Grants, like other forms of external investment, can be a powerful way to take your organisation to the next step, expand into new territories or bring a new innovation into reality.
But with more than 6000 grants available in Australia, where do you even start?
I was invited to outline the funding landscape and share advice on successful strategies for the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce’s monthly podcast, Set the Month in Motion, recently.
I was honoured to join the Chamber’s CEO Danicia Quinlan, Grant Guru’s Peter Jeffrey and Imagined Futures' Leigh Sinclair to discuss the opportunities and challenges in securing government grants, creating investment strategies and channels to fund growth.
Because I do a lot of ocean swimming and I’ve got a healthy appetite, I’m going to use the analogy of food. We can think about the different types of enterprises, and how they eat, like this:
There is a huge variety of food (funding) available, but it’s important that you’re not just choosing fast food or the sugar hit - which grants (free money!) can appear to be. After all, applying for funding takes time, money and focus.
Rather, you should think about how grant funding aligns with where you want to go. Types of funding sources include:
What each of these sources have in common is they are seeking a specific purpose or outcome. It’s important to ensure your own purpose and outcomes align with the funders or investors.
We’ve worked with two ventures operating in regional WA that have accessed a mix of funding and investment sources, including:
Finally, in wrapping up this food funding analogy, sometimes it helps to have an expert diagnose your dietary needs and find a match with the huge number of available foods.
At For Blue, we have our own database of more than 200 investment sources specific to ocean industries.
Applications are also open for Blue Gravity, a program helping ventures to accelerate commercialisation or their innovations through: being a one-stop shop for multiple specialist service providers, offering subsidies to access services, and helping identify the most appropriate sources of funding and investment.