MicrocreditMicrocredit or microfinancing is not new. Even before the days of Mohammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, which drew the world’s attention by providing funds with no security to the mainly poor women in regional areas, microfinancing was supporting many struggling individuals and businesses around the world.

computer 1185626 1280 smlBuilding Excellence in Support and Training Grant Opportunity

The Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) program (the Program) forms part of the Government’s commitment to support the role of ex-service organisation (ESO) pension and welfare practitioners and advocates, who provide advice and assistance to the veteran and defence communities. It also links closely to the Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP), which provides the essential skills for claims, advocacy and welfare work.

The Program is intended to assist the veteran and defence communities by providing support and resources to ESO practitioners for pensions, advocacy and/or welfare work.

business paperworkBusiness Growth Grants are one of the services of the Entrepreneurs’ Programme. You can use a Business Growth Grant to engage external expertise to help your businesses implement improvements through a:

  • business evaluation
  • supply chain facilitation
  • growth service
  • tourism partnership service

A Business Growth Grant reimburses businesses for up to half of the cost of engaging a service provider, to a maximum of $20,000 (excluding GST). This funding supports business improvement projects.

microcredit smlThe ACT Microcredit Loan Program is delivered via a three-way partnership involving the ACT Government, Westpac Institutional Bank and Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre and extends small loans of $3,000 (interest free) and up to $10,000 (low-interest) to eligible entrepreneurs.

Not only do these loans provide individuals with capital to start and grow their businesses, they also make available 6 months of tailored mentoring and business support.

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The Beyond Bank Community Entrepreneur Program supports innovation across all areas including technology, social and general business. The new business grants will be available at the concept, pre-launch or post-launch stages of projects and are open to a range of ventures including those proposed by entrepreneurs of all ages, social entrepreneurs, community organisations or existing businesses.

With up to $50,000 available, Beyond Bank is seeking businesses that create positive outcomes to benefit the local community by offering employment opportunities and positive social outcomes. If you have an idea that has a real impact for your community they would love to hear from you!

teamwork school 834138 1920Aidan and Krishan used theirs to start an information portal, Kristen used hers to buy insurance for her pet-sitting business and Sam used his to get design work done for his property marketing business.

What do all these young entrepreneurs have in common? They all took advantage of an innovative initiative called the ACT Microcredit Loan Program. Through the program eligible participants receive free mentoring and business advice for a period of 6 months and microloans to help get their businesses off the ground or to expand an existing businesses.

gifThe Global Innovation Fund invests in social innovations that aim to improve the lives and opportunities of millions of people in the developing world.

It uses a mix of grants and risk capital to support breakthrough solutions to global development challenges from social enterprises, for-profit firms, non-profit organisations, researchers and government agencies.

The fund accepts applications on a continuous basis, with no deadlines or “rounds” of funding.

amerQ deloitteIf you are a young entrepreneur at the early stages of starting your own business, you probably spend all of your spare time thinking about how to get funding for it.

You keep reading all the news about how start-ups operating out of Silicon Valley, London, and even Sydney have raised a “ridiculous” amount of money at a valuation approaching millions of dollars. You start wondering what you are doing wrong and why are you the only one not getting the million dollar breakthroughs.

Being an entrepreneur is simple, you thought, think of an idea (better still just cut and paste something from overseas and pretend it’s never been done before!) create a website, develop a social media presence, put together a slide deck and start pitching to investors!

microcredit crowdLighthouse Business Innovation Centre (Lighthouse) in partnership with the ACT Government launched the ACT Microcredit Loan Program in 2011. Originally an initiative aimed at improving the opportunities for women in the ACT, the program was expanded to support all low income earners in 2014 with Westpac joining the partnership.

To date over 60 loans have been granted and around 45% of the businesses established are still operating. Other recipients have repaid their loans and re-entered full time employment. Eighty percent of loans have been granted to woman and to date there has been a default rate of less than 4%. This impressive record is starting to gain the attention of other organisations around Australia.

UweBoettcher1Uwe Boettcher is the Principal of Boettcher Law and has been practicing successfully in the ACT for over thirty five years.

While the business is well known both in Canberra and interstate, we were specifically interested in talking to Uwe about his long term career as an active Angel investor in Australian start-ups.

GrantReady Logo shadoGrantReady offers an online, central resource to find out about over 800 grant opportunities available each day. It can be a useful tool to help you determine what grants are suitable for your business.

GrantReady lists both grants suitable for businesses (GrantGuru Business) and not-for-profits or community organisations (GrantGuru Community).

act-microcredit-program-logoThe ACT Microcredit Loan Program was launched by the Minister for Community Services, Andrew Barr MLA on 24 February 2014.

The program is delivered via a three-way partnership involving the ACT Government, Westpac Institutional Bank and Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre. This partnership seeks to provide fair, safe and ethical loans to people who, because of their circumstances, are not able to access mainstream financial services.

EdlfLogoA new micro-finance loan program funded by ERM Business EnergyEpicorp Limited  and Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre.

The loan fund provides low cost, unsecured loans of up to $10,000 to assist with the costs of skills and knowledge transfer to key individuals in businesses in the ACT with high-growth potential. Funds should assist recipients in obtaining or refining key skills and capabilities, grow the company, and achieve their business goals.