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.

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 on 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).

Support during COVID-19

During COVID-19, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses can connect with Australian and ACT Government:

  • funding
  • support services
  • training opportunities.

These programs help you survive, change your business focus and up-skill during the pandemic.

For more details, refer to www.covid19.act.gov.au

Support for innovators

The ACT Government-funded Canberra Innovation Network (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:

  • ACT Government
  • industry
  • research
  • 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:


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

Southern Region Business Enterprise Centre

The Southern Region Business Enterprise Centre (SRBEC) is a regional organisation that delivers a range of business and education services. The Centre:

  • helps businesses become more sustainable
  • generates employment opportunities
  • helps young people with their education and career paths

Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS) Digital Solutions

The Australian Government funds the Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS) Digital Solutions. ABAS offers small businesses low-cost, high-quality advice on digital solutions.

The Millhouse Ventures

The Millhouse Ventures supports the business growth and impact of Indigenous and social enterprises. This includes not-for-profit and for-profit ventures. There’s a collaborative Accelerator program and access to professional services through the Millhouse ‘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
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.

Read more


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.