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Government Grants to Help Your Startup Explore Other Markets

By Rachel Youens on Monday, November 30th, 2009

Sadly, a lot of times having a successful startup in Australia means you have to inevitably leave or expand outside of Australia. It’s exciting to bring you product in to big new markets but it can also be a spendy endeavor. There are several state and government grants and programs to help Australian startups keep costs down while branching out abroad.

NSW Independent Market Visit Grant

The Independent Market Visit grant is aimed at businesses whose particular specialty isn’t covered by existing international trade missions or exhibition programs hosted through Austrade. Eligible companies can receive up to $3,000 to help cover the costs of approved service providers such as market/business matching. Unfortunately this grant will NOT cover things like travel, food, hotels but you will make more out of your trip if you are able to afford some special introductions, meetings, events etc. You have to be reasonably well prepared before you should think of applying to this, you will need to be a NSW business with an export plan and a product ready to go to market.

Austrade Exporter Market Development Scheme

This grant is funded through the national government’s organization, Austrade. Austrade supports exporting in a number of ways including their numerous trade mission and annual export awards ceremony for the nation’s top businesses. This grant is for businesses with a little bit more experience, because in addition to other requirements, you must have already spent $10,000 over two years on export marketing expenses. However, if you can land this grant, it offers coverage of 50% of your expenses.

Queensland’s International Trade Show Assistance Program

This fund assists eligible Queensland businesses with up to $5,000 in funding to help them participate in an international trade show or trade mission outside of Australia. The main focus of the program is on ICT and biotechnology. This fund will cover some of your travel expenses such as food and hotel but only up to a certain amount a day. It will however cover a large portion of your exhibition and marketing costs while you are in the trade show.

Victorian Trade Fairs and Missions Funding

Though it’s a bit harder to do the organizing to bring ten companies together, the Victorian government offers great funding options if you can pull together a large trade mission of businesses headed to a trade show where they can secure a major presence and high profile meetings. There are a variety of options on the type of trade mission ranging from demonstrating Victorian capability to attending over seas events and the money offered covers everything from marketing material to consultants to booth design. One added benefit is that you can also get funding even before you leave for the group to receive some pre-departure training to get the most out of the trip.

Victoria First Step Exporter

First Step Exporter offers financial assistance to Victorian companies seeking to research and explore opportunities in their firstexport markets.  First Step is part of the Opening Doors to Export programs, and aims to encourage companies to export and grow. This grant can cover 50% of your expenses up tot $10,000 and covers travel, promotional material and market research, just not accommodations or meals. In order to be eligible your company must be registered for at least two years.

Victorian ICT Trade Events and Export Assistance Program

This grant supports export ready ICT companies planning to attend recognised overseas trade fairs and missions. There are five categories of the grant that vary based on whether it is your first time attempting to export abroad and whether you are alone or in a group. In order to be eligible for the grant you need to have less than 200 employees and a product that is produced in Victoria with  an Australian content of at least 50% of the total sales value as well as an approved export plan and examples of your marketing material.

South Australia’s Market Access Program

The MAP program supports only a limited number of business per year, but can help them both evolve their export abilities or go on export missions. Under MAP, 15 companies receive $5,000 to cover expenses.

Western Australia’s Market Access and Development Scheme

The  Department Of Industry and Resources’ Export Market and Development Division has industry and country specialists available to assist WA exporters. The Market Access and Development Scheme provides financial support to companies and organisations for export capacity building, strategic market planning, and approved market access or export development activities.

Northern Territory’s Trade Support Scheme

The Northern Territory has been very fast moving to increase some of its Trade Support funding as the GFC hits the world. This funding can support trade missions, establishing support in other countries and market investigation and is very extensive, covering everything from airfare to website changes to accommodations. In order to apply you need to already have some established success and be able to present how to economic benefits you reap abroad will return back to the Territory and show an export or business plan.

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