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Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) Program

The Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) program is an Australian Government initiative designed to encourage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to expand their export businesses. The program aims to develop and diversify foreign markets for Australian products, thus benefiting the Australian economy. EMDG provides targeted financial assistance to eligible SMEs for promotional activities and the development of marketing skills. This article discusses the principles, eligibility criteria, and benefits of the EMDG program.

Open Date: Early 2024

Principles of the EMDG Program

The EMDG program is founded on principles that focus on export market development and promotion. To receive assistance, grantees must spend at least an equal amount of their own money on eligible expenses. The EMDG grant is an eligibility-based grant, which means that all applicants who are eligible will be offered a grant agreement. SMEs have access to grants up to a total of 8 years, reflecting the time it takes to build a presence in the market. A wide range of expenditure is eligible, reflecting how businesses approach markets in different ways.

Benefits of the EMDG Program

The EMDG program provides financial assistance for eligible marketing and promotional activities to export eligible products in foreign countries or training activities to develop marketing skills. The grant amounts will be determined based on the demand for the program and the funding available. The program is divided into three tiers designed to provide different levels of support during different stages of the export journey.

Tier 1 is for eligible SME exporters who are ready to export in the grant year, have not previously exported, and have appropriate skills in marketing eligible products in a foreign country. Tier 2 is for eligible exporters who are exporting eligible products and seeking to expand export promotion activity for eligible products. Tier 3 is for eligible exporters who are exporting eligible products, seeking to expand export promotion activity, and ready to make a strategic shift in the marketing of eligible products in a foreign country.

Eligibility Criteria for the EMDG Program

To be eligible for the EMDG program, SME exporters must have a total turnover of less than $20 million in the financial year before the financial year in which they are making an application. The eligibility criteria differ for each tier.

· For Tier 1, SMEs must be ready to start exporting.

· For Tiers 2 and 3, SMEs must have already exported.

· SMEs can apply for any tier level that suits their organisation, and they do not have to progress through each tier or proceed through the tiers in any particular order.

Grant agreements may be for less than the amount applied for, as the available appropriation will be distributed among all eligible applicants.

To be eligible for a grant you must be an eligible person within the meaning of the EMDG Rules, being one of the following:

  • an individual whose principal place of residence is in Australia

  • a body incorporated under the Corporations Act 2001

  • an association, or cooperative, incorporated under an Australian law

  • a partnership that is Australian, that is a partnership that was formed and operates under a law of a State or Territory, with at least half the partners are Australian persons

  • a trust that is Australian within the meaning of the EMDG Rules, that is the trustee, or each trustee, of the trust is an Australian person

  • a body corporate established for a public purpose by or under an Australian law

  • a representative body.

At the time of applying for a grant and at all times while being a grantee, SMEs must have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and must not have any outstanding disqualifying convictions or be under insolvency administration. SMEs must comply with all relevant Australian Taxation Office (ATO) legislation, rulings, and guidelines, and during the assessment process, they may be required to provide evidence that they have satisfied their tax obligations.

The EMDG program is a key Australian Government financial assistance program for SMEs seeking to start or expand their export business. The program is designed to encourage the creation, development, expansion

How much funding is available?

Funding available is dependent on the tier your expenditure falls under:

Round 2 maximum grant amounts

• Tier 1 – up to $10,000 per financial year

• Tier 2 – up to $18,000 per financial year

• Tier 3 – up to $28,000 per financial year

For further information on the grant, your eligibility and how to apply, visit Rimon Advisory’s website: Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) - Rimon Advisory


Haines Consulting Group is a management consultancy firm specialising in business strategy, growth, government grants and new venture developments. If you need any assistance with a grant submission please contact us now for a confidential conversation.


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