There are a few funding opportunities available at the moment that, at first glance, may not seem the type of thing intended for farmers. These grants are not for improving soil health, reducing run-off or dealing with weeds. Dig a little deeper however and you will find that these funding opportunities are, in fact, perfect for those on the land.
So if you are a grower that is looking to grow your business (as well as beautiful fruit and vegetables), these two programs are really worth further investigation;
- the Accelerate Small Business Grants – a 3 year program made available by the Queensland Government
- the Entrepreneurs’ Programme – the Australian Government’s flagship initiative to foster business competitiveness and productivity.
The Accelerate Small Business Grants Program is for small, Queensland based businesses. It aims to support small business so that they have the ability to embrace new opportunities and create employment for more Queenslanders. The objectives of the program are to:
- improve business confidence
- extend the capacity of small business owners, and
- empower small businesses to grow into medium-sized businesses.
An example of how a grower could use this funding could be; engaging a specialist consultant or strategic adviser that can assist planning out the growth and expansion of your business (think specialist support to diversify produce).
Eligible businesses can apply for up to $10,000 to assist in the costs of engaging high-level expertise. Funding received must be matched dollar for dollar; which means if you’re seeking funds of $10,000 then you will need to put up $10,000 of your own.
There are some specific eligibility requirements for this program, such as how many employees you have and what your annual turnover is. Applications can be submitted at any time and will continue to be accepted until grant funds for this round are fully allocated. For further information, visit the Queensland Government’s Business Queensland website.
The Entrepreneurs’ Programme is about giving businesses quality support and advice needed to innovate and grow. Funds from this program are intended for:
- cost of advice from people that have relevant private sector experience
- engaging the support needed to bring research and innovation into your business
- services to support commercialisation activities for novel products, processes and services.
So, stepping into the shoes of a grower who might have an idea for diversifying a product or service, but is uncertain about where to start; this funding would be perfect for engaging an expert to undertake market research and prepare a suitable business plan.
This program also has specific eligibility requirements. For further information and an in-depth look at the guidelines, check out their website.
Vegetable growers looking for more advice and assistance on this topic are encouraged to contact Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers. Our contact details are available on our website. Alternatively, to stay connected, why not subscribe to our Fresh Pickings newsletter.