A grant is a payment that's awarded to a person or organisation in order to help them to do things like study, do a research project, or put together and run a community program or event.
What grants are available for your business?
Your business may be eligible for a grant from the Victorian Government, the Australian Government, or your local council.
Grants are useful if you:
- need to kick-start your business to get it up and running
- require extra funds to grow your business
- need training 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 the types of grants you can access.
Help from Victorian Government grants
New and existing Victorian businesses may be eligible for support and assistance from Victorian Government grants.
Business Victoria offers services and advice to help Victorian businesses to become internationally competitive. Visit their support for your business page, where you’ll find grants, vouchers and assistance programs.
Search for a program or grant by name, or select from different grant categories using the check boxes.
Business Victoria also runs workshops that provide assistance to small businesses. You can contact their Help Line on 13 22 15 to ask about grants or workshops available to you.
The business page on the Grants Victoria website lists all the grants and programs that different types of Victorian businesses can apply for. It lets you filter search results for grants that might apply to your situation.
For example, it lists the Small Business Mentoring Program, which allows you book a free 45-minute session with a small business mentor.
Support for startups
LaunchVic is a Victorian Government organisation that helps accelerate startups.
A startup is when you form a company to pursue an idea for an innovative product, service or web-based platform. A startup seeks to prove that its product, service or platform is viable, and meets the needs of the market. It then usually seeks to attract investment to deliver on a larger scale. Many technology companies started life as startups.
Assistance for exporters
If you're exporting a product or products or thinking about exporting, Business Victoria's Export Assistance page tells you about support available for exporters.
Invest Victoria brings together a list of Victorian and Australian Government grants and incentives you might be able to access in Victoria.
Regional Development Victoria
Regional Development Victoria has a list of business and industry programs to meet the needs of specific areas of regional Victoria where the government wants to encourage investment, as well as regional Victoria in general.
Help from the Australian Government
The Australian Government also offers information and support for businesses. The grants and assistance programs page on business.gov.au is a good place to start.
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).
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 Australian Government's Export Market Development Grants Scheme (EMDG) assists small and medium Australian businesses to develop export markets by reimbursing part of their export promotional expenses.
Grant Finder directory
The Australian Government's Grant Finder is a searchable database of grants and funding programs.
Other small business assistance
You can also get assistance from Small Business Centres and your local council.
Small Business Centres
Small Business Centres are community-based, not-for-profit organisations in Victoria.
If you’re thinking of starting a small business, Small Business Centres can help you access government and private sector grants and other forms of support.
They can also help with advice and support for businesses, including:
- developing a business plan
- helping with decisions
- business referrals and networks
- business mentoring
- workshops and training programs.
Local councils also offer business grants and financial assistance to new businesses in their local area. For example, the City of Melbourne runs support programs and resources for small businesses.
Find out from your local council if there are services or programs offered in the area to help with starting or growing a business. Ask to speak to the council's Economic or Business Development Officers.