Up to $3M is available from Empowering Business to Go Digital to establish a non-government organisation to build and enhance small business digital capability.
Empowering Business to Go Digital Grant Opportunity
In March 2018, the Small Business Digital Taskforce report identified that the ecosystem that provides small businesses and their trusted advisers with information and advice about ‘going digital’ is disjointed. Small business can be overwhelmed by the amount of information they receive online and often find it difficult to know what information to trust.
The Empowering Business to Go Digital program will support the establishment of a non-government organisation to build and enhance small business digital capability and to address issues raised in the Small Business Digital Taskforce report. The program will run over two years from 2018-19 to 2019-20.
The objectives of the program are to:
- establish a financially self-sustaining non-government organisation (NGO) to increase small business awareness and adoption of digital technology, in line with the recommendations of the Small Business Digital Taskforce Report
- establish an online platform as a central point of up-to-date and tailored digital information for Australian small businesses and their trusted advisers
- improve information sharing between businesses, government, industry associations and the small business commissioners.
The intended outcomes of the program are:
- increased accessibility of small business digital information
- increased small business awareness and adoption of digital technology
- improved small business digital capability and productivity.
The Empowering Business to Go Digital program will provide a single grant of up to $3 million in matched funding.
To be eligible your project must include eligible activities and eligible expenditure.
Eligible activities must directly relate to the project and can include:
- establishing a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, including recruiting and employing staff
- consolidating, simplifying and promoting online information on ‘going digital’ from across government and the private sector
- establishing an online platform of tools and information promoting awareness of the benefits of digital adoption for small businesses and their trusted advisers
- engaging with small business and their trusted advisers
- supporting business-to-business online information sharing and best practice
- engaging sponsors and business partners to assist with achieving program objectives and sustaining your organisation beyond the grant period
- coordinating and promoting online awareness campaigns on digital issues of concern to small business, including cyber security.
To be eligible, expenditure must:
- be a direct cost of the project
- be incurred by you for required project audit activities.
Eligible expenditure items are:
- direct labour costs of employees you directly employ on the core elements of the project
- salary on costs – you may increase eligible salary costs by an additional 30% allowance to cover on costs such as employer paid superannuation, payroll tax, workers compensation insurance, and overheads such as office rent and the provision of computers
- leasing of premises
- costs involved in the purchase or upgrade/hire of software (including user licences) and ICT hardware directly relating to the project
- operation and maintenance costs related directly to the project
- contract expenditure for any agreed project activities
- equipment costs for any agreed project activities
- domestic travel limited to the reasonable cost of accommodation and transportation required to conduct agreed project activities in Australia
- overseas travel limited to the reasonable cost of accommodation and transportation required in cases where the overseas travel is material to the conduct of the project in Australia
- staff training that directly supports the achievement of project outcomes
- communication and promotional costs directly related to the project
- the cost of an independent audit of project expenditure up to a maximum of 1 per cent of total eligible project expenditure.
Eligible air transportation is limited to the economy class fare for each sector travelled; where noneconomy class air transport is used only the equivalent of an economy fare for that sector is eligible expenditure. Where non-economy class air transport is used, the grantee will require evidence
showing the cost of an economy airfare at the time of travel.
You must incur the project expenditure between the project start and end date for it to be eligible unless stated otherwise.
You must not commence your project until you execute a grant agreement with the Commonwealth.
To be eligible you must:
- have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
- provide evidence from your board (or chief executive officer or equivalent) that the project is supported, that you can complete the project and the meet the project costs not covered by the grant funding
- provide evidence of any funding contributions from other organisations.
- establish a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee prior to entering into a grant agreement, if your application is successful.
Applications close 3 April 2019.