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Entrepreneurs' Programme (Overview)


This programme aims to support small and medium businesses to improve business capability and competitiveness, promote economic growth and support the commercialisation of new products, processes and services. It is the Australian Government’s flagship initiative for business competitiveness and productivity which forms part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

The programme is delivered through a network of facilitators and advisers, drawn from industry, to ensure businesses get the advice and support they need to improve their competitiveness and productivity. The primary focus is on providing access to the best advice and networks to solve business problems, rather than focusing on financial assistance.

There are four programme elements:
1. Business Management
- Provides businesses with independent advice tailored to their specific needs, including:
a) Business Evaluation
b) Growth Services
c) Business Growth Grants (up to $25,000)
d) Supply Chain Facilitation
e) Tourism Partnerships

2. Innovation Connections
- Provides support for business to collaborate with the research sector and connect with appropriate sources of expertise, technology and advice. This includes secondments of researchers into businesses.
- Support is provided through the following activities:
a) Innovation Connections Facilitation
b) Innovation Connections Grant (up to $50,000)

3. Accelerating Commercialisation
- Helps small and medium businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers to attract private investment and commercialise novel products, processes and services.
- Support is provided through the following activities:
a) Commercialisation Guidance
b) Accelerating Commercialisation Grant (up to $1 million)
c) Portfolio Services

4. Incubator Support
- Funds incubators and accelerators to develop the innovation ecosystem and support the growth and development of innovative start-ups.
- Support is provided through the following components:
a) New and Existing Incubators (Between $26,000 and $500,000)
b) Expert-in-Residence (Between $5,000 and $100,000)

The programme was announced as part of the 2014-15 Federal Budget. In the 2015-16 Federal Budget, the Government has reduced the funding for the Entrepreneurs' Programme with a remaining total funding pool of $526.4 million available over four years from 2015-16. A further $15 million was provided over four years from 2016-17 to the Incubator Support Programme to expand this initiative to support innovative, globally-focussed startups and develop Australia’s innovation ecosystem, as announced in the 2016-17 MYEFO.

Who Can Apply?

Please refer to the individual programme elements for the specific applicant eligibility requirements.

Eligible Activities

Please refer to the individual programme elements for the specific eligible activities.

Main Assessment Criteria

Please refer to the individual programme elements for the specific assessment criteria.

  • Start-up
  • Research & Development
  • Marketing
  • Export
  • Business Support
Documentation Uploaded
Guidelines 2018-04-20 Download
Factsheet 2018-04-20 Download
Business Advisers List 2018-10-21 Download
Innovation Connections Facilitators List 2018-10-21 Download

Use these documents as a guide only - always get the latest direct from the Administrator

Add to
Status Open
Closing Information
This programme is open on an ongoing basis.

Funding Type Grant Services
Total Funding Pool $526.4M
Co-contribution Yes
Competitive Yes
Eligible Activities
Innovation and R&D
Infrastructure / Equipment
Who Can Apply?
General - Non-Industry Specific
Difficulty Rating
Tier Federal
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
Program Administrator
General WebsiteVisit
Program Website Visit