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What can I get help with?

Whether you’re starting out or well established, government agencies offer a range of support — from mentoring and grants to capability building — to help small businesses succeed.

Most government programmes aim to help not with cash handouts but by boosting your skills and knowledge, or supporting innovative business ventures. Grants are available, but many are co-funded — this means you’ll have to invest at least as much money as you are given.

Beware of online grant scams that promise to help you get a grant for a fee.

Beware of online grant scams that promise to help you get a grant for a fee.

Call us on 0800 424 946 before you pay anyone any fee for any grant.

If money is your main objective, getting an investor on board might be a better option.

If money is your main objective, getting an investor on board might be a better option.

What am I eligible for?

What you can apply for largely depends on the type of industry you’re in, and the stage your business is at.

There are initiatives to help you:

  • build your capabilities though business advice, mentoring and introducing you to new networks
  • get advice and support on exporting or moving into new markets
  • innovate and develop new products and services
  • fund research and development (R&D) activities.

To get a sense of what you’re eligible for, and what will give you the best return on investment, register with the Regional Business Partner Network. (external link) An advisor will help you explore what sorts of government assistance your business might get the most benefit from.

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Are you new to business?

When you’re starting up, government support can help your business get off the ground.

Regional Business Partner Network

Business advisors available to support business owners with:

  • Advice and support on how to grow and innovate
  • Connections to support services, industry networks and other business professionals
  • Information and referrals to specialist support from other government agencies.

Work and Income

For people on benefits who want to start a business:

  • Subsidies for set-up and training costs
  • Access to business advice services.

Business Mentors NZ

Start-up mentoring programme with experts who can test your thinking and help validate ideas.

Business.govt.nz

Start-up smart with tips, advice and tools for new businesses, from across government, all in one place, designed to make your life easier.

Inland Revenue

  • Free tax workshops in your region.
  • Introduction to Business online videos.

Stats NZ

  • Online tools to access reliable business data to help you understand your industry, customers and competitors.
  • Information Centre and customised services for specific data.

Get extra help if your new business fits these categories:

Technology – Callaghan Innovation

  • Help to build skills, develop new products and do R&D
  • Incubators to get quickly to market
  • Accelerators to rapidly grow
  • Grants get started

Māori businesses – Te Puni Kōkiri

Māori Business Facilitation Service growing Māori businesses:

  • Advisors to help you develop your business
  • Brokering to enhance access to other businesses, networks and agencies.

Māori businesses – Ministry for Primary Industries

Programme to improve productivity of land owned by a collective.

Exporters – New Zealand Story

Marketing toolkit to promote your business overseas.

Are you an established business?

A wide range of government support is available if you’re already well established.

Regional Business Partner Network

Business Advisors available to support business owners with:

  • Advice on how to grow and innovate
  • Connections to support services, industry networks and other business professionals
  • Vouchers for subsidised training in specialist business topics
  • Access grants to get started with R&D from Callaghan Innovation.

Business Mentors NZ

Mentoring programme with experts who can act as a sounding board, challenge thinking and provide a fresh perspective.

Inland Revenue

  • Online tools and advice on how to manage your business tax.
  • Free tax workshops in your region.

Stats NZ

  • Online tools to access reliable business data to help you understand your industry, customers and competitors.
  • Information Centre and customised services for relevant data and information.

Business.govt.nz

Short on time? Kept awake by staff, health and safety and employment issues? Save time and sleep easier by using our tools and resources for established businesses.

Get extra help if your existing business fits these categories:

Exporters - NZTE

Help and advice to:

  • Build overseas alliances and relationships
  • Access international distribution networks and new markets
  • Gain new skills and investment capital.

Exporters – New Zealand Story

Marketing toolkit to promote your business overseas.

Māori businesses – Te Puni Kōkiri

Māori Business Facilitation Service growing Māori businesses:

  • Advisors to help you develop your business
  • Support to assist in the growth of established Māori business
  • Brokering to enhance access to other businesses, networks and agencies.

Māori businesses – Ministry for Primary Industries

Programme to improve productivity of land owned by a collective.

Technology – Callaghan Innovation

  • Access to experts and business collaborations.
  • Technology and product development support.
  • Programmes to build innovation skills.
  • R&D grants.

Primary industries – Ministry for Primary Industries

  • Grants to export and improve productivity.
  • Partnerships for agribusiness R&D.

It’s likely what will make the most difference to your business is something you weren’t previously aware of.
In most instances, a good first step is to contact your local chamber of commerce or regional business partner to discuss what your business is eligible for. You can only apply for some grants and programmes once you’ve done this.

It’s important to weigh up the potential benefits of applying vs the effort required. Most grants and initiatives involve an application process, which take time and preparation. As well as the cost of your time, some may have fees or other costs.

When applying, you need to be able to show:

  • your business plan
  • a track record of how your business is performing financially
  • a strong business case for any money or services you’re applying for
  • market research and validation if you’re a new business.

Contact details (external link) — Regional Business Partner Network

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