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Your guide to small business grants in the ACT

From startup grants to grants designed to support women in business, the ACT Government offers a range of funding options to support its entrepreneurs and businesses. Ahead, we outline seven types of business grants you should know about in the ACT.

Grants for small businesses

Small businesses in the ACT can apply for the ACT Small Business Bushfire Support Grant, which helps those impacted by the 2019-20 Orroral bushfire.

There’s also the ACT Microcredit Loan Program, which provides low-income individuals with the opportunity to get low-interest loans up to $3,000 and up to $10,000 to purchase materials to make them competitive.

Grants for women

There are also grants to foster female entrepreneurs, as well as to support businesses working on women’s rights. These include:

  • the Women’s Safety Grant, which provides funding to support projects that aim to reduce violence against women and their children
  • the Audrey Fagan Young Women’s Enrichment Grant, which provides financial support for young women aged 12 to 18
  • the Participation (Women’s) Grant aims to support business-creating opportunities and improving communities for all women, including programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

More information on grants available to women can be found on the womens grants and awards website.

Grants for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples

Grant programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aim to provide them with leadership training, as well as to showcase the cultures of those people living in the ACT. These include the:

  • Cultural Grant
  • Leadership Grant
  • Reconciliation Day Grant
  • Scholarship Grant.

More information can be found on the Community Services Directorate website.

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Grants for startups

The Innovation Connect Grants (ICON), facilitated by the Canberra Innovation Network, is a program supporting the thriving startup culture in Canberra and empowering entrepreneurs to develop and grow their ideas. Grants usually range between $10,000 and $30,000.

Grants for innovation

Also facilitated by the Canberra Innovation Network and offering funding of $10,000 to $30,000 is the Boosting Innovation Grant. Set up in response to COVID-19, the grant uses its funding to support existing startups and innovative businesses in the ACT to help kick-start the economic recovery of the capital state.

Grants for sustainable businesses

To encourage action on climate change at a grassroots level, the ACT Government offers a range of grants for environment projects working to enhance sustainability, to promote biodiversity and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Among them is the Community Zero Emissions Grants Program, which uses its funding to support the ACT’s transition to net zero emissions by 2045.

Grants for industries affected by COVID-19

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACT Government has provided continued financial assistance in the form of grants and packages for affected businesses across industries including construction, tourism and hospitality, rideshares and taxis, commercial property and community clubs.

More information can be found on the ACT Government COVID-19 grants website.

Business grants in the ACT are designed to help local businesses and the economy thrive, so don’t be afraid to put your venture forward should you be on the lookout for additional funding and support. Just make sure to review the entry guidelines and eligibility requirements to give yourself the best chance of success.

You can keep up to date with government grants in the ACT here.

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