Starting a business is rewarding, fulfilling and gruelling, all at the same time, especially if you’re juggling finances and self-funding in the launch phase. The hustle is very real if you’re self-funded, solo-preneurs or a small businesses know what the first few years are like. There’s a lot of compromising on luxury and living within the business budget, but it’s all part of the fun of starting a business.
A little financial help doesn’t go astray, and there are plenty of Australian government grants and small business grants available to make the process a little easier. Funding and support from local and state governments is also available, as are research and development grants, and financial assistance or loans for small businesses.
Applying for grants isn’t easy or quick, but with the right action plan, a thorough business plan, and a clear project outline for the funding (aka, what you’ll spend the money on), you’ll increase your chances of grant-success and tick all the necessary eligibility boxes.
If you’ve just launched a business or you’ve been operating for a little while, you’ll want to have done two things; created a clear a business plan and had a professional go over it.
A second set of eyes will help steer you in the right direction, and offer feedback for improvement. Sometimes it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees when you’re so invested in your project, and we all know that two minds are better than one when it comes to business.
The Entrepreneurs’ Programme will help do just that, and it offers up to $20,000 for specific business improvement activities.
If you’re researching a new idea or testing or developing a ‘novel’ product or service, you can apply for the CSIRO Kick-Start grant.
It’s a relatively new grant scheme, so you’ll need to prove a strong support case; but if you’re registered in Australia for GST and you’re turning over $1.5 million or less, you might be eligible.
Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF)
The trend of health and wellbeing might be hot right now, but it’s an area of business the Australian government is investing in the long term – because it’s something that impacts our economic growth.
If you’re developing and commercialising biomedical discoveries, or you’re building a business that delivers long term health benefits and national economic outcomes, you might be eligible for the Biomedical Translation Fund.
The Austrade Landing Pad is not for the faint-hearted, but it’s one of the best business-growth experiences you could embark on. If you can demonstrate a strong vision, scalability, traction and differentiation, and explain how three months immersed in the Landing Pad program could help your venture, you might be eligible.
If you’re successful, expect a very generous helping hand into the global market, and 90 days in one of five Austrade Landing Pad Innovation Hubs in Singapore, Berlin, Shanghai, Tel Aviv or San Francisco.
Most state and local governments have their own grants schemes too, but if you’re based in Victoria and you’re launching a business in the creative industry, you might be eligible for a few grants through Creative Vic.
Funding assistance is available for gaming and tech start-ups, artists, musicians, creative learning ventures and fashion-related small businesses and entrepreneurs.
And, if funding doesn’t work out, fall back on your motivation to succeed and win. Grants, funding, loans and business assistance is excellent if you can get it, but if you can’t – go without and just hustle baby, hustle.