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Grants and Funds to Ignite Your Business

  • 04.10.2016
  • Tips

The idea of getting free money is music to the ears of many enterprises (including appreneurs). If you are one among them, you have reached the right place. Aspiring App entrepreneurs can use the information below to find suitable app projects that falls in tune with the relevant  grants criteria to secure funds and also start a profitable business.

Billions of dollars’ worth of grants and financial assistance are handed out around Australia by federal, state governments and local councils. But most businesses remain unaware of what’s available. It is worthwhile for startups (and the established ones) to know about grants, subsidies and other financial assistance to give wings to their business ambitions. Here we provide a small helping hand in exposing you to the available fund supports.

A previous Web Network blog on “7 Tips to Get Funding for your App Idea”  will help you in finding different fund mobilization avenues to run your business.

Funding Types

Depending on the size and nature of your business you may qualify for government grant or loan funding from between $1,500 to $10 million in the form of:

  1. Grants & subsidies
  2. Loans
  3. Tax breaks
  4. Business advantages

You will get detailed info and reasonable help on each of these from Grants and Assistance Finder  and also from different websites mentioned in the “References” section at bottom of this article.  

1. Grants & Subsidies

Receiving a government grant for your start up is a joyful thing, despite the whole lot of paper work and other criteria-meeting formalities involved. Grants differ from loans as they need not be repaid ever (in some cases). Australian government provides grants to businesses to help them remain financially viable.

Grants can be availed of during early startup stage all the way through to major growth and expansion needs, commercialization, research and development (R&D), innovation and exporting. Mentoring and specialist advice are also available from the Australian government.

The Australia Business Financing Centre’s GrantFinder is an excellent source to get useful info on Australian grant programs for Australian businesses. Here you will get an idea about the total possible funding programs and amount that you are eligible to get, based on the information you give.

  • Grants to finance exports

The Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme is a key financial assistance program by the Australian Government for aspiring and current exporters. Administered by Austrade, EMDG supports a wide range of industry sectors and products, including inbound tourism and the export of intellectual property and know-how outside Australia.

  • Grants for business expansion

Free government grants for business expansion are available from state governments to motivate businesses to open new operations in the region. It will boost the economy by increasing employment opportunities. Deficiency of cash reserves will no longer restrict businesses from expanding their operations. GrantFinder will help you in identifying grants for your business expansion needs.

  • Grants for innovation

Developing innovative ideas with a vision for future profits involves investment. For businesses that are unable to kick start their ideas due to lack of funds can make use of grants that are specifically aimed to support innovation.

The National Innovation and Science Agenda is doing commendable job by helping innovators to get funding to back their ideas. They inspire enterprises to foster innovative solutions to government policy and service delivery problems. Entrepreneurs can retain their intellectual property and the right to commercialize the ideas in Australia or overseas. Science and Innovation Grants are also available from the Queensland Government.

  • R&D Grants

A range of grants exist to help businesses and organisations to fund renewable energy projects, energy efficiency and clean technologies. The two main funding programs are the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). Innovation Connections Grants is another program that provides grant up to the value of $50,000.

  • Grants to help commercialisation

Accelerating Commercialisation helps small and medium businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers to commercialise novel products, services and processes. The program offers commercialisation guidance, grants and portfolio services.

  • Subsidies to cut off some costs

Australian government offers a number of subsidy programs to its nationals if their business gets qualified under the definite criteria. Business initiatives whose activities come under the group of the promotion of work place diversity, furthering the expansion of green jobs, strengthening under-served sections of industry etc., are eligible for subsidies. You need to consult a practitioner to know whether your business is entitled for subsidies.

2. Loans

Australian government offers low or no interest loans with long repayment terms. Australian businesses that are trying to raise capital to buildup or augment production can avail of this money. Many businesses are getting benefitted from this loan money helping them to increase profits and employ more staff. You can proceed through different expansion stages in a tension-free manner with these kinds of financial support.

Government loans are limited and are only offered to specific businesses and individuals, such as primary producers, Indigenous Australians, youth and drought-affected businesses. There are also loans available to export businesses via the Export Finance & Insurance Corporation (EFIC).

3. Tax Breaks and Tax Incentives

Tax breaks are tax refunds or tax credits. They are designed to decrease tax burden of business enterprises. It can lower tax rate for small businesses, tax credits for hiring eligible apprentices, and investment tax credits for qualified expenditures in R&D. Source

R&D tax incentive – The Research and Development Tax Incentive (R&D) is the largest single program in Australia to help business to undertake research and development. Over $1.8 billion is awarded annually and it is not competitive – that is, if you are eligible then you are entitled to it . Source The R&D Tax Incentive replaced the previous R&D Tax Concession in 2011. It is designed to offset some of the costs of doing eligible R&D activities. You can avail of Research and Development Tax Incentive to compensate some of your costs by getting up to 45% tax relief.

It has two core components:

  • A refundable tax offset for certain eligible entities whose aggregated turnover is less than $20 million
  • A non-refundable tax offset for all other eligible entities.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and AusIndustry (on behalf of Innovation Australia) jointly administer the R&D tax incentive. Your R&D activities must be registered with AusIndustry . You can avail of Research and Development Tax Incentive to compensate some of your costs by getting up to 45% tax relief.

4. Business advantages

Eligible businesses can also avail of business advantages from the Australian government. They are in the form of government insurance against business risks, government relocation incentives, advisory and mentoring services, workshops and seminars, general and industry-specific training, networking opportunities, subsidised products, such as business planning tools and access to resources.

Other options to consider if you are looking for funds to support your business are debt finance, equity finance and crowdsourcing finance.

Summing Up

If you are confused about the types of grants and financial assistance that you can avail of, make use of free tools available at www.business.gov.au ,www.grantassist.sa.gov.au, or business.grantguru.com.au . Remember that there are hundreds of seekers for grants and other types of financial assistance. Therefore, proper paper work and flawless application filing is very important.

References

  1. AustralianGovernmentGrants website
  2. Grants and Assistance Finder 
  3. business.grantguru.com.au
  4. www.grantassist.sa.gov.au
  5. The National Innovation and Science Agenda
  6. Science and Innovation Grants

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