4 grants and programs your small business should be applying for

4 grants and programs your small business should be applying for

Starting your own business takes passion and perseverance, we’ve heard this time and time again. But it also takes cash. And, depending on the business you’re in, it might take a lot. Government programs and grants exist to open up opportunities for you to take your business to that next level and get the funding you need to move forward.

We’ve found 4 programs and grants that might be the right fit for your start-up or small business. And we know, applications for start-up grants aren’t to be taken lightly. They require a lot of paperwork and proof of concept before any money is handed over. But they’re worth it - there are grants out there offering hundreds of thousands of dollars to start-up founders just like you.

Before you apply you need to:

  • Realistically evaluate if your business is the right fit for the start-up grant for innovators. If it’s not, you’re wasting yours and your assessors time and you have very little chance of receiving the grant.
  • Work out how you’ll make your application stand out - if you’re truly an innovative start-up, prove it!
  • Think long and hard. Don’t change the direction of your business plan because of the grant’s monetary contribution promises.

To find the best grant for your individual business check out the Australian Government’s consolidated grant finder. If you’re just starting out, the government also has an advisory service finder, which can help you find mentors throughout Australia to help you grow. Here are 4 grants and programs you should consider applying for!

1. Australian Govt’s landing pad program

Landing pads help market-ready start-ups put their business on the global stage. It’s an initiative by the Australian Government to help build the Australian brand to more than just a pretty place to visit. The program sends the start-ups to bustling cities throughout the world. Backed by Austrade the program:

  • Supports you prior to departure
  • Sets up and pays for a 90-day residency at an established co-working space
  • Help you tap into global business and investor networks

To learn more about who should apply for this program visit their website. Applications are open now and if successful you could be on the next plane to Berlin, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore or Tel Aviv.

2. Entrepreneur’s programme

This program provides entrepreneurs with novel and innovative ideas access to a network of more than 100 experienced private sector advisors. The program’s aim is to teach entrepreneurs how to make their products competitive and improve productivity. Experienced professionals help innovators with practical advice to move forward and grow their business. There are three elements:

  • Accelerating commercialisation - here small and medium businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers work on commercialising new products, services and processes.
  • Business management - experienced business advisors and facilitators review business operations, direction, strategy and growth opportunities. They then provide a report with ideas and actionable strategies to make them happen.
  • Innovation connections - Innovation facilitators work with your business to help you discover issues preventing your business growth.

There’s up to $20,000 available in funding and each individual program needs to be applied for separately.

3. Research and Development Tax Incentive

While technically this isn’t a grant, it’s an incredible money saver you should be implementing if your start-up meets the eligibility criteria. Your business could get a refundable tax offset of 45% if your aggregated turnover is less than $20 million.

Your eligibility to claim R&D tax offsets will depend on whether or not you are an R&D entity and, if you are, whether or not you have incurred notional deductions of at least $20,000 on eligible R&D activities.

Here’s a handy checklist to help you claim the R&D Tax Incentive.

4. Small Business Grants NSW

Growing a team when you’re a start-up isn’t easy and retaining great staff once you’ve found them isn’t cheap. The Small Business Grant in NSW gives employers a one-off payment of $2000 for each new full-time position opened in your business. You can claim the grant once the position has been in place for 12 months. And with any growing start-up there will be lots of new positions, so don’t let this opportunity slip.

Final thoughts

While it might feel like you have to jump through hoops to get access to these opportunities, they really are worth it if you’re needing that extra capital to get your business to the next level. To have the opportunity to network with other like minded individuals join us at CeBIT Australia 2017. Get your ticket today.

View the GovInnovate 2017 Program