An analysis of start-up grants and subsidies

Key points in this article

  • Advantages of government assistance
  • Some of the main Australian programs
  • State programs and grants

Starting a new business requires vision, determination, and start-up funds. Fortunately, government and state subsidies and grants are available for businesses just starting up, and it’s worth finding out if you could be eligible for them.

Advantages of assistance programs

Accepting assistance can provide you with a financial boost when starting up, but there’s more to these programs than funding alone. Many programs include training, mentoring, and helpful resources – tailored to the unique needs of start-ups and the program’s intended audience. Incentives are available for any number of industries, business types, and individual demographics.

It may be worth your while to explore the grants and assistance listed on business.gov.au. You can also search to find what’s available in your industry. In the meantime, some of the better-known programs are highlighted below.

Assistance is often available for start-ups. It’s free money, so it’s worth taking advantage of.

Australia-wide programs and grants

New Enterprise Scheme

The New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) provides training and mentoring advice to help unemployed people start up their own businesses. It consists of 21 providers who offer individualised mentoring and support to unemployed individuals interested in becoming self-employed. Not only does NEIS provide up to 52 weeks of small business training and mentoring, it also offers up to 39 weeks of income support and up to 26 weeks of rental assistance to eligible individuals.

Offered throughout Australia, NEIS helps a total of 6,300 individuals each year.

Business Development and Assistance Program

Indigenous Business Australia’s Business Development and Assistance Program is targeted at indigenous Australians. It offers support, training, funding and loans to indigenous entrepreneurs looking to start up new businesses.

This program is available to Australians of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent. In order to apply for business development and assistance through this program, the business must be at least 50 per cent Aboriginal- or Torres Strait Islander-owned.

Export Market Development Grants

The Australian Government’s Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) are intended for aspiring and current export businesses. Austrade administers this financial assistance program. It’s designed to encourage Australian start-ups and established businesses to develop export markets.

It’s worth finding out if your business qualifies for any of the national government assistance grants.

State grants and subsidies

There are also a number of state grants and subsidies available throughout Australia, including:

  • Tasmanian Technopark – assistance is provided by the Department of State Growth in Tasmania which aims to develop, support and market technology and innovation-based businesses.
  • Small Business Bus – in Victoria, the Small Business Bus, a mobile mentoring program that comes to you, offers free business mentoring for those starting up. This free business mentoring program is available to all business owners and those who intend to start a business in its service area. The bus stops in Melbourne and regional Victoria.

As you start and operate your new business, it could pay to look into government start up assistance. Your business might be entitled to some grants or subsidies to help it get up and running.

Check out your state’s business website to find out if there’s any assistance available.

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