Grants & Assistance for New Businesses

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You may be eligible for one of the many sources of funding available for businesses in Victoria if you:

  • Need to kick-start your business to get it up and running
  • Require extra funds to grow your business
  • Need training to be able to run your business effectively
  • Want to undertake research and development
  • Are currently exporting or planning to export

This page offers a brief overview of some of the funding out there.

Help from the Victorian Government

Victorian businesses - new and existing - may be eligible for a range of support and assistance from the State Government of Victoria.

Business Victoria

Business Victoria offers services and advice to help Victorian businesses to become internationally competitive. Check out their Grants, vouchers and assistance programs page (new window), where you can search for a program or grant by name, or select from different grant categories using the check boxes.

Business Victoria also runs a series of workshops (new window) that can provide invaluable small business assistance. You can also call their Help Line on 13 22 15 to ask about what kind of grants or workshops might be available to you.

Assistance for Exporters

If you're in the export game, or are thinking about getting into it, Business Victoria's Export Assistance page (new window) has a lot of information about support that's available for exporters or businesses that are considering getting into exporting.

Regional Development Victoria

Regional Development Victoria has a list of business & industry programs (new window) that are tailored to the needs of specific areas of Regional Victoria, as well as Regional Victoria in general.

Help from the Federal Government

The Federal Government offers a range of information and support to businesses large and small. The Assistance page on business.gov.au (new window) is a great place to start to work out what kind of assistance you're eligible for. 

New Enterprise Initiative Scheme (NEIS)

If you're 18 years or older, receiving payments from Centrelink and have a viable business idea, you may be eligible for the New Enterprise Initiative Scheme (NEIS) (new window).

Through the NEIS program you'll:

  • Receive a nationally accredited Certificate III in Micro-business Operations or Certificate IV in Small Business Management
  • Be guided through the development of a business plan
  • Receive ongoing financial assistance for up to 12 months if the NEIS panel approves your business plan

Export Market Development Grants

The Federal Government's Export Market Development Grants Scheme (EMDG) (new window) provides assistance to small and medium Australian businesses to develop export markets by reimbursing part of their export promotional expenses.

Grant Finder directory

The Federal Government's Grant Finder (new window) is a searchable database of grants and funding programs.

Other Assistance

As well as government assistance there are other organisations that can support and advise small businesses, like local councils and Small Business Centres.

Local councils

Local councils also offer business grants and financial assistance to new businesses in their local area. For example the City of Melbourne runs a range of support programs and resources for small businesses (new window).

Check with your local Council (new window) or give them a call to ask if there are services or programs offered in your area to help with starting or growing a business. Ask to speak to the council's Economic or Business Development Officers.

Small Business Centres

Small Business Centres (new window) are community based, not-for-profit organisations located across Victoria. They can help make government and private sector resources available to anyone thinking of starting a business or currently running a business.

They can help with a range of advice and support for businesses, including:

  • Developing a business plan
  • Helping with decisions
  • Business referrals and networks
  • Business mentoring
  • Workshops and training programs