Federal gov’t rolls out Industry Growth Program to support Aussie startups

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The Australian Government has officially launched its $392 million Industry Growth Program, an initiative aimed at helping startups and small businesses commercialise and grow their companies. 

The program’s launch follows the release of a report from the Industry Innovation and Science Australian Board, which revealed that Australian businesses often face barriers in scaling up. 

The report recommended the government identify businesses with the need and risk appetite to innovate and deliver novel products and services. It also outlined ways Australia can take steps to translate its world-class research performance into commercialisation outcomes, helping to grow a diverse economy while delivering well-paid jobs. 

“While we outperform in the creation of start-ups and small businesses against other OECD countries, our industry structure is overly skewed to small businesses with less than 20 employees. It’s hard to compete when you are small,” said Andrew Stevens, chair of Industry Innovation and Science Australia. 

“The outcome we need right now is the scaling of small businesses into medium-sized businesses. This will build sovereign capability and economic complexity in Australia.

The Industry Growth Program will deliver advisory services from a national network of expert business growth and commercialisation advisers, providing guidance on seeking investment, market testing, business models and networking. 

Eligible businesses under the program will also have access to matched grant funding ranging from $50,000 to $5 million. 

The Industry Growth Program aims to support projects under National Reconstruction Fund priority areas and scale the pipeline of businesses working to transform and diversify Australia’s economy. 

“Australia’s small businesses are known for their ingenuity and innovation – how adaptive, resilient and passionate they are.  The Industry Growth Program will help turbocharge this innovation,” said Minister for Small Business Julie Collins. 

“This is good for jobs, good for our economy and good for Australia’s small businesses. This is another way our Government is backing Australia’s small businesses to succeed.”

For more information and to apply for expert advice, visit business.gov.au. Grant funding opening is expected to begin in early 2024.