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Government grants and help for your established business

Once your business is past start-up phase, the range of government support opens up, from grants and mentoring to tailored support schemes for different industries and different business goals.

Help from the government shouldn’t be mistaken for grants and grants alone. Much of the assistance available aims to help you build your skills and knowledge, lay solid business foundations and launch into new areas.

Agency: Regional Business Partner Network

Aimed at: All businesses, including the self-employed, at any stage

How to get it: Register for free

For advice on what types of help you might be eligible for, sign up with the local office of the Regional Business Partner Network. This will be your gateway to a wealth of advice and knowledge to support you and your business.

Your local business advisors can:

  • give you information and tools to help build your skills and knowledge
  • introduce you to business networks
  • connect you to other professionals and advisors for help in different areas of your business
  • advise you on other kinds of government assistance you might be eligible for.

There are 14 Regional Business Partners throughout New Zealand.

Regional Business Partner Network (external link)

Beware of funding scams, in which fraudsters trick you into paying fees to find grants.

Beware of funding scams, in which fraudsters trick you into paying fees to find grants.

If a company claims to be able to help you get grants, do your research first. Try the Commerce Commission for information on bogus grant-finders.

Support for Māori business owners

Agency: Te Puni Kokiri

Aimed at: Māori business owners and entrepreneurs

How to get it: Register online

The Māori Business Facilitation Service aims to help build the skills and knowledge of Māori business owners and entrepreneurs.

If eligible, you’ll be paired with an account manager who will work with you to identify your needs. Account managers are located throughout New Zealand.

Māori Business Facilitation Service (external link)  — Te Puni Kokiri

Agency: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Aimed at: Māori collectives

How to get it: Apply in the annual call for proposals

The Māori Innovation Fund seeks to build the skills and knowledge of Māori collectives and trusts.

Under the fund’s Commercial advisor scheme (external link) , collectives are given co-funding to work with an advisor who can help them grow and provide business advice and mentoring.

Download the Support for Māori business guide (external link)   — MBIE website


Capability vouchers

Agency: New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE)

Aimed at: Businesses aiming to grow

How to get it: Sign up with your Regional Business Partner to see if you’re eligible

These vouchers subsidise the cost of workshops, courses and coaching that build the skills and knowledge of you and your staff. It’s a co-funding arrangement, which means your business must pay at least half the training costs.

Vouchers can be used for training in:

  • business planning
  • business systems
  • business sustainability
  • capital raising
  • exporting
  • finance
  • governance
  • intellectual property
  • lean manufacturing/business operations
  • managing resources
  • marketing.

Capability development vouchers (external link) — Regional Business Partner Network

A mentor is someone you trust, and who you can consult for business advice and guidance to assist your business or professional development.

A mentor should:

  • usually be someone outside your immediate team, or even someone from outside your company
  • be a good listener, with the experience to suggest practical solutions
  • set an example
  • challenge your ideas.

Consider finding a mentor, and encourage senior employees to do the same.

A mentor acts as your guide to business.

A mentor acts as your guide to business.

Map out clear goals at the start to get the best out of your mentoring relationship.

Moving into new markets

Agency: New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE)

Aimed at: Business aiming to export or expand into new markets

How to get it: Contact NZTE directly or sign up with your Regional Business Partner

Whether you’re new to exporting or well established offshore, NZTE can help boost your global reach and market knowledge by:

  • providing support and advice
  • increasing your skills in key areas, eg international marketing or understanding export markets
  • connecting you to in-market experts to help you develop a sound market plan.

Help for businesses (external link)   — New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

casestudy GettingOutOfAPickle

Case study

Posh pickles

Jamie owns a gourmet food company and wants to begin exporting her products to Australia. She contacts NZTE who help her research the market opportunities and barriers by providing customised research.

They then help her build her knowledge through a tailored market visit programme.

As a result, Jamie decides to delay her entry to the Australian market by 12 months while she strengthens her operational and financial strategies. This helps her achieve a more sustainable market entry plan.

Services for high-tech businesses

Agency: Callaghan Innovation

Aimed at: High-tech businesses

How to get it: Your Regional Business Partner will connect you to Callaghan Innovation if eligible

Callaghan Innovation offers a range of services to help businesses develop and commercialise technology. These include:

  • technical and scientific expertise
  • impartial advice
  • training to improve innovation skills
  • access to industry networks.

These services help businesses speed up and strengthen their product development, reduce risk and create market advantage.

Callaghan Innovation (external link)

Grants for research and development

Agency: Callaghan Innovation

Aimed at: Businesses who do, or want to start, R&D

How to get it: Your Regional Business Partner can help you decide which grants to apply for

A range of grants is available to help businesses doing research and development (R&D).

Some are for businesses in the early stages of, or new to R&D. Others offer long-term investment for established R&D businesses, or for getting students to assist with R&D.

R&D grants (external link)  — Callaghan Innovation

Research and development (R&D) is about innovation.

Research and development (R&D) is about innovation.

R&D activities seek to develop new technology or push the boundaries of existing ones. They also attempt to advance science or technology by solving uncertainties in these areas.

Grants for primary industry businesses

Agency: Ministry for Primary Industries

Aimed at: All primary sector businesses and those who use primary industry materials to make products, eg food and beverage manufacturers

How to get it: Apply via MPI’s online grants portal

MPI offers grants and co-investment funding to primary industry businesses that want to export, increase sustainability, improve productivity or protect New Zealand from biosecurity risks.

Projects eligible for funding include:

  • irrigation scheme upgrades
  • sustainable farming initiatives
  • research and innovation programmes
  • work to maximise the productivity of land in Māori collective ownership.

Funding and programmes  (external link) — Ministry of Primary Industries

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