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Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Export Hubs


This program aims to support the development of local, regional and Indigenous brands through business collaborations in the identified areas of competitive strength. It complements existing initiatives, such as those delivered through the Australian Export Finance Corporation (Efic), the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), the Entrepreneurs' Programme, and the Industry Growth Centres Initiative.

The objectives of the program are to:
- Support the establishment and/or operation of SME export hubs (export hubs) in the six Growth Centre sectors:
a) Advanced manufacturing
b) Cyber security
c) Food and agribusiness
d) Medical technologies and pharmaceuticals
e) Mining equipment, technology and services
f) Oil, gas and energy resources
- Support SME development through facilitation of export opportunities and working with the Growth Centres.

Grants between $150,000 and $1.5 million or up to 50% of eligible project costs are available. Applicants are required to provide co-contribution in cash or in-kind.

The maximum grant period is four years. Projects must be completed by 30 June 2022.

A total funding pool of $20 million is available over four years, of which $11.9 million is available in Round 2.

The application is a two-stage process:
- Stage 1: Expression of interest
- Stage 2: Grant application

Who Can Apply?

Eligible applicants must:
- Have an Australian Business Number (ABN).
- Be one of the following entities:
a) An incorporated association
b) A company limited by guarantee
c) A non-distributing co-operative
d) An Indigenous not for profit corporation
e) A not-for-profit incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
- An Australian local government agency or body.
- An Australian State/Territory government agency or body.
- A Regional Development Australia (RDA) committee.

Joint applications are acceptable, provided they have a lead applicant who is eligible to apply.

Please refer to the Guidelines for the complete eligibility requirements.

Eligible Activities

Eligible projects must:
- Include eligible activities and eligible expenditure.
- Have at least $300,000 in eligible expenditure.
- Support the establishment and/or operation of a new or existing export hub.
- Support participating SMEs to improve their capability to increase exports, and create jobs.
- Develop and implement an export strategy, focused on current or future global opportunities, building on identified competitive strengths and innovation potential of participating SMEs.
- Include activities associated with establishment and operation of an export hub that assists participating SMEs improve their capabilities, increase exports and create jobs, such as:
a) Developing and delivering workshops, training, seminars and other events for participating SMEs in the areas of business management, workforce skills development, collaboration, innovation and export market development.
b) Identifying emerging needs of export markets to inform and facilitate commercially focussed industry-research collaboration to address those needs.
c) Providing market intelligence about export opportunities and facilitation of opportunities for participating SMEs to access global supply chains.
- Support capability development activities for export hub managers to help them build further skills to manage their export hubs and improve project outcomes.

Please refer to the Guidelines for the complete list of eligible expenditure.

Main Assessment Criteria

The main assessment criteria include:
1. Stage 1: Expression of interest
- How the project aligns with the objectives and outcomes of the grant opportunity.

2. Stage 2: Grant application
- How the project aligns with the program objectives, in particular how it will benefit small and medium enterprises through building export capability. (40 points)
- Capacity, capability and resources to deliver the export hub. (30 points)
- Impact of grant funding on the project. (30 points)

Please refer to the Guidelines for the complete list of the assessment criteria.


The following are ineligible for funding:
- An incorporated for-profit organisation.
- An unincorporated association.
- An individual.
- A partnership.
- A publicly funded research organisation (PFRO) including universities as defined in appendix A of the Guidelines.
- A research organisation.
- A trust (however, a not for profit incorporated trustee may apply on behalf of a trust).
- A Commonwealth government agency or body (including government business enterprises), unless listed in section 4.1. of the Guidelines.

Documentation Uploaded
Sample Grant Agreement 2018-09-20 Download
Growth Centre Priorities 2019-08-26 Download
Accountants Declaration Template 2018-09-20 Download
Recipients 2019-08-26 Download
Factsheet 2019-08-26 Download
Project Budget Template 2019-08-26 Download
CEO Approval Letter 2019-08-26 Download
FAQs 2019-08-26 Download
Guidelines 2019-08-26 Download
Project and SME Engagement Plan 2018-12-06 Download

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

Status Pending
Opening Date 23 Aug 2019
Closing Date 19 Sep 2019
Closing Information
This program is available annually. The next funding round is yet to be announced.

Funding Type Grant
Min.Funding $150,000
Max.Funding $1.5M
Total Funding Pool $20M