Research by PwC in 2013 found that the Australian tech-startup sector has the potential to contribute $109 billion, or four per cent, of GDP to the Australian economy and 540,000 jobs by 2033. Startups and entrepreneurs are a key of the NSW government’s plan to create new jobs and its Jobs for NSW program report released in 2016 centres on attracting large international companies to NSW, providing funding for local and regional SMEs and accelerating the growth of startups.
There are a range of State and Federal government grants and initiatives that providefinancial support for small businesses and startups, as well as access to networks and experts. Here’s a guide to grants, incentives and programs that may be relevant to your business or project.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Grants(NSW) support pre-revenue technology startups with funds to gather customer feedback and test your underlying business model. The grant provides NSW technology startup businesses with funding of up to $25,000 to conduct market research and test their business model with consumers, validating the idea.
For more: https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/minimum-viable-product-nsw
Building Partnerships (NSW) provides NSW technology startups with up to $100,000 to create marketing opportunities for an enabling technology that addresses a compelling industry need or market gap. This may be to complete pilot projects with key customers or fund new marketing partnerships to develop innovative, new-to-mark solutions.
For more: https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/building-partnerships-nsw
Entrepreneurs’ Programme helps businesses increase productivity and competitiveness. More than $400 million in funding is available to new and existing incubators, as well as access to a national network of private sector advisers and facilitators. The program offers supports through four elements: accelerating commercialisation, business management, incubator support and innovation connections.
For more: https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/entrepreneurs-programme
Research & Development Tax Incentive encourages companies to engage in R&D benefiting Australia by providing a tax offset for eligible activities. Funding assists in the validation and research phase of building a startup in order to encourage innovation. Tax offsets of 43.5 per cent or 38.5 per cent are available depending on a company’s aggregated turnover.
For more: https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/research-and-development-tax-incentive
Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (VCLP) aim to attract foreign investors to the Australian venture capital sector by offering flow-through tax benefits. A VCLP is a venture capital fund structured as a limited partnership that makes equity investments in eligible Australian growth companies. It provides certain foreign investors with tax exemption on their investment profits.
For more: https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/venture-capital/venture-capital-limited-partnerships
Austrade Landing Pad gives Australian startups a leg-up in the global market by immersing them in one of five world-class innovation hubs in San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Shanghai, Berlin or Singapore. Successful applicants get a 90-day residency in a co-working space to help expand their business in a global hub and introductions to investors, mentors and strategic partnership.
For more: https://www.australiaunlimited.com/landing-pads
Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) Scheme is for aspiring and current exporters across a wide range of industries and products, helping drive new outbound markets from Australia and encourage inbound tourism. The scheme provides exporters who are aiming to increase their international sales with reimbursements of up to 50 per cent of promotional expenses, between $15,000 and $150,000.
For more: https://www.austrade.gov.au/Australian/Export/Export-Grants
CSIRO Kick Start helps startups and small-to-medium enterprises to further develop and grow their businessby undertaking research activities. It provides up to $50,000 in matched funding for companies researching a new idea with commercial potential or testing or developing a novel product, process or material.
For more: https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/csiro-kickstart
TechVouchers NSW supports opportunities for research collaboration by providing incorporated companies in NSW with matched funding of up to $15,000 to collaborate with a research partner from the Boosting Business Innovation Program (BBIP).
For more: https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/techvouchers-nsw
Strategic Growth Loans NSW provides emerging fast-growth small-to-medium enterprises in NSW with loans to help them grow and create more jobs in NSW. Loans range from $500,000 to $1.2 million when traditional lenders are unable to assist.
For more: https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/strategic-growth-loans-nsw
The Enterprise Solution Centre helps companies take advantage of market opportunities by offering solutions for technical challenges they can’t resolve. The program provides businesses with matched funding to help them find commercialisation solutions for their novel product, process or service.
For more: https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/the-enterprise-solution-centre
Small Business Grant NSW encourages small businesses in NSW that do not pay payroll tax to hire new employees and expand their business. A one-off grant of $2,000 is payable for each new full-time position.
For more: https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/small-business-grant-nsw
Jobs Action Plan NSW provides businesses with a $6,000 payroll tax rebate when they employ new workers in eligible employment.
For more: https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/jobs-action-plan-and-fresh-start-support-nsw
Restart provides support to businesses hiring and retaining workers aged 50 years and over. The program provides a financial incentive of up to $10,000, encouraging more businesses to employ older workers.
For more: https://www.jobs.gov.au/restart-help-employ-mature-workers-0
Youth Jobs PaTH provides assistance and funding for internships for young people aged between 17 and 24 years old. Businesses can receive up to $1,000 to help with the costs of trialling the young person. If the trial is successful and you employ them, you may be eligible for further funding.
For more: https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/youth-jobs-path
Public Sector Innovation Fund (VIC) provides funding for projects that apply technology to address public service issues in Victoria. Open to any organisation working with or within the Victorian public sector, the fund supports small-scale collaborative projects that test new approach to deliver better outcomes for Victorians.
For more: https://www.vic.gov.au/publicsectorinnovation/public-sector-innovation-fund.html
iLab Startup Incubation (QLD), run by The University of Queensland, offers a range of programs to find, fund, grow and support Queensland startups. The Germinate program provides up to $10,000 in funding as well as mentoring, training, weekly workshops and co-working space.
For more: http://www.ilabaccelerator.com/
It’s important to note that grants areoften for undertaking specific projects, such as research or development, rather than for a business in general, so pinpoint a specific project you are seeking support for. Each grant will also have its own eligibility requirements and application process, which can be a time-consuming minefield to navigate. There are companies that will facilitate this process on your behalf for a fixed fee, allowing you to stay focused on developing your business idea and leaving the application to the experienced professionals. Speak to the team at Desk Space for consultants who may be able to help you.