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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.

PROGRAMME OFFERINGS

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.

ELIGIBILITY

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 www.business.gov.au.

Download Resources

Entrepreneurs' Programme Factsheet

Frequently Asked Questions
Entrepreneurs' Programme - FAQs

Business Evaluation
Customer Information Guide

Supply Chain Facilitation
Customer Information Guide

Growth Services
Customer Information Guide

Innovation Connections 
Customer Information Guide

Accelerating Commercialisation
Customer Information Guide

Upcoming Events

Access Defence Access Supply Chain Opportunities
Find out more >>


Case Studies

Business Management
Comlinx
ONGC Systems
Kord Defence
Jayben 
Customer Videos

Innovation Connections
Supercool 
Karen Sheldon Catering


Contact our advisers and facilitators

National Manager - Business Advisory Services
Vivienne Filling
Tel: 03 9867 0283
vivienne.filling@aigroup.com.au


Business Advisers:

Adelaide
Trent Mader
Tel: 0407 765 286
trent.mader@aigroup.com.au

Chris Harnett
Tel: 0427 233 434
chris.harnett@aigroup.com.au


Albury
Vance Wheeler
Tel: 0418 652 358
vance.wheeler@aigroup.com.au


Brisbane
Greg O'Connor
Tel: 0412 062 676
greg.oconnor@aigroup.com.au

Matthew Green
Tel: 0448 852 709
matthew.green@aigroup.com.au


Cairns
Andrea Jackson
Tel: 0417 486 232
andrea.jackson@aigroup.com.au


Canberra
Richard Everson
Tel: 0427 272 754
richard.everson@aigroup.com.au


Hobart
Fritz Shoemaker
fritz.shoemaker@aigroup.com.au
Tel: 0420 927 532


Launceston
Damon Wells
damon.wells@aigroup.com.au
Tel: 0438 337 386


Melbourne
Raj Gopal
Tel: 0412 177 526
raj.gopal@aigroup.com.au

Russell King
Tel: 0407 046 890
russell.king@aigroup.com.au

David Knipe
Tel: 0449 901 624
david.knipe@aigroup.com.au

Mike Sewell
Tel: 0409 512 578
mike.sewell@aigroup.com.au


Newcastle
Bill Hazard
Tel: 0416 293 703
bill.hazard@aigroup.com.au

Chris Kelleher
Tel: 0438 562 401 
chris.kelleher@aigroup.com.au 


Sydney
Keith Madden
Tel: 0400 661 803
keith.madden@aigroup.com.au

John Mills
Tel: 0400 662 083
john.mills@aigroup.com.au

Gerard (Ged) Wallace 
Tel: 0455 045 133 
gerard.wallace@aigroup.com.au 


Townsville
Ramona Bullard
Tel: 0418 250 832
ramona.bullard@aigroup.com.au


Innovation Facilitators:

Brisbane
David Martin
Tel: 0408 283 258
david.martin@aigroup.com.au

Townsville
Mario Martini
Tel: 0409 066 475
mario.martini@aigroup.com.au


Business Facilitators:
Brisbane

James Scotland
Tel: 0437 490 110
james.scotland@aigroup.com.au

National
Grant Peden
Tel: 0403 947 059
grant.peden@aigroup.com.au

North Queensland
Ross Contarino
Tel: 0418 783 502
ross.contarino@aigroup.com.au

Tasmania
Sarah Jones
Tel: 0457 509 621
sarah.jones@aigroup.com.au