The Competitive Business Fund is a key component of Transition to a Global Future, a Victorian Government initiative to assist businesses to take maximum advantage of new opportunities that are emerging in the global economy.

Funding in the order of $3.3 million is available in the first round of grants for projects that strengthen the competitiveness of strategic Victorian industries by encouraging productivity enhancing investments and projects within enterprises and supply chains.

Funding is available on a competitive basis for projects that support the development of new products, markets, technology, skills and capabilities by lowering barriers to business growth and strengthening supply chains.

The Competitive Business Fund will operate until June 2012.


Nature & level of Assistance

The Competitive Business Fund provides two streams of financial assistance on a co-contribution basis:

  • Enterprise – up to $250,000 for a project involving one company, to be matched by a minimum of  $3 for every $1 granted; and
  • Supply Chain – up to $500,000 for a collaborative project involving multiple companies, to be matched by a minimum of $2 for every $1 granted.

Where a project involves multiple organisations, the lead organisation submits the application and is subject to the financial risk assessment. All participating organisations will be subject to probity checks.

Competitive Business Funding can be used for:

  • Investments that increase a company’s or supply chain’s productivity and competitiveness including, for example:
    • purchase/upgrades of plant and equipment or technology;
    • upgrades to existing infrastructure;
    • improvement/enhancement of capabilities or skills;
    • adoption of new processes;
    • development of an innovative product, process or market that will generate broader benefits to the community;
    • mergers and acquisitions that will create sustainable growth-oriented entities;
  • Collaborative projects among multiple businesses that facilitate greater business growth
  • Demonstration projects where knowledge is shared across industry which leads to significant productivity improvement.

Government grants will not be provided for normal “business as usual” operations such as meeting payroll commitments or for payment of redundancies or for organic growth.


Eligibility Criteria

Applicants meeting the following criteria will be eligible for consideration for the Competitive Business Fund:

  • Possess an Australian Company Number (ACN)
  • Are based in Victoria
  • Have more than 20 Full Time Equivalent employees
  • Achieve a satisfactory financial risk assessment based on financial reports for the past three financial years
  • Agree to comply with DIIRD’s performance monitoring and evaluation regime
  • Meet the co-contribution requirement of the funding principles, and have investigated and/or sought funding from appropriate Commonwealth Government programs and other State Government programs where appropriate before applying to the Fund (funding from such Government programs cannot form part of the minimum co-contribution commitment)

Where a Competitive Business Fund project involves multiple organisations, the lead organisation should submit the application. All participating organisations will be subject to probity checks.


Assessment criteria
Proposed Competitive Business Fund projects must satisfy at least one of the following criteria:

  • demonstrate that the proposed investment has the potential to deliver a net economic benefit to Victoria and lead to sustainable increases in productivity and creation or transition of staff to high value jobs;
  • can capitalise on opportunities arising from changing global economic conditions;
  • make a significant contribution to a region or locality in terms of employment;
  • support the growth and competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises through their supply chain engagement.

Preference may also be afforded to applications from, or those that contribute to the Department’s priority sectors, which includes Automotive, Aviation, Biotechnology, Defence, Energy, Financial Services, Food, Information and Communications Technology, International Education and Tourism.
Preference may also be given to businesses with 50 – 500 full time equivalent employees. Projects will be assessed individually and competitively against assessment criteria and irrespective of eligibility and merit there is no guarantee that an offer of funding will be made.

Competitive Business Fund – Program Guidelines (PDF 89Kb)
Competitive Business Fund – Flyer (PDF 1Mb)
Competitive Business Fund – Client Report and Evaluation (PDF 75Kb)
Competitive Business Fund – Fillable Application Form (PDF 189Kb)

If you need assistance with this application then please contact us to discuss further

The closing date for Competitive Business Fund applications is 5pm AEST, Friday 6 August 2010