Small business boost as Melbourne grants program grows

ARTIFICIAL intelligence, biotechnology, ethical clothing and boutique wines are some of the big winners in the latest round of the City of Melbourne’s Small Business Grants for 2018.

A total of $286,000 will be shared between 16 local small businesses and social enterprises, with the council voting to also hold two funding rounds of the flagship grants program in 2019.

Chair of the Small Business, Retail and Hospitality portfolio, Councillor Susan Riley, said the two funding rounds would help the City of Melbourne to support more small businesses than ever.

“Small business is the lifeblood of our city, making up almost 80 per cent of Melbourne’s total businesses,” Cr Riley said.

“The Small Business Grants program is one of the most successful run by the City of Melbourne.

“Between 2006 and 2016 alone, $3.5 million in funding was provided to 200 small businesses, assisting them to generate $70.9 million of gross turnover, $58.3 million of equity investment, creating more than 900 jobs and $2.9 million of export earnings.

“These are incredible numbers and a testament to why providing support to small businesses is so vital."

Melbourne’s knowledge sector is front and centre of the successful 2018 grant recipients, with nine of the 16 recipients working in the technology, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing and biotechnology industries.

The City of Melbourne Small Business Grants Program has been running since 1996, awarding over $8.3 million in funding to almost 400 small businesses.

“Now more than ever we need to continue supporting new and emerging businesses that make Melbourne their home and are so crucial to our city’s economy and prosperity,” Cr Riley said.

“I’m incredibly excited to announce this year’s successful recipients, who represent some of the most innovative and unique businesses which are changing the face of our city.”

Notable previous Small Business Grants recipients include KeepCup (2008), KokoBlack (2003),Melbourne Rooftop Honey (2011), UbiPark (2015), Reground (2017), Code Like a Girl (2017), Hidden Secret Tours (2002), West Space (1999) and e.g.etal (1998), which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary.

“I look forward to seeing what this year’s grant recipients can achieve, and encourage those who may have missed out this year to apply for our new expanded program in 2019,” Cr Riley said.

An expanded Small Business Grants program will include two funding rounds each year, mentoring, an alumni network, support for Aboriginal businesses and a ‘new development’ grant category.

For more information on the Small Business Grants, and to view the 2018 successful recipients, visit the City of Melbourne’s Small Business Grants Program website.


Startup Category:

  • ColourSpace Gallery
  • Dreamwalk Apps
  • MagicPi
  • Justice Denim
  • Viva La Cup
  • Tilly
  • She’s A Crowd
  • Act of Wine
  • Umps Health
  • Zero Impact

Expansion Category:

  • 10 Tickles Animation & Design
  • Christine
  • Girl Geek Academy
  • Ion Opticks
  • Silverpond
  • The Sneaker Laundry

Contact Us


PO Box 2144