The Western Australian Government has launched a new program to assist small regional businesses accelerate their growth, create jobs, become globally competitive and come out stronger on the other side of COVID-19.

Expressions of interest are now open for the GroundSwell program for experienced organisations that deliver initiatives to assist regional businesses realise performance improvements and adopt technology for enhanced penetration into external markets.

The GroundSwell program will provide grants of up to $200,000 to deliver targeted entrepreneurship and technology training, and support programs in regional Western Australia.

The program is specifically designed to assist regional entrepreneurs build globally competitive and diverse businesses through improved education, network building and opportunity realisation, as well as support existing regional businesses take up new and emerging technologies and business models.

Additional consideration will be given to programs that assist enterprises to recover from the impact of COVID-19 through business transformation, and trialling innovative products and services in the commercial market.

“Getting start-ups and small business off the ground is difficult at the best of times, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Regional Development Minister, Alannah MacTiernan, said. 

“The GroundSwell program is about ensuring we build our regional talent and support innovative businesses.

“This recovery phase provides an opportunity for regional operators to examine how they can pivot their current business model to protect their ventures, while opening up prospects for emerging entrepreneurs.

Innovation and ICT Minister, Dave Kelly, said that the Western Australian Government was committed to supporting innovative businesses in regional WA.

“This is why $4.5 million of the $16.7 million New Industries Fund is dedicated to supporting emerging businesses and creating jobs in regional Western Australia.

“The new GroundSwell grants program is aimed at organisations that build business capability, like start-up incubators and accelerators, entrepreneur mentoring and training and data and analysis, and technology-based programs.”

Applications close 5pm Monday, August 10, 2020 – for more information, visit http://www.drd.wa.gov.au

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