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The Entrepreneurs' Programme is the Australian Government's flagship initiative for firm level competitiveness and productivity under the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda. Using advisers and facilitators drawn from industry, the primary focus is on providing access to the best advice and networks to improve competitiveness and productivity.


The programme delivers services and grants through three elements:

  • Business Management - advice and facilitation services to improve business management, capabilities and networks.  Services and grants include:
    • Business Evaluations - investigation and analysis of eligible businesses carried out by skilled and experienced Business Advisers. At the conclusion of a Business Evaluation, the business will be provided with a Business Evaluation Action Plan including a range of recommendations for business improvement.  Assistance will be provided with the implementation of the Action Plan.
    • Business Growth Services - supports an eligible high growth potential business over an extended engagement of up to two years, to embed strategic business improvements accelerating growth capability
    • Supply Chain Facilitation - offers eligible businesses a practical approach to developing their capabilities and improving their ability to interact with and supply into new and existing markets
    • Business Growth Grants - small, co funded grants of up to $20,000 to engage external expertise to assist businesses with implementing improvements recommended through a Business Evaluation, Supply Chain Facilitation or a Business Growth Service.
  • Innovation Connections - offers eligible small and medium sized businesses an opportunity to improve their competitiveness by building relationships with research organisations in Australia.  Its focus is on helping businesses to collaborate with the research sector to develop new ideas with commercial potential and to identify any knowledge gaps that are preventing business growth.  Businesses have access to specialist Innovation Facilitators who provide a one-on-one service at no charge to the business. Following a business research needs assessment, an Innovation Facilitator will work with a business to diagnose barriers to innovation that may include technical issues, a gap in knowledge or a need for research to develop new products, processes and services.  This may include a matched funding grant that assists direct access to research capability.
  • Accelerating Commercialisation - an advisory service providing guidance and connections to assist Australian entrepreneurs, researchers, inventors, start-ups, commercialisation offices and small and medium sized businesses.  Accelerating Commercialisation helps these organisations address the challenges associated with commercialising novel intellectual property in the form of new products, processes and services.  This may include a matched funding grant of up to $1 million to support commercialisation activities.


Business Management & Innovation Connections
Small and medium businesses with turnover between $1.5 million and $100 million ($750, 000 to $100m for Northern Australian businesses) that have traded in Australia for at least three years, possess an Australian Company Number, are financially solvent, and operate in the following growth sectors:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
    • Includes businesses that adopt innovative technologies or business practices to improve or develop manufactured products, processes or services or which supply integral services, technologies or inputs to the manufacturing processes of such businesses
  • Food and Agribusiness
  • Medical Technology and Pharmaceuticals
  • Mining Equipment, Technology and Services
  • Oil, Gas and Energy or
  • Enabling technologies and services of the sectors listed above including, but not limited to
    • freight and logistics
    • infrastructure related construction
    • information and communications technology
    • professional services

In addition to the above, applicants for a business evaluation must be one or more of the following:

  • engaged in, or expanding their operations to be engaged in, interstate or overseas trade and commerce;
  • a foreign corporation formed within Australia;
  • a corporation for which trading or financial activities are a substantial or significant proportion of the corporation's overall activities; or
  • a corporation or body formed under Commonwealth law.

Accelerating Commercialisation
See Customer Information Guide.
Note: applicants for Accelerating Commercialisation do not need to operate within one of the growth sectors of EIP to be eligible to apply.

Further information
Contact Ai Group's team of industry-experienced EIP Advisers or facilitators as visible on the right-hand side of this page or visit Entrepreneurs' Programme on  

Case Studies

Supply Chain Facilitation
Northern Tasmania Mining Equipment
Volvo Group

Business Management 
CT4 Pty Ltd
ONGC Systems
Kord Defence
Customer Videos

Innovation Connections
SuperCool - Read
SuperCool - Watch
Karen Sheldon Catering - Read
Karen Sheldon Catering - Watch

Contact our advisers and facilitators

National Manager - Business Advisory Services
Vivienne Filling
Tel: 03 9867 0283

Digital Business Facilitator
Thorsten Wacker
Tel: 0491 155 580

Technology Adviser -
Industry 4.0:

Clive Milham
Tel: 0434 878 747

Business Advisers:

Trent Mader
Tel: 0407 765 286

Chris Harnett
Tel: 0427 233 434

Vance Wheeler
Tel: 0418 652 358

Greg O'Connor
Tel: 0412 062 676

Ian Nearhos
Tel: 0418 803 957 

Brad Prior
Tel: 0427 188 676 

Jayne Gray 
Tel: 0401 119 742

Richard Everson
Tel: 0427 272 754

Fritz Shoemaker
Tel: 0420 927 532

Damon Wells
Tel: 0438 337 386

Raj Gopal
Tel: 0412 177 526

Geoff Hodgens  
Tel: 0439 116 352 

Paul de Bruin
Tel: 0417 118 195

Mike Sewell
Tel: 0409 512 578

Bill Hazard
Tel: 0416 293 703

Chris Kelleher
Tel: 0438 562 401 

Keith Madden
Tel: 0400 661 803

John Mills
Tel: 0400 662 083

David Cain
Tel: 0439 382 838 

Ramona Bullard
Tel: 0418 250 832

Innovation Facilitators:

David Martin
Tel: 0408 283 258

Anna Daniel
Tel: 0404 330 958

Mario Martini
Tel: 0409 066 475

National Business Facilitators:

James Scotland
Tel: 0437 490 110

Grant Peden
Tel: 0403 947 059

Ross Contarino
Tel: 0418 783 502