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How to get a small business grant in Australia

how to get a small business grant

Dreaming of launching your business into success but stuck on the launchpad due to funding woes?  Traditional business loans might seem like the only option, but there’s a hidden gem in the funding landscape: business grants

Think of it this way: instead of pitching your heart out to ruthless investors on reality TV, you can secure free money to start your business. No loans, and no interest.

But getting a grant isn’t easy – many businesses compete for them, and there are rules about how the money can be used. Still, these grants are a big help to small businesses and can make a real difference in our communities.

What is a small business grant?

A business grant is a financial reward that government agencies, non-profits, or private donors typically give. They don’t have to be paid back, which is great because it helps businesses without adding to their debt. These grants can be used to turn ideas into businesses, grow existing ones, or invest in new technology. They’re also tailored to fit specific industries or regions, which is helpful.

How to know if your business is eligible for a grant

Some grants are tailored to fit specific industries or regions. Small businesses and startups in Australia have various options, so choose wisely before submitting an application. National grants exist, but many target regional development or specific sectors. Find a grant that aligns with your objectives.

Eligibility is your gateway to grant success. Do your research, understand the requirements, and seek help if needed. Business advisors or grant-savvy accountants can provide personalised guidance based on your business details.

Where to find grant opportunities for small businesses and startups

Finding the right grant is like discovering a hidden treasure. Start by exploring the following resources.

Australian government grants for small businesses Grants and Programs Finder

This portal lets users search for grants and programs based on location, industry sector, size, and type of assistance needed.


Here, you’ll find a list of all Australian Government business grants. You can search by topic of interest, amount, and closing date.

Austrade Landing Pad

Grants to help tech startups expand globally in key markets around the globe. They provide access to global innovation hubs, introductions to local networks, and advice for success.

State-specific grants for Australian small businesses

Each state and territory government has its own business grant programs. You can find information about these programs on the websites of your state or territory government. Here are some examples:

New South Wales business grants

Victoria business grants

Queensland business grants

Western Australia business grants

South Australia business grants

Tasmania business grants

Australian Capital Territory

Northern Territory

Privately funded small business grants

Grants offered by private organisations, foundations, corporations, and charities often support specific industries or initiative. These grants operate differently from government-funded grants and may have varying eligibility criteria, application processes, and funding priorities. 

A good place to start looking is your local bank. Some offer generous schemes to help entrepreneurs take off to help the local economy. You can also visit the Business Enterprise Centres Australia to find potential funding.

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How to apply for a grant as a small business in Australia

So you’ve found the grant that will unlock a world of possibilities for your business. What are your next steps?

1. Craft a powerful proposal

Your proposal should be like an elevator pitch – concise, engaging, and tailored to the grant provider. Clearly explain your goals, business structure, project details, how you’ll use the funds, and the incredible outcomes you expect. Don’t forget to highlight how your project aligns perfectly with their mission!

2. Gather documentation and other requirements

This is where good document organisation and clean business bookkeeping come in handy. Get ready with your business registration, financial statements, project budgets, key personnel resumes, and any other magic beans (supporting materials) the grant provider requests.

3. Submit your application

Complete the grant application form and submit it by the deadline and no later. Pay close attention to instructions and answer all of the requests in a prompt manner. First impressions matter!

4. Prepare for the evaluation

Grants typically have an evaluation and assessment process run by a selection committee. Your application will be scored against specific criteria, and you may be called in for an interview or a presentation. Get ready to answer their questions with confidence during the review.

5. Wait for the outcome and claim the prize!

Once you’re announced as a grant winner, watch and track your progress with the funding. Follow any reporting requirements the funder sets as you bring your project to reality.

how to apply for a business grant in australia

6 tips to make a compelling small business grant application

Research the funder

Understand the mission, goals, and priorities of the funding organisation. Tailor your proposal to align with the funder’s interests and objectives. Look up past grants awarded by the organisation to get insights into successful projects. Find what they did well and what you can do better.

Tell an engaging story about your business

Your application should have a clear and compelling narrative that introduces your business. State the problem or need that you solve and explain why it’s important. Use anecdotes, statistics, and real-life examples to illustrate the impact of your work.

Give a detailed plan of action

Break down the steps involved in completing your project. Include timelines and milestones, and name the individuals responsible for each part. You’re more likely to gain a funder’s trust with evident project management skills.

Show off your experience and expertise

Highlight your business’s track record in completing similar projects. Showcase team members or partners who have verifiable credentials and qualifications. Include evidence that your organisation as a whole can manage grant funds responsibly.

Build towards something sustainable

Talk about the benefits and impact of your project beyond the grant period. Explain how you plan to create more value out of the funding. You can have multiple strategies, such as getting more funding or starting a community program.

Include your research and supporting materials

Anything that helped you create your project can help your application. Build an appendix with budgeting details, letters of support, and your research findings. Make these well-organised so they can easily support the main proposal.

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Unlock financial support and take your business to new heights

Securing a grant isn’t just about the immediate financial boost. It’s an investment in your future and new opportunities you never thought possible. Imagine expanding your team, launching a new product line, or finally reaching that elusive new market – a grant can make it happen.

As you scale new heights, make sure you can easily manage your workforce and comply with tax and payroll regulations as a business owner. Payroller is a people management platform that offers payroll features, employee rostering, and STP reporting with ease. Keep the financial side of your business running smoothly and chase your grant dreams!

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