Small business grants for new businesses

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Launching a business from the ground up isn’t easy, but there is help out there by way of grants and support schemes, and if you’re eligible, they can offer a big boost in getting you going.

Because the hardest part in securing a grant is often knowing where to look, we’ve put together a list of reliable and genuine places to start.

Work and Income

If you or your partner are currently receiving some form of government benefit or payment and you have a great business idea, you may be eligible for financial support and training from Work and Income while you’re getting started.

What do they offer?

The Flexi-wage Programme: Flexi-wage is a subsidy to help you with costs. The maximum subsidy available is the New Zealand minimum wage for 30 hours a week, for up to 52 weeks. How much you’re eligible for will depend on your expenses, needs, skills and the expected cash flow of the business.

Is there a catch?

You’ll need a viable business plan before Work and Income will approve payment. The good news is, they also offer a grant to help you with that too….


Business Training and Advice Grant: Work and Income will pay up to $1000 a year for an expert to work with you and offer advice on and help with:

  • Developing a business plan
  • Skills training
  • Financial reporting

How to get it:  Get in touch with your case manager at Work and Income or call them on 0800 779 009


Callaghan Innovation

Another government agency, Callaghan Innovation will fund advisory support for start-up businesses with high growth potential.


What do they offer?

Incubator Support Programme: Designed to help businesses get to market faster, this programme connects you with founder incubators to help build a strong business around your idea.  Assistance is more practical than financial, with the aim to help you make and save money long term, although some incubators may also provide investment capital.

Support includes:

  • Technology and market validation
  • Business planning and development
  • Capability building
  • Investment preparation and access to networks
  • Governance and establishment of advisory board
  • Shared working spaces

How to get it: Call or email Callaghan Innovation. Their contact details are here:

Te Puni Kōkiri

If you’re a Māori business owner or entrepreneur, you may be eligible for support from Te Puni Kōkiri.

What do they offer?

Māori Business Growth Support: To help your businesses become established and grow, Maori Business Support provides information to help you plan growth pathways. They can connect you with growth agencies to analyse your business’s needs, as well as provide you with tools and resources to help you navigate business networks.

Is there a catch?

The fundamental criteria is that the business owner self-identifies as Māori and that the business is an independent entity based in New Zealand. You must also have a business plan and have attended Inland Revenue’s Introduction to Business workshop.

How to get it: Complete a registration form and email it to your nearest regional office. Forms are available here:

Buyer Beware

While grants can be a great way to help you progress your business, as with most ventures, it pays to do your research first. There are a few bogus funding scams, in which fraudsters trick businesses into paying fees to find grants, so if you’re not sure, talk to us first or check out the Commerce Commission for information of bogus grant-finders. 

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