For small businesses looking to fund their ventures, expand their operations and grow as a company, understanding the grants available through the Australian government and the various States and Territories is important. There is a range of small business grants available and we’ve put together a quick, introductory guide to help you understand what is out there.

Remember that information in this article is current as of the time of writing but is subject to change based on grant availability and criteria. Similarly, any advice here is general in nature and small businesses should consider the criteria and requirements of any grant independently.

How to Find the Right Grant for Your Small Business

1. Identify your goals

The first step is to identify what your business needs. Are you launching a new venture and need some start-up funding? Are you looking to invest in a particular area, such as your digital presence? Or are you interested in exploring new technologies and seeing how they can assist your company? Knowing your goals as a business can help you find the right target for you.

2. Consider the grant in question

Next it is important to consider the grant itself. There are various criteria for each option, but you can start off by identifying the general target for each option and which one best fits with your small business.

Some of the categories include:

  • Location
  • Industry
  • Business structure
  • Support type
  • Objectives
  • Business stage
  • Grant status
  • Indigenous businesses

3. Use online tools

The Australia Government’s website has a handy grants and programs finder. This online directory helps you to search for grants using the above categories as filters. It can be a smarter, easier and quicker way to find options for the type of assistance your small business is after, such as funding, loans or advice.

Alternatively, you can answer the five-minute online questionnaire and have suggested grants and programs identified for you. For small business owners who are short on time or find the different grants and information overwhelming, this can be an invaluable tool.

A Guide to Small Business Grants

In this section, we’ll introduce you to a range of small business grants currently available.

Federal Grant Programs

You can find information and links to a variety of federal grant programs here.

1. The Entrepreneur’s Program

This all-in-one program provides resources, workshops, and mentoring to help you establish or grow your business.

While it is not a grant-providing fund as of yet, it is certainly a helpful stepping stone to establishing a network that can nurture future funding opportunities.

Find out more here.

2. Australian Landing Pad

If you’re a small business looking to expand globally, this program can help. It’s designed to assist Australian-based businesses commercialise their products and services overseas and penetrate foreign markets.

You can explore the grant program here.

3. Australian Apprenticeship Incentives Program (AAIP)

The Australian Apprenticeship Incentives Program helps small business owners to invest in, hire and train apprentices. This can be a fantastic way to develop a skilled workforce.

To find out more, check out the online factsheet here.

4. CSIRO Kick-Start Grant

The CSIRO, as Austalians’ national science agency, provides vital funding for small businesses looking to invest in research and development.

If this applies to your business, you can find out more information here.

State and Territory Grants

Each State and Territory in Australia provides its own grants and programs tailored to support local businesses in the region. We’ve listed a few examples below to help you understand what might be available in your locality.

1. New South Wales – Minimum Viable Product Grant

The Minimum Viable Product Grant is a State-sponsored program that assists start-ups in developing the initial prototypes and test their business concepts.

You can find out more about the grant here.

2. Victoria – Future Industries Program

In Victoria, the Future Industries Program is a potential source of funding for businesses developing technologies and/or creating jobs in an emerging industry.

If you would like to see if you qualify, click here.

3. Western Australia – New Industries Fund

WA’s Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation also provides a New Industries Fund. For businesses designing innovative projects with potential to diversify the WA economy, this program can be highly beneficial.

You can learn more about the fund here.

Private Funding

Government grants are a great resource for small businesses in Australia, but there are also private foundations and philanthropic organisations that work to support businesses as well. It can be helpful to consider private grant opportunities in your search for funding.

These can range across a variety of categories:

Grants focused on charitable causes 

Unlike government grants, which can have a broader range of purposes, private grants often typically focus on charitable causes. This is by no means a hard rule, but they too tend to be geared towards businesses with high social or environmental impact.

Funding with stricter eligibility restrictions

Private foundations may enforce stricter eligibility requirements. Funding from a private source often targets specific industries, business sizes, or even geographical locations in an effort to help realise a specific goal.

Here are some ways to find privately funded grants in Australia:

  • Contact Philanthropy Australia, an organisation with resources on non-profit and charitable organisations and trusts.
  • Visit your local State or Territory government website and search for business support.
  • Contact the industry association in the sector in which your business operates for up to date and relevant grant opportunities. 

How to be Grant-Ready

Once you’ve identified a grant program that interests you, make sure you understand the eligibility criteria thoroughly. 

This typically includes factors like the size, location and industry of your business, the nature of your project, and your financial situation.

Here are some general tips for applying for grants:

1. Read the Grant Guidelines Carefully: Don’t miss any deadlines or essential information or you could find yourself wasting time and energy and setting yourself up for disappointment.
2. Prepare a Compelling Application: Make sure to highlight how your business meets the eligibility criteria and outline how the grant will help you achieve your goals.
3. Seek Professional Help: If needed, don’t be afraid to seek assistance from a professional grant writer or business advisor to ensure your application is strong.

ScotPac: customised small business finance solutions

Small business grants can be instrumental in helping small businesses break into the market, establish new markets and succeed in general.

However, if you are looking for a customised, flexible and fast solution to your working capital problems, consider a financial solution with ScotPac. We’ve been helping businesses fuel their success for over 35 years and are currently helping over 8,000 businesses across Australia.

Ready to find out more about funding for small businesses? Just give us a call today.