grants are available from $5k-$50k depending on the number of venues planned.
- ACT: There's an ACT event grant up to $30k, that closes soon in early September.
- QLD: The Queensland Destination Events Program offers up to $100k in funding for event organisers staging events in Queensland.
- NSW: The Flagship Event Program offers up to $50k in marketing-orientated funding to support proven events in regional NSW. Destination NSW are looking for marketing activities that encourage overnight visitations to the region.
- SA: There are 100 grants of $5k a pop on offer to help South Australian venues market music events. Major festivals can secure up to $50k with the See it LIVE Events Grant.
- WA: Western Australia seems to have a stack of event-related grants. 15-60k of grant funding is on offer to creative industry individuals and organisations to deliver a one-off project or program. Arts 15k Plus is funding festivals, marketing campaigns and circus programs. WA also has a Regional Events Program, funded by Royalties for Regions. REP offers $40k+ to events that draw more people to the region, like Ironman WA. On top of that, there's also a Perth CBD revitalisation grant program kicking off in September offering funding up to $100k for pop-up markets, fashion shows or wine events.
- TAS: Events Tasmania has an Attraction Fund to help event organisers bring at least 750 visitors to Tassie from interstate or overseas. There's also a Championship Grant up to 7k for sporting events and up to 10k of marketing funding available for events. You'll need to be able to demonstrate how this funding will add value to an existing intrastate marketing strategy.
General Small Business Support
Maybe you just need some form of general support as a small business owner? Many business owners start looking for grants when they are facing a few hurdles. There are SME grants, programs and helplines to help make sure you don't have to tough the dull days out alone.
- Australia-wide: Did you know if you hire a young job seeker the government is offering you incentive payments of $100-200 a week? The JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme is helping those under 35 who are looking for work, and encouraging SMEs to hire an additional employee for at least 20 hours per week. You give them a hand, you get a hand, the government gives you a hand.
- Australia-wide: There's free independent legal advice to help small business employers out on issues like flexible work arrangements arising from COVID-19. Maybe you aren't sure how to discuss vaccination or coming back into the office with staff? The Workplace Legal Advice Program may be able to help you out.
- Australia-wide: There's a confidential mental health support program for small business owners set up by Beyond Blue. The New Access program is for any business owners who feel like their business has hit a rough patch, including sole traders. Coaches with a small business background will work with you to help you overcome the business challenges you're facing.
- NSW: If you've been unfortunate enough to be impacted by the floods in NSW, you may be eligible for a one-off 10k grant through the Small Business Northern Flood Grant Program. Funds are intended to cover at least some of the operating costs you may be dealing with, including salaries, legal or marketing support. Word on the street is these have started to become easier to get, but they were initially reported to be a pain in the butt for eligible businesses.
- VIC: If you're like most small business owners you're probably used to handling challenges on your own, but you don't have to. There's a confidential Wellbeing helpline funded by the State gov' for Victorian small businesses. If you need business advice or financial counselling, call for a one off chat or get ongoing support.
- Regional: If you are in a regional area impacted by drought, COVID-19 or the infamous bushfires of 2019-20, you may also be interested in the regional small business support program OR, be paired with a business facilitator to help you get back on your feet, a program initiated by AusIndustry.
Support to Help You Find Grants
Yes, there are grants specialists that help SMEs and non-profit organisations hunt down appropriate grant funding. However, did you know there are also quite a few mentoring programs, many of which may help you find grants?
- Australia-wide: The Accelerating Commercialisation program provides advice and funding to get novel products, processes or services to market. The program starts with advice provided by an independent facilitator, who will make recommendations to take your project from prototype to your first commercial sale. Then, they'll help you apply for a commercialisation grant.
- Australia-wide: The Landing Pads program, is a network-focused program linked to Austrade, that administers the Export Market Development Grant. They provide market-ready startups and scaleups opportunities to land and expand in global hubs like Berlin, Shaghai and Tel Aviv. Cool huh?
- VIC: If you're a Victorian-based business geared towards expansion, The Ready for Growth program can help you find suitable grants to back you.
- SA: There's expert help available to South Australian CEOs or business owners to grow your business. Apparently the Growth program run by the University of South Australia is pretty good, with 95% of participants saying they would recommend it to others.
Where Else To Find Grants For Small Business
There's a Government Grants Finder...
This list can't include every government grant available for small businesses in Australia, but it does include some of the most popular for 2022. The Australian government's very own grants finder for business is one of the easiest ways to find out what grants are available for a small business like yours. Check it out.
There is also a government-dedicated grant opportunity list that covers a much wider selection of grants across sectors, such as brain research grants. Explore the lists or explore the option of hiring a grant guru to track down potential grants suitable for your business.
Want to add grant details to this list of grant opportunities for small businesses in Australia? Send me the details.