Every year the government invests millions into businesses through grants and incentives. But bogus grant-finders also offer to help small businesses secure this money — for a fee.
The key is getting legitimate advice about which funding options are the best fit for your business, and how to apply for them. Here’s where to get this advice — plus tips on how to avoid scammers.
Call us on 0800 424 946 before you pay anyone any fee for any grant.
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. Search online for the company’s name, and try adding the word “scam” or “fraud” to your search.
The Commerce Commission’s website also has information on bogus grant-finders. Since 2013, it has issued warnings against a company that’s called itself various names, including:
And watch out for URLs like:
Bogus grant-finders change their names regularly — and pay to rank highly in online searches for business grants.
Whether you’re starting out or a well-established business, government agencies offer a range of support — from mentoring and grants to capability building — to help small businesses succeed.
A common misunderstanding is that there is lots of cash available for any business. This is not the case. Government grants tend to be for small numbers of businesses in key sectors that have demonstrated they meet given criteria.
Instead most government programmes aim to help by boosting your skills and knowledge, rather than cash handouts. Where funding is available, often it is co-funded, so you’ll have to invest at least as much money as you are given.
Research and development (R&D) funding, managed by Callaghan Innovation. There are a range of grants to meet business needs – whether you are a young start-up or an established R&D performer.
Callaghan Innovation (external link)
Business advisory services, available through the Regional Business Partner Network, funded by New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) and Callaghan Innovation. Business advisors work with local business owners to give advice, support and access to funding for business growth initiatives.
Regional Business Partner Network (external link)
Capability development vouchers, delivered by the Regional Business Partner Network. These can be used to co-fund the cost of management training, and are available to businesses with less than 50 full-time employees.
If your company wants to expand overseas, or grow its export market, call NZTE on 0800 555 888 if you’re not already working with this government agency. While specific grants aren’t available for exporters, co-funding may be available as part of a planned package of services.
Export essentials - NZTE guides (external link)
The Commerce Commission recently warned (external link) against paying organisations for grant-finding assistance.
Only trust online information that comes directly from the New Zealand Government or its agencies. Remember: