Small business grants and subsidies in New Zealand

Government support plans, grants and subsidies are available to help small businesses enhance skills, establish networks and provide targeted funding support.


Navigating the SME support networks

It can be daunting trying to decipher all the various subsidies and small business grants in NZ. What's worse is spending time investigating your options, only to discover you're not eligible.

But good business advice is also crucial in a crisis, and the more information you have about your current operations and your new business idea, the more help you'll be able to access. So, make sure you've spent some time in the business planning stage and have organised your finances before approaching any business advisors, mentors or funding officers.

Here are a range of support networks you can access (please note most funding grants are contributions to costs, for example, they may pay 50% of an approved price, rather than 100%).

The Regional Business Partner Network (RBP)

A regional business partner network between NZTE and Callaghan Innovation acts as a gateway to a wealth of advice, knowledge, capital raising and funding opportunities for SME businesses. 

Growth Advisors in 14 regions are available to assess your established business and help you connect with the right resources and experts to build capability and grow.

For more information and to register see:

Callaghan Innovation

This New Zealand government-funded agency offers multiple grants and support that aim to promote research and development (R&D), facilitate collaboration and support the commercialisation of ideas with positive impact.

There are five main support services:

  • Fund. Grants, tax incentives, and other financial support to drive innovation. From nurturing future talent to R&D initiatives to taking world-leading innovations to market. Find out more here.
  • Upskill. Helping you identify the knowledge, innovation and commercialisation skills you need to take your ideas to the next level. Plus information and resources to acquire them and put them to work. Find out more here.
  • Grow. Help for frontier and Māori businesses. From start-ups to expanding, established enterprises, by identifying and unlocking opportunities to grow sustainably. Find out more here.
  • Connect. Harness the power of connections by linking with others who possess the insights and skills to propel you forward. Use their extensive to foster collaborative relationships. Find out more here.
  • Solve. Putting the problem-solving expertise of over 200 top scientists and engineers, and world-class R&D facilities at your disposal. Find out more here.

Please note that these grants are for businesses that comply with Callaghan's criteria.

Te Puni Kōkiri's Māori Business Growth Support

Te Puni Kōkiri helps Māori business owners and entrepreneurs with co-funding from advisors who can provide business support and essential start-up costs for new ventures and help new businesses identify opportunities. To be eligible, most of your business owners must identify as Māori. In addition, you need a business plan and have attended Inland Revenue's Introduction to Business workshop. Find out more about Māori Business Growth here.

Kiwi Business Boost

The Kiwi Business Boost website offers various online events tailored to specific business challenges and sectors if you're looking for advice. So whether it's a deep dive into digital marketing or a guide to cyber-security, a wealth of material is available to help you learn.

For more information, see:

New Zealand Trade & Enterprise

If you're an exporter, NZTE is also offering specific advice on a range of business management topics:

  • Leading people & wellbeing
  • Cashflow
  • International travel
  • Freight & logistics
  • Managing risk
  • Insurance
  • Supply chain
  • Staying connected with markets

Find out more about Māori Business Growth here.

Business Mentors New Zealand

For a longer-term arrangement, Business Mentors New Zealand provides up to 12 months of confidential, one-on-one business mentoring for small business owners who are trading, want to grow, or need help to solve specific business challenges.

For more information, prices, and to register, click here.

Rātā Foundation

The Rātā Foundation provides grants for not-for-profit organisations in Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury and Chatham Islands. The grants support operating costs and project costs, such as salaries, rent, administration costs and power and phone connection fees. Find out more here.

Work and Income

If you're a new business owner or out of work due to the local labour market, Work and Income may be able to help you. The Business Training and Advice Grant provides funding schemes to assist with business skills training, planning, advice, reporting and more. Find out more here

New businesses who need help to be self-sufficient may also be eligible for startup business grants to provide financial support for new equipment, legal costs, start-up stock, materials, renovations or one-off payment start-up costs.

Find out more here.

Next steps

  • Get in touch with ASB by enquiring online, visit a branch, call 0800 272 222 or contact your banker for small business grant information or a small business loan.
  • It's best to contact and register online with your local Regional Business Partner first. They will provide you with available government assistance options, such as small business grants, low-cost business advice and mentoring. 
  • Talk to other small businesses who have accessed grants or subsidies, find out what process they went through and ask for a referral.
  • Ask everyone; you can find suitable grants through smaller business networks, industry associations, non-profit organisations and special interest group

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