$20 million initiative to help businesses create export opportunities

The Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, the Hon Karen Andrews MP, has just launched a $20 million initiative designed to help small and medium businesses grow, export, and generate local Australian jobs.

The Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Export Hubs Initiative, announced in the 2018–2019 Budget, will fund successful applicants to develop local and regional hubs that will help local firms begin to export.

According to Minister Andrews, “Beginning to export can be challenging but there are massive opportunities for Australian firms to take their products, processes and services to big markets in our region and around the world, increasing revenue and creating new jobs.”

“Export hubs will help Australian companies overcome these challenges and begin to export. We know that this sort of practical assistance can be invaluable for local businesses. The hubs will help businesses team up with other firms and through activities such as developing collective brands, take advantage of local infrastructure to boost business operations, and position regional businesses to participate in global supply chains,” Minister Andrews said.

The initiative will fund new and existing export hubs in the priority Growth Centre sectors: Advanced Manufacturing; Cyber Security; Food and Agribusiness; Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals; Mining Equipment, Technology and Services; and Oil, Gas and Energy Resources.


The SME Export Hubs Initiative will provide grants of up to 50% of eligible project costs. The minimum grant amount is $150,000 and the maximum is $1.5 million. The maximum grant period is four years, and all projects that receive funding must be completed by 30 June 2022.

You must meet specific eligibility criteria to apply, and your application must score highly against several merit criteria.

Grants will be awarded through a two-stage competitive selection process. The first stage requires you to submit an Expression of Interest (EoI) through the Government’s online portal.

EoI applications close on 15 October 2018 at 5:00pm.

Should your EoI be successful, you will then be invited to submit a Grant Application.

You should read the grant opportunity guidelines before you apply.


For further information, you can call the Department of Innovation, Industry Science on 13 28 46 or visit: https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/small-and-medium-enterprises-export-hubs