What is it?
The Entrepreneur’s Programme is a Federal Government business scheme to encourage competitiveness, productivity and accelerate the commercialisation of new ideas. It consists of four sub-programme categories to help SMEs grow and compete in new markets – Accelerating Commercialisation, Business Evaluation, Business Growth and Innovation Connections.
It covers both facilitation services (in-kind support and concessions) and grants and is for early stage entrepreneurs.
How much does it grant?
What you receive in this programme depends on which sub-programme you apply to. For example;
- Accelerating Commercialisation offers matched funding up to $1 million for commercialisation costs
- Business Evaluation can offer free advice, up to 12 months mentoring and access to R&D
- The Innovation Connections programme can offer up to $50,000 in matching funding support
Who can apply?
There are various eligibility criteria across the different sub-programmes. To summarize them briefly;
Accelerating Commercialisation – you must have a product, process or service you want to commercialize. You need to either have a registered company or be an individual who agrees to form a company.
Business Evaluation, Supply Chain Facilitation, Growth Services – you must be an Australian incorporated company and have an annual turnover over the past 1-2 years of over $1.5 million.
Business Growth Grants – you must have done an Entrepreneur’s Programme Business ManagementAdvice or Facilitation Service first. You should then have a completed plan from that programme from the last 12 months, and your project must have at least $5000 in eligible expenditure.
Innovation Connections – you must be an Australian GST registered company operating in Australia for at least 3 consecutive years with an annual turnover over $1.5 million.
How to apply?
The sub-programs have different application procedures.
Accelerating Commercialisation – the first step is to lodge an expression of interest . You may then continue onto a second stage of Commercialisation Guidance and then proceed to an application. Applicants need to show they can fund at least 50% of the cost of the project. Your application will need to discuss your need for funding, market opportunity, value proposition, execution plan, management capability and national benefits.
Business Evaluation, Supply Chain Facilitation, Growth Services, Business Growth Grants – You make an application through an online portal addressing all eligibility criteria.
Innovation Connections – You need to contact an Innovation Facilitator in your state or territory if you are applying for facilitation services. If you’re applying for money, you first need to obtain an Innovation Facilitation Report and then apply online.