Home' Border Enterprise : Summer-Autumn 2011-2012 Contents 23
Vol 5. Summer/Autumn
If you need a final injection
of funds to get started,
government assistance could
help, writes Nina Hendy
GETTING money from State or
Federal Governments to start up
your business could be easier
than you think.
The major federal
government departments jointly provide about
$3.5 billion in grants each year. On top of that
the states also cough up an array of grants, for
those savvy enough to apply.
Recipients of grants aren't required to
relinquish control of their businesses to be
eligible. In most cases, they are also not
required to guarantee a return on the initial
Many of the grants available offer 50 per cent
of the cash required to get your business off
the ground, with business owners providing the
other half of the equity.
There are, however, several hoops business
owners need to jump through to secure funding.
Ben Cusack, a senior consultant
at management firm Consulting and
Implementation Services, says applicants
generally need to have funds in the bank to
cover 50 per cent of the set-up costs of their
Importantly, they also need to prove they
don't have enough money to establish the
business on their own.
''It can be difficult for start-ups to secure a
grant,'' Cusack says. ''It's often a matter of
sorting through the maze of grants that are up
The initial paperwork requirements can be
demanding. Applicants need to succinctly
articulate their business plan. Cusack says the
crucial difference between success and failure
can come down to whether the application is
poorly written or well-drafted. Another downside
is that involvement in a grant scheme requires
regular reporting to the grant provider about the
state of the business.
Finally, you need to be prepared for your grant
to suddenly dry up. A change of government
or of policy and the scheme you're involved in
could be discontinued.
Cusack, who is also the founder of the
independent website Government Grants Guru,
aggregates available grants on the site and
The site also provides case studies of
companies who successfully landed grants and
details of how much they received.
Cusack says if writing business plans is not
your strong point, there are also grants available
to pay for one, potentially saving you thousands
Information on government grants can be
found at www.grantslink.gov.au
How to secure
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