Entrepreneur’s Programme: Free Expert Business Advice

Entrepreneur’s Programme

If you’ve got your business up and running and have a product or service in the market, the Entrepreneur’s Programme (EP) can help you continue forward momentum by identifying and tackling some of the challenges associated with scaling up.

Businesses in targeted growth sectors who need assistance to grow and enter new markets are eligible to apply for the federal government’s Entrepreneur’s Programme (EP). These growth sectors are:

  • advanced manufacturing
  • food and agribusiness.
  • medical technologies and pharmaceuticals.
  • mining equipment, technology, and services
  • oil, gas, and energy resources

Businesses that provide enabling technologies and services to the growth sectors are also eligible to apply for the EP. Eligible companies must, for the current or one of the two past financial years, have annual turnover or operating expenditure between $1.5 million ($750,000 for remote Australia or northern Australia businesses) and $100 million.

The Entrepreneur’s Programme’s consulting team (approximately 170 specialists around the country) includes many ex or current business owners who assist scale up businesses across a variety of growth industries, by providing advisory, impartial counsel, consulting, international connections and access to government grants and their networks. This can also incorporate assistance with exporting and accessing the Accelerating Commercialisation (AC) grant, which can provide up to $1 million matched funding for eligible commercialisation projects.

The level of service is flexible — some entrepreneurs just appreciate the quarterly/monthly unbiased perspective/advice; whereas desire accountability regarding some big new strategic goal.

Overview of the services offered through the EP

Growth Roadmap service: A broad review of your business is conducted by an independent facilitator, who will help you develop a roadmap to increase your ability to trade in Australia and/or other markets and will coach/mentor you for up to a year. You’ll also have the opportunity to then apply for funding to action the facilitator’s recommendations.

High Growth Accelerator service: A customised growth plan is prepared, and you have access to a facilitator who will assist with your growth opportunity for up to 2 years. You’ll also have the opportunity to then apply for funding to action the facilitator’s recommendations.

Accelerating Commercialisation: The Accelerating Commercialisation (AC) service provides small and medium businesses, entrepreneurs, and researchers with access to expert advice and matched project funding of up to $500,000 for Research Commercialisation Entities and Eligible Partner Entities, or up to $1 million for all other eligible applicants, to help get a novel product, process, or service to market.

SMART Projects and Supply Chains: A facilitator will provide advice, guidance, and network connections, and you may also be able to access a matched Growth Grant of up to $20,000, so you can action recommendations from your participation in the project.

Innovation Connections: This offering from the Entrepreneur’s Programme will provide you with a Service Report that helps you understand your business’s research needs and opportunities. Within 12 months of receiving the Report, you can apply for an Innovation Connections Grant, which will allow you to undertake a research project based on the Report.

Some satisfied customers of the program

Tim Phillips, Managing Director of Sydney-based TILT Industrial Design, speaks highly of the program and the support he received from his Business Adviser from the EP, and believes the initiative is ideal for any business on a growth curve:

“I would recommend the Entrepreneurs’ Programme to other businesses. I think it’s an extremely valuable opportunity to have an independent body assess the business. It’s been critical for me in the last two years to sustain this growth and it will be important for me moving forward… the grant has enabled us to both accelerate our product development and document our business strategy – both activities are crucial for our continued growth and successful daily operations.”

FluroSat Pty Ltd are an agricultural technology start-up. The platform they developed analyses images from aerial photography and satellites, which enables the stress on plants in specific areas of a crop plantation to be pinpointed. This information is then provided to agronomists and farmers to assist them in responding to the needs of crops, which leads to improved yields. The EP’s Accelerating Commercialisation grant of $793,737 allowed them to fast track their trials and development and the company has grown from 5 to 25 staff as a result. Topaz Conway, a Commercialisation Adviser from the EP team, provided crucial strategic advice and assistance so that FluroSat could tackle both big and everyday business challenges, which is backed up by the words of Anastasia Volkova, Founder and CEO of FluroSat:

“Topaz looked at the innovation as the business: making money, suiting the market, and taking on the world… The Entrepreneurs’ Programme has definitely been instrumental in getting us here”.

If you’re developing innovative technology, you know you need the best advice to keep moving onward and upward. Fullstack has the knowledge and expertise to keep you on the right path by ensuring you receive the right advice and all the grants, incentives, and rebates you’re entitled to.

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Stuart Reynolds is the founder of Fullstack Advisory, an award-winning accounting firm for businesses leading the future. He is a 3rd generation accountant who specialises in tech & online companies.

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