Business Growth Fund Program

Stage 2 Full applications are now closed

Stage 2: Full applications for round 5 have closed and are currently being assessed. Late submissions will not be accepted.

New applications are no longer being accepted.

The Business Growth Fund (BGF) targets high-growth businesses who can accelerate growth, drive Queensland's economy and employ more Queenslanders.

Program key details – round 5
Eligible business size Small to medium-sized businesses with 5–49 employees (headcount)
StatusStage 2: Full application is now closed and being assessed
Opening date Stage 1: Expression of interest (EOI) for Round 5 has closed
Closing date

Stage 1: Expression of interest (EOI) closed at 5pm, Friday 2 June 2023
Stage 2: Full application closed at 5pm, Wednesday 19 July 2023 (selected EOI applicants only)
Stage 3: Selected Stage 2 applicants only

Application process
  • Stage 1: Expression of interest
  • Stage 2: Full application
  • Stage 3: Pitch
Grant type Competitive – not all applications will be funded
Available funding $50,000 – $75,000 per project
Co-contribution At least 40%
Project length 12 months
Payment milestones
  • 20% on approval
  • 40% with 3-month report
  • 40% on acquittal at 12 months
Key documents Round 5 documents:

Grant rounds

Each round of the Business Growth Fund grants program has specific information to help you prepare and apply for the grant, and if successful, manage your grant.

The Business Growth Fund (BGF) targets high-growth businesses who can accelerate growth, drive Queensland's economy and employ more Queenslanders. It provides funding for small and medium-sized high-growth businesses to buy specialised equipment, enabling them to unlock growth potential, increase production, expand their workforce, and maximise economic returns to move them to the next stage of growth.

Funded businesses are expected to:

  • increase confidence for growth, transitioning from small to medium-sized
  • increase productivity, turnover, profit and/or employment by 20%
  • improve confidence to automate, scale up, increase market share, diversify and/or exploit exporting opportunities.

The program is administered by the Department of Youth Justice, Employment, Small Business and Training (DYJESBT).

Available funding

You may be eligible for funding of up to $75,000 (excluding GST), and not less than $50,000 (excluding GST). Funding is paid in 3 parts:

  1. 20% on approval of your application
  2. 40% on completion and assessment of your 3-month report
  3. 40% on acquittal and assessment at project completion.

Successful applicants must co-contribute at least 40% of project costs.

We will not fund projects with:

  • a total cost of less than $83,333 (excluding GST)
  • or
  • payments made before submitting the Stage 2: Full application (project must not have commenced substantially).

The table below shows the breakdown of total project costs and the co-contribution amounts.



Total project costs (excluding GST)



Your contribution (at least 40% of total project costs)



Grant funding



*Your project can cost more than $125,000 but the maximum amount DYJESBT will contribute is $75,000.

Eligibility criteria

You must be an established, financially sound, small to medium-sized Queensland business with the potential for high-growth within the next 2 years.

High-growth is defined as an average annualised 20% increase in turnover, and/or employment in the last 2 years.

To be eligible for this grant, your business must have:

  • a minimum of 5 and maximum of 49 employees (by headcount) at the time of applying for the grant
  • an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and be registered for GST
  • Queensland headquarters
  • a minimum trading history of 5 years at the time of applying for the grant
  • a minimum turnover of $500,000 for the last financial year
  • competitive opportunities in domestic or international markets
  • experienced 2 years of high-growth and have clearly defined high-growth and employment opportunities in Queensland
  • not been approved for funding under an earlier round of the Business Growth Fund
  • not be insolvent or have owners/directors that are an undischarged bankrupt.

Your business must also maintain this eligibility for the duration of the grant funded activity.

Eligible and ineligible activities

The grant funding must be used to purchase specialised equipment to meet business growth. The equipment must have a direct link to increasing employment and maximising economic returns.

Specialised equipment is considered an independent or additional piece of complex machinery that will have a direct impact on the operations of the business to increase, automate or enhance productivity and presents a significant investment to the business. The impact of the equipment unique to the growth of the business and local economy will be taken into consideration.

Examples of eligible highly specialised equipment include (but are not limited to):

  • production equipment to meet otherwise unachievable growth demand
  • advanced manufacturing or digital equipment and systems
  • advanced logistics systems and equipment.

We will not fund:

  • activities bought using crypto-currencies, cash, barter, or service in-kind
  • GST registration and fees
  • real estate/property, hire, lease, or rental fees
  • goods, services, or fees from related parties (includes companies with common shareholdings or directors, employees or immediate family)
  • travel
  • franchise fees
  • purchase of stock
  • general business operating costs (e.g. bookkeeping/accounting, tax returns, marketing/advertising activities)
  • services or standard digital technology not considered specialist to the extent required (as determined by assessment panel)
  • delivery fees, credit card surcharges and international transaction fees
  • memberships and joining fees
  • salaries
  • non-specialised office equipment (e.g. desks, chairs, personal computers (PCs), laptops, monitors)
  • fleet vehicles, other motor vehicles, trailers, or forklifts
  • bain maries, fridges or ovens
  • dental chairs.

Application process

It is free to apply through the DYJESBT SmartyGrants portal when the grant round opens.

Applicants will be notified at the end of each stage (EOI shortlisting, Full application shortlisting and post Pitch) of their outcome.

This grant program is competitively assessed in 3 stages, meaning not all applications will be funded:

  1. Stage 1: Expression of interest (EOI)
  2. Stage 2: Full application
  3. Stage 3: Pitch.

Stage 2:

  • opened for full applications at 9am, Tuesday, 20 June 2023
  • closed for full applications at 5pm, Wednesday 19 July 2023.

DYJESBT provided pre-launch notification of the grant and access to supporting documents on 22 April 2023.

Detailed application process

In your EOI application, you were asked to:

  • confirm the business meets the eligibility criteria of the grant program
  • provide core business and contact information
  • provide details of your growth over the last 2 years
  • provide a summary of your project, how it is innovative and how the equipment is highly specialised
  • provide a description of the high-growth opportunity through implementing your project
  • confirm the business's financial contribution
  • verify the main business location (if applicable) – if your Australian Business Register profile shows that your main business location is not in Queensland you will need to provide evidence of Queensland headquarters. Acceptable evidence includes:
    • a copy of the applicant's Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) company statement listing a Queensland address in the 'principal place of business'
    • or
    • an accountant's letter confirming the business has changed to a Queensland main business location
  • verify the link between the trust and the business conducting the business activity (if applicable) – if you nominate an ABN of a trust in your application, you will need to provide evidence of the link between the trust entity and the business conducting the business activity entity. Acceptable evidence includes:
    • a copy of the applicant's ASIC company statement listing both entities
    • or
    • an accountant's letter confirming the 2 entities are operated by the same parties outlining the business relationship
  • provide a letter from a registered accountant declaring 2020/21 and 2021/22 turnover and employee headcount, 2022/23 actual plus projected (May and June) turnover and employee headcount. Your accountant must be registered with 1 of the following:
  • provide a copy of the related business plan.

Stage 2: Full application has now closed

If your Stage 1 EOI application was shortlisted, you would have been invited to submit a full application.

In addition to the information provided in your EOI, you will also be asked to:

  • update the core business and contact information
  • provide detail on whether you will need to secure other financial support to fund your co-contribution
  • provide a simple balance sheet and include the current asset, debt and equity structure of the business. Clearly and separately:
    • identify the value of the intellectual property held by the business
    • who holds the debt
    • and on what terms
  • a simple profit and loss statement for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 financial years
  • provide independent supplier quote(s) (no more than 3) or proposals that provide comprehensive details of the specialised equipment that you will be purchasing as part of the project. Supplier quotes must not be comparative quotes. Quotes must be a formal quote/proposal and include supplier details on the supplier's letterhead, including:
    • supplier name
    • ABN (if Australian)
    • contact details and website address
    • details of the project, description of services and outline of key activities – for an online purchase, supply a screenshot or printout of the shopping cart.

If your full application is shortlisted, you will be invited to pitch to business experts and DESBT executives.

The pitch panel is a critical stage in the application process, providing an opportunity to draw out the merits of the project proposed to be part funded by the grant.

Shortlisted applicants will be required to present a succinct and compelling pitch of 5 to 10 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of questions from the panel.

To assist you prepare for this stage, DESBT provides an optional practice pitch session to specifically provide feedback on the delivery, content and style of the pitch.

A competitive assessment process is conducted at each stage of the grant's application process.

Applications will be assessed for compliance against the eligibility criteria and their competitiveness against the program guidelines and assessment criteria, as follows.

Applicants must demonstrate the extent to which the grant funded activity will:

  1. Support the business to reach its high-growth goals
  2. Be likely to create jobs growth within the business
  3. Demonstrate value for money.

DESBT may also consider equitably distributing successful applications across the state, industry sectors (including priority sectors) and be representative of Queensland's diverse business population.

We will advise all applicants of the outcome of their application following each stage of the application process. Successful Stage 3 applicants will receive an approval letter outlining the funding agreement.

Grant recipients enter into a funding agreement with us and receive funding of up to $75,000 (excluding GST) and not less than $50,000 (excluding GST). Funding is paid in 3 parts:

  1. 20% on approval of your application
  2. 40% on completion and assessment of your 3-month report
  3. 40% on acquittal and assessment at project completion.

The funding agreement consists of:

  1. The Letter of Agreement
  2. Any other terms agreed in writing between the parties
  3. The Business Growth Fund program terms and conditions
  4. The Business Growth Fund program guidelines
  5. The application submitted by the applicant relating to the grant funded activity.

Recipients must complete their grant-funded activity within 12 months of receiving their Letter of Agreement.

You must keep all application evidence, supplier quotes, corresponding invoices and bank transactions for audit purposes.

Note: If you vary your approved project in any way, you must inform DESBT immediately. Read Review of decisions and variation for more information.

Recipients must complete a:

  1. 3-month progress report – the report must include details of the progress you have made with your project, any issues you've experienced and answer some questions about the process so far.
  2. Final acquittal report on completion of their project – the report must include details of the assets/services received, project implementation, and the impact on the business including the results and outcomes received.

Refer to the application guidelines for a comprehensive overview of each stage of the application process.

How to apply

Full applications closed at 5pm, Wednesday 19 July 2023.

More information

View the small business grants schedule to watch for other grant opportunities.

You can access interpreter and translator services if required.

You can also subscribe to the Business Queensland Connect newsletter to keep up to date with the latest information for Queensland small businesses.

Contact us

For more information about the program, email or contact the Small Business Hotline on 1300 654 687.