Fashion-focused start-ups are being encouraged to apply for grants of up to $50,000 under the latest round of the multimillion dollar Textile, Clothing and Footwear Small Business Program.
The program, administered by AusIndustry, provides grants of up to $50,000 to improve the “business enterprise culture” of TCF small businesses, and boost their capacity to innovate.
AusIndustry refers to business enterprise culture as the processes, nature and style of a business. It describes to what extent the values, attitudes and norms within a business are entrepreneurial.
A business with a strong enterprise culture typically:
- Emphasises initiative, self-reliance and creativity.
- Focuses on maximising commercial returns on products and services.
- Is skilled at securing and maintaining a competitive market edge.
- Generates and manages change largely from within.
- Demonstrates goals of financial growth and expansion.
To be eligible, businesses must manufacture an eligible TCF product in Australia or design an eligible TCF product for manufacture in Australia.
A business that solely imports products made overseas, or only undertakes retail activities, is not eligible.
Business must also have fewer than 20 employees, have a minimum turnover of $100,000, and provide a minimum cash contribution to the project of 25% of eligible expenditure.
Businesses must not have received funding from the TCF Strategic Investment Program, the TCF Post-2005 or the Clothing and Household Textile Building Innovative Capability Schemes.
Now in its seventh round, the program is a competitive, merit-based grants program. If successful, projects should be up to 12 months in duration, commencing from July 2012.
Funding of $2.5 million is available per year over a 10-year program, which commenced in 2006/07 and will finish in 2016.
AusIndustry only calls for applications once a year, so businesses must ensure they don’t miss the cutoff date. Applications for round seven close at 5pm on February 24.
“Applicants will be informed in writing of the outcome of their applications,” an AusIndustry spokesperson says.
“Successful applicants must enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth… within 30 days of being notified of the outcome of their application.”
“In most cases, there will be two grant installment payments. The initial payment is made on contract execution.”
“The final payment is made once we have received a satisfactory final report and an audited statement verifying expenditure.”
“Grants are only to be used for approved expenditure incurred during, not before, the project period. Routine business expenses… are not eligible for grant support.”