Starting a business can be exciting and all-encompassing, but it can also be stressful and expensive. However, there is a range of business grants in Australia that can help alleviate some of that pressure.
Here is our list of the top business grants for women in small business that should consider applying for.
Investing in Women Funding Program
Broken up into three stages of funding, with a total of $400k up on offer, this program focuses on developments and projects that support leadership and advancement of women in New South Wales. One of their focuses is ‘Women in Small Business’, especially if they are related to giving back to the community.
Open to small businesses within the City of Melbourne with less than 20 employees, the Small Business Grants VIC is broken up into three categories: Start-Ups (up to $30k funding), Business Expansion (up to $30k funding), and Export Entry – looking at new overseas markets - (up to $10k on a matched-funding basis).
One of the most famous, the Entrepreneur’s Programme is the government’s flagship grant. Its aim is to help start-ups with funding, support and collaboration opportunities. The four key elements to the grant are accelerating commercialisation, business management, incubator support and innovation connections. The aim of the grant to is make businesses more resilient, more self-reliant and more competitive.
One of the oldest women’s funds in the world, the Victorian Women’s Trust is dedicated to equal opportunities through progressive philanthropy. They offer 10 grants as part of their Sub-Grants Fund, with opportunities for women with projects/ ideas for a variety of different fields, including refugees, racism, education and social justice.
Minimum Viable Product Grant
Although not specifically for women, this grant is designed for tech start-ups who need to take their business idea from concept to minimum viable product stage. Recipients must have proof of concept, be in pre-revenue stage and have a scalable solution. Grants are open all year and offer up to 25% of approved project costs.
An initiative from the Victorian government, LaunchVic aims to create a globally-connected startup ecosystem, delivering economic and cultural benefits to Victoria. So, instead of straight funding, they prefer to match accelerators to start-up and small businesses in order to provide support in the way of mentorship, education, development and more. This year alone they have committed to $7 million of funding to support 170 start-ups over three years.
These are only a few of the many grants on offer; for the full list of government grants, see Business.gov. If those don’t work for your business, there are also smaller initiatives to help start-ups hire their first employee, learn from time overseas, and reduce the costs of research and development.
And while the process of applying for any grant can be lengthy, in-depth and at times frustrating, the benefits more than outweigh the effort. Grants not only bring financial gains (that you don’t have to pay back!) but they can provide you with training, access to resources and can help raise awareness of your startup.