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ENTREPRENEURS' INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAMME: EXPLORING NEW OPPORTUNITIES IN AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT FUNDING

Funding for growth is an overwhelming endeavour, especially for small businesses. That’s why small enterprises are always on the lookout for opportunities to help them boost their business ventures.

To address this concern, the Australian Government implemented the Entrepreneurs Infrastructure Programme through a phased launch of services; the most recent launch being implemented as of 1 November 2014. The programme provides practical support to Australian businesses in a simplified approach. Revolutionising the way government provides services to businesses, the new programme recognises how the emerging factors changes the Australian business landscape. It will now replace a number of government grants and entitlements with a new streamlined approach to government support.

So what does this mean for you as an entrepreneur?

This means that you can have access to government funding, qualified business advice and networking opportunities so you can grow your business.  It is a great opportunity to take advantage of.

Is your business qualified for a government funding? Below, we explain more about the programme, who can apply and more information so you can take advantage of the new government funding initiative.

WHAT IS ENTREPRENEURS’ INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAMME (EIP)?

The Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme offers practical support for Australian businesses to improve their productivity and competitiveness in the market. The funding granted to businesses comes in the form of

  • • advice from people with relevant private sector experience
  • • co-funded grants to commercialise novel products, processes and services
  • • funding to take advantage of growth opportunities
  • • connection and collaboration opportunities
  • • assistance to commercialise novel products, processes or services.

The Programme comes through the services of qualified advisers and facilitators across a wide range of industries. This is to ensure that entrepreneurs get the most out of the government funding. Services are flexible, tailored and focused on value-added advice and support.  With hundreds of experienced business advisers assisting in the programme, EIP delivers support to Australian businesses, researchers and entrepreneurs through the following core elements:

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

• Provides support for business improvement and growth.

• Offers assistance and services to high growth businesses to improve business operations, market opportunities and accelerate growth through one or more of the following four components:

• Business Evaluations– an assessment conducted at a business premises, resulting in a detailed report and recommendations for the business to make improvements.

• Supply Chain Facilitation– offers businesses a practical approach to assist in interacting with and supplying into new and existing markets.

• Business Growth Services– offers eligible high growth potential businesses access to specialist advisers, services and connections to accelerate growth, over a period of up to two years.

• Business Growth Grants– small, co-funded grants to engage external expertise to assist businesses with implementing improvements recommended by their Business Evaluation.

RESEARCH CONNECTIONS

It is a facilitated service to:

• identify critical and strategic research needs and opportunities for the business;

• support the business to connect with sources of expertise, technology and advice;

• provide pathways to engage and collaborate with the research sector.

• Helps small and medium businesses collaborate with the research sector to develop new ideas with commercial potential.

ACCELERATING COMMERCIALISATION

• Helps entrepreneurs, researchers, start-ups and businesses address key challenges in the commercialisation pathway of bringing novel products, processes and services to the market.

• Up to $1 million matched 50:50 grant funding available to support commercialisation of novel products, processes and services.

IS MY BUSINESS ELIGIBLE FOR GOVERNMENT FUNDING?

Knowing where your business is presently at and what you need to get it to a leveraged position is important, as desired funding assistance and government funding are subject to eligibility requirements. These criteria vary across each of the different Programme streams as summarised below.

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT AND RESEARCH CONNECTIONS

Eligible applicants for Business Management and Research Connections Advisory Services are small and medium businesses who are trading in Australia for at least three years, with an Australian Company Number, are financially solvent, with a turnover between $1.5 million and $100 million and operate in the following growth sectors:

• Advanced Manufacturing

• Food and Agribusiness

• Medical Technology and Pharmaceuticals

• Mining Equipment, Technology and Services

• Oil, Gas and Energy or

• Enabling technologies and services of the sectors listed above

Additional eligibility and merit criteria may apply for specific services and different eligibility criteria apply for grant funding. Further detail is provided in the Customer Information Guides for specific Programme services, which can be found at business.gov.au.

ACCELERATING COMMERCIALISATION

Eligible applicants for an Acceleration Commercialisation are businesses, an individual, researcher, partnerships who have a novel product, process or service to be traded or commercialised. The novel product, process or service must be commercialised for external sales and/or intended to be traded to third parties and you must prove commercial viability of a novel product, process or service to a customer, investor or strategic partner.

Further detail and eligibility requirement is provided in the Accelerating Commercialisation Customer Information Guide which can be found atbusiness.gov.au.

WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?

If you are interested to apply for the government grant, we firmly suggest that you download the Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme Customer Information Guides to keep yourself abreast of the recent updates, complete requirements and guidelines pertaining to each Programme stream. For more information, visit the Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme site or download the following documents for your reference.

USEFUL DOWNLOADS

Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme Factsheet
Frequently Asked Questions
Customer Information Guide – Business Evaluation
Customer Information Guide – Supply Chain Facilitation
Customer Information Guide – Business Growth Services
Customer Information Guide – Research Connections
Customer Information Guide – Accelerating Commercialisation

SOURCE: ENTREPRENEURS’ INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAMME, NOVEMBER 2014.WWW.BUSINESS.GOV.AU 

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