Entrepreneurs' Programme

Overview

The Entrepreneurs' Programme is the Australian Government’s flagship initiative for business competitiveness and productivity.

The programme offers support to businesses through four elements:

  • Accelerating Commercialisation — helps small and medium businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers to commercialise novel products, services and processes.
  • Business Management — provides access to a national network of experienced business advisers and facilitators to assist you to improve your business practices, become more competitive, and take advantage of growth and collaboration opportunities in order to increase your business’s capability to trade in Australian markets and/or markets in other countries.
  • Incubator Support — assists new and existing incubators to improve the prospects of Australian start-ups achieving commercial success in international markets, through helping them to develop their business capabilities.
  • Innovation Connections — experienced Innovation Facilitators work with your business to identify knowledge gaps that are preventing your business growth. The outcome is an Innovation Facilitation Report.

Practical support for businesses includes:

  • advice from people with relevant private sector experience
  • co-funded grants to commercialise new products, processes and services
  • funding to take advantage of business improvement and growth opportunities
  • connection and collaboration opportunities.

For a video explaining the Entrepreneurs' Programme, check out:

Entrepreneurs' Programme - video

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Accelerating Commercialisation

Accelerating Commercialisation provides successful applicants access to expert guidance and grants to find the right commercialisation solutions for novel products, processes and services.

Accelerating Commercialisation offers the following services and grants:

  • Commercialisation Guidance
  • Accelerating Commercialisation Grant
  • Portfolio Services.

To find out more and to apply, go to:

Accelerating Commercialisation

Business Management

The guidelines for Business Management services have recently changed. You should review the Business Management Guidelines before applying.

Business Management consists of two elements.

Business advice and facilitation services to small and medium business to help build capacity, improve capability, extend networks and take advantage of growth opportunities in Australian and/or markets in other countries. Independent advisers and facilitators provide business advice and facilitation services to eligible businesses for one of four streams:

  • business evaluation
  • growth services
  • supply chain facilitation
  • tourism partnerships (northern Australia only).

The advisers/facilitators will work with you to develop a plan on how to achieve your business goals in these areas.

Business growth grants assist you to implement recommendations.

Business Evaluation

A business evaluation provides an analysis of your business carried out on-site by an independent and skilled business adviser. Working with you, the business adviser will develop a business evaluation action plan with detailed analysis and recommendations to increase your business’s capability to trade in Australian markets and/or markets in other countries.

At no cost to your business, a business adviser will:

  • come to your business premises to gather information about your business
  • undertake further research and analyse the information off-site
  • prepare a tailored business evaluation action plan outlining strategies your business can take to become more competitive, improve and grow.
  • Your business adviser will also coach and mentor you for up to 12 months.

To find out more and to apply, go to:

Business Evaluation

Supply Chain Facilitation

Supply chain facilitation provides support to strengthen opportunities, improvements and linkages within an identified supply chain opportunity to improve your business’s capability to contribute to your purchaser’s trade in Australian markets and markets in other countries.

At no cost to your business, a skilled business adviser or facilitator will work closely with your business to offer practical ways to:

  • connect with and supply existing and new markets in Australian markets and/or markets in other countries
  • generate sustainable business growth
  • find opportunities to connect and network with your customers and suppliers.

To find out more and to apply, go to:

Supply Chain Facilitation

Growth Services

Growth services provides access to skilled and experienced business advisers for up to two years to help your business develop the skills, knowledge, strategies and connections to accelerate growth in Australian markets and/or markets in other countries.

At no cost to your business, a business adviser will:

  • develop a growth plan to help you realise your Australian and/or export growth opportunity
  • provide support, advice, mentoring and access to networks to get your plan working for you
  • help maintain your growth momentum through regular meetings and follow-up.

To find out more and to apply, go to:

Growth Services

Tourism Partnerships

Tourism partnerships provides groups or consortiums of tourism businesses in northern Australia with access to an experienced business facilitator for up to 12 months to facilitate and encourage joint activities to assist the group or consortium to increase visitors from interstate and overseas. The group will create a tourism partnerships action plan so they can identify opportunities and strategies to improve capability and competitiveness to increase visitors from interstate and overseas.

Businesses must be located and/or have significant operations in northern Australia.

To find out more and to apply, go to:

Tourism Partnerships

Business Growth Grants

If your business adviser/facilitator recommends specific business improvement activities to increase your business’s capability to trade in Australian markets and/or markets in other countries, you can apply for a business growth grant.

Business growth grants are small grants to engage external expertise to help you implement the recommendations in your plan.

The grant amount will be up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs.

The minimum grant amount is $2,500 (excluding GST).

The maximum grant amount is $20,000 (excluding GST).

The grant is available to support strategies that improve the abilities and skills of your business to trade in Australian markets and/or markets in other countries. It is not intended to support fixes for problems that are part of ordinary, everyday operations of your business.

The grant period is 12 months. For each business management service you receive, you may only apply for a single grant to implement some or all the recommendations in your plan.

We cannot consider your application if you do not satisfy all eligibility criteria.

You cannot use funding from other Commonwealth, state, territory or local government grants to fund your share of eligible project costs.

To find out more and to apply, go to:

Business Growth Grants

Incubator Support

The Incubator Support initiative provides grant funding to incubators to deliver support services to Australian start-ups with an international focus.

Grants are available to support the establishment of new incubators in regions or sectors with high innovation potential, and for existing incubators looking to expand their services. Funded incubators will deliver a range of activities designed to improve the prospects of commercial success of innovative start-ups, allowing them to realise their economic potential faster than they otherwise would. The initiative supports entrepreneurial activity and contributes to the development of the innovation ecosystem, including in Australia’s regions.

The Incubator Support initiative provides grant funding through two components to deliver Incubator Support projects, both of which require a funding contribution from applicants.

  • Support for New and Existing Incubators:
    • to help develop new incubators in regional areas and/or sectors with high potential for success in international trade
    • to boost the effectiveness of high performing incubators, including funding support to expand their services and/or develop the innovation ecosystem
    • to encourage incubators to work with more data-driven start-ups that use public data as part of their business.

This component allows for a minimum grant amount of $26,000 and a maximum grant amount of $500,000 per project with a maximum grant period of 24 months.

  • Support for Expert-in-Residence:
    • to increase the capabilities of incubators and improve the chance of commercial success for start-ups in international markets by organising and providing access to top quality research, managerial and technical talent through incoming and outgoing secondments of national or international experts.

This component allows for a minimum grant amount of $5,000 and a maximum grant amount of $100,000 per project with a maximum grant period of 12 months.

To find out more about the initiative, including how to apply, go to:

Incubator Support - New & Existing Incubators

Incubator Support - Expert-in-Residence

Innovation Connections

Expert Innovation Facilitators work with your business to identify knowledge gaps that are preventing your business growth. The outcome is an Innovation Facilitation Report.

Innovation Connections consists of two components:

  • Innovation Connections Facilitation
  • Innovation Connections Grant.

Innovation Connections Facilitation

Provides your business with an Innovation Facilitator to help you to:

  • identify knowledge gaps
  • identify opportunities to work with research organisations to test and develop new ideas
  • connect to other business assistance packages
  • find the expertise to support your business.

Innovation Facilitators will also provide a report with possible solutions to your problems and referrals to other research and industry programmes.

Innovation Connections Grant

If you chose to implement the suggestions in the report and would like to work with a research organisation, you can apply for an Innovation Connections Grant.

To find out more and to apply, go to:

Innovation Connections

Programme guidelines

  • Entrepreneurs' Programme - Programme guidelines
  • Accelerating Commercialisation - Customer information guide
  • Business Management - Grant Opportunity guidelines
  • Incubator Support - Program guidelines
  • Innovation Connections - Customer information guide

Learning Events

Entrepreneurs' Programme learning events deliver targeted and tailored events and activities to Australian businesses to address learning challenges and gaps, encourage peer-to-peer networking, and facilitate a deeper engagement to embed skills and learnings.

Learning events are delivered through various learning modes such as:

  • single and multi-day workshops
  • masterclasses
  • exemplar business site visits
  • panel discussions and group mentoring
  • high-level introductory learning.

Our events are held across the country in metro, regional and rural areas.

You can contact the learning events team with any questions at eplearningevents@industry.gov.au.

To see upcoming events for your business, please go to:

Learning Events

Advisers and Facilitators

If your business is eligible for business management or innovation connections assistance, our national team of highly skilled advisers and facilitators can provide you with comprehensive advice and guidance.

Customer stories

Find out how our customers are benefitting from the Entrepreneurs' Programme.

More information

  • Factsheet – Entrepreneurs' Programme: Overview

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