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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people and recognise any other people or families with connection to the lands of the ACT and region.

If you want to grow your business, the ACT Government gives you guidance and support. 

We collaborate with the Australian Government and business organisations to provide programs that help business owners to grow.

Canberra Business Advice and Support Service

The Canberra Business Advice and Support Service (CBASS) is funded by the ACT Government and delivered by the Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre.

The program offers both new and established businesses up to 4 hours of free tailored business advice on:

  • general business activities
  • finances
  • legal
  • mental health and wellbeing
  • business growth
  • changing your business
  • closing your business

Export support via TradeStart

If your business is export-ready, the TradeStart program can help you reach long-term success in international markets.

TradeStart is a partnership between the Australian Government and the ACT Government.

You can access Austrade’s support services through the TradeStart program.

For more details, visit Austrade’s TradeStart page or contact our business team.

Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses

We support equality of access to employment and growth in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses. This helps drive economic development in these communities. To support these communities, we developed the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Procurement Policy.

Our policy focuses on increasing how many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander enterprises engage in tenders and win contracts.

We want to see a greater portion of government spending going to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses. This could be by giving small to medium enterprises (SMEs) the opportunity to deliver projects individually or as sub-contractors on large projects.

For more details, refer to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Procurement Policy (PDF).


Badji is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business Support Program.

It can connect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses with a range of service providers. It is run by Coolamon Advisors, an ACT majority-owned and managed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander company.

They have a wealth of knowledge and learned experience to share with First Nations businesses.

The Badji program delivers:

  • a concierge service to connect you with a range of service providers
  • mentoring and coaching services
  • access to accelerator programs if your business is looking to grow

To find out more visit the Badji website.

Support for innovators

The ACT Government supports the Canberra Innovation Network to provide a range of programs. Led by experienced entrepreneurs, they provide access to skills, support and funding opportunities. Their aim to help grow innovative companies.

CBRIN empowers entrepreneurs to make an impact through:

  • accelerator programs
  • incubation services
  • workshops
  • coaching
  • funding
  • corporate innovation support

Priority Investment Program

Investors are keen to collaborate with the tertiary education and research sector. There are strong possibilities for innovation and the advancement of knowledge. This leads to long-term wealth, jobs growth and wellbeing. 

The Priority Investment Program (PIP) fosters collaboration between the ACT Government, industry, research and tertiary sector.

It attracts investment and growth in the Canberra economy. Priority sectors are those with known strengths in Canberra and growing global opportunities. They include:

Under the program, funding is available on a competitive basis to projects or proposals that:

  • Feed priority sectors through funding and employment.
  • Bring together industry, higher education, research and Government for advanced technology sector projects.
  • Promote growth opportunities for the ACT’s knowledge-based economy.
  • Demonstrate collaboration by a diverse mix of activity, industry and firm sizes.

Other programs and support services in the ACT

There are other business organisations in Canberra that can help your business grow. Programs and support are available through:

Access Canberra Business Assist Team

The Access Canberra Business Assist Team can help you with any business you need to do with the ACT Government.

They work closely with the licensing and regulatory areas of Access Canberra. They also work across ACT Government to help you connect with the right area of government.

You can contact them by email, phone or you can book a face-to-face appointment. Whether you’re right at the start of your business journey and have an idea or you’re looking to grow your well-established business.


Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre helps businesses build capabilities. Lighthouse offers:

  • business advice and critiques
  • application preparation
  • business foundations
  • governance advice
  • marketing and communications mentoring and services
  • web development and content creation

Enterprise Plus

Enterprise Plus is a regional organisation that delivers a range of business and education services. Their professional advisors can assist businesses to unlock their potential. They can:

  • help businesses become more sustainable
  • generate employment opportunities
  • help young people with their education and career paths

Digital Solutions – Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS)

The Australian Government funds the Digital Solutions – Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS).

ASBAS works with small businesses to make the most of digital tools and offers broader advice specific to your business needs such as:

  • how digital tools can help your small business
  • websites and selling online
  • social media and digital marketing
  • using small business software
  • online security and data privacy.

The Mill House Ventures

The Mill House Ventures supports the business growth and impact of Indigenous and social enterprises. This includes not-for-profit and for-profit ventures.

They offer programs that support the emergence and growth of social ventures, provide access to professional services, and act as a thriving hub for changemakers to connect and grow their innovations.

There’s a collaborative accelerator program and access to professional services through the Mill House ‘clinic’.

CBR Screen Fund

Canberra’s screen sector has a bright future. Film and television can showcase Canberra as an international city.

Screen Canberra is a not-for-profit membership-based organisation that supports the growth of the ACT screen industry.

The CBR Screen Fund partners in the development, production and marketing of:

  • high-quality feature films
  • television series
  • other screen projects

It’s open to you if your project has:

  • significant Canberra elements and benefit
  • potential to reach local and international audiences
  • commercial viability

Sustainable Business Program

The ACT Government supports businesses to reduce emissions, become more energy efficient and cut running costs through the Sustainable Business Program.

Your business can:

  • book a free onsite assessment from technical experts
  • receive independent advice and a tailored action plan
  • access resources, training and rebates (eligibility criteria apply)
  • become accredited and recognised as a Sustainable Business
Published date: 14 Nov 2023
Related Pages

Canberra Innovation Network

The Canberra Innovation Network is empowering entrepreneurs to make an impact and change the world.

Read more

Innovation & tertiary education

Canberra is the innovation and education capital of Australia.

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Learn more about grants available to help innovative products and services grow.

Read more

Interested in doing business in Canberra?

Contact the business team for information and advice.