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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’re starting a new business, Canberra offers plenty of support to help you set up and grow.

The ACT Government collaborates with the Australian Government and business organisations to provide programs that help new business owners.

Export support

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

If your business is not yet export-ready, Canberra’s TradeStart advisor can direct you to other programs, services and information to support your export journey.

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 of export support programs, visit Austrade or business.gov.au.

The Canberra Business Chamber has a program to support new and early exporters.

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.

The ACT Government wants 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:

Yerra Pty Ltd is currently delivering the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Business Support program , but this agreement due to finish in early September 2021 – https://yerra.com.au/support-programs/

  • 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 start-ups and 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

Other programs and support services in the ACT

There are other business organisations in Canberra that can help you get your business off the ground. Programs and support are available through:

The Canberra Business Advice and Support Servicehttps://www.act.gov.au/business/business-support/canberra-business-advice-and-support-service

Canberra Business Chamber (CBC)

Get advice and information at any business stage through CBC’s training, networking events and advice service.

Learn more on the CBC website.


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 strong potential growth. 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 Canberra 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

Interested in doing business in Canberra?

Contact the business team for information and advice.