2023/24 Strategic Partnerships Program

What is the Strategic Partnerships Program?

This round of the Strategic Partnerships Program aims to fund proposals that support the small business sector, specifically in the areas of start-ups, scale-ups and business growth in the City of Adelaide. Applicants can receive funding from $75,000 up to $300,000. Funding pool available is $405,000.

The Strategic Partnerships Program aims to fund proposals that substantially support small businesses in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Business Growth and Sustainability: Activities that foster the growth of small businesses by helping them achieve increased revenue, expanded market reach, increased employment and enhanced profitability will be considered for funding. The activities should help businesses develop strategies and acquire skills necessary for growing and creating jobs in their business.
  2. Leveraging investment in the city’s innovation assets to drive greater economic benefit for the CBD.
  3. Improved Access to Funding: Scaling a business often requires additional financial resources. Activities will be considered that can help small businesses navigate the funding landscape by providing guidance on preparing business plans, grant applications, financial statements, and investor pitches. The Office of the Chief Entrepreneur has identified these items as a gap.
  4. Increased Innovation and Adaptability: Growing a business requires the ability to innovate and respond and/or anticipate changing market dynamics. Recent studies have noted the need to enhance innovation and entrepreneurial dynamism in South Australia. Activities that assist participants in developing an entrepreneurial mindset that embraces change, encourages experimentation, and progresses disruptive business models will be considered for funding.

    Who is eligible?

    Applications will be considered from organisations that meet the following criteria:  

    • Have a current Australian Business Number (ABN)
    • Are a legal entity
    • Are not insolvent, or have owners/directors that are undischarged bankrupts
    • Are up-to-date with any acquittals or reporting requirements for which your organisation has received funding from the City of Adelaide or AEDA
    • Are willing to build the relationship with AEDA by co-designing additional opportunities throughout the life of the partnership.

    Proposals will be for single-year finding (which must be delivered within 12 months from the date of a signed funding agreement).

    Applications have now closed

    For general enquiries please contact Ben Kirchner, Acting Executive Manager, Business Growth & Investment by email [email protected] or phone (08) 8203 7718

    Please see the list of 2023/24 successful applicants here.

    See the Program Guidelines here


    Frequently Asked Questions

    To be eligible you must:

    • Have a current Australian Business Number (ABN).
    • Be a legal entity
    • Not be insolvent, or have owners/directors that are undischarged bankrupts
    • Be up-to-date with any acquittals or reporting requirements for which your organisation has received funding from the City of Adelaide or AEDA.
    • Be willing to build the relationship with AEDA by co-designing additional opportunities throughout the life of the partnership.

    This round of the Strategic Partnerships Program aims to fund proposals that substantially support the small business sector, specifically in the areas of start-ups, scale ups and business growth in the City of Adelaide.  

    The Program aims to fund proposals that substantially support small businesses in one or more of the following ways:  

    1. Business Growth and Sustainability: Activities that foster the growth of small businesses by helping them achieve increased revenue, expanded market reach, increased employment and enhanced profitability will be considered for funding. The activities should help businesses develop strategies and acquire skills necessary for growing and creating jobs in their business.
    2. Leveraging investment in the city’s innovation assets to drive greater economic benefit for the CBD.
    3. Improved Access to Funding: Scaling a business often requires additional financial resources. Activities will be considered that can help small businesses navigate the funding landscape by providing guidance on preparing business plans, grant applications, financial statements, and investor pitches. The Office of the Chief Entrepreneur has identified these items as a gap.
    4. Increased Innovation and Adaptability: Growing a business requires the ability to innovate and respond and/or anticipate changing market dynamics. Recent studies have noted the need to enhance innovation and entrepreneurial dynamism in South Australia. Activities that assist participants in developing an entrepreneurial mindset that embraces change, encourages experimentation, and progresses disruptive business models will be considered for funding.

      Projects will need to be able to demonstrate clear outcomes attributable to the funding received, contain quantifiable success measures and an ability to demonstrate ROI.

      Importantly, the Strategic Partnerships Program aims to support the development of new, relationships between AEDA and other organisations that accelerate economic activity in the City of Adelaide as well as provide a means to deepen and strengthen existing relationships by building on and extending previously funded activities.

      AEDA is interested in organisations that deliver projects aligned to the 2020-2024 City of Adelaide Strategic Plan and the focus areas in AEDA’s Business Plan. 

      Eligible projects will need to: 

      • Be partner-led.
      • Support the small business sector, specifically in the areas of start-ups, scale ups and business growth.  
      • Activities that are more intensive rather than high volume, light touch activities from which it is difficult to quantify the impact. Specifically, we would look to consider the following objectives: 
        • Business Growth and Sustainability: Activities that foster the growth of small businesses by helping them achieve increased revenue, expanded market reach, increased employment and enhanced profitability will be considered for funding. The activities should help businesses develop strategies and acquire skills necessary for growing and creating jobs in their business.
        • Leveraging investment in the city’s innovation assets to drive greater economic benefit for the CBD.
        • Improved Access to Funding: Scaling a business often requires additional financial resources. Activities will be considered that can help small businesses navigate the funding landscape by providing guidance on preparing business plans, grant applications, financial statements, and investor pitches. The Office of the Chief Entrepreneur has identified these items as a gap.
        • Increased Innovation and Adaptability: Growing a business requires the ability to innovate and respond and/or anticipate changing market dynamics. Recent studies have noted the need to enhance innovation and entrepreneurial dynamism in South Australia. Activities that assist participants in developing an entrepreneurial mindset that embraces change, encourages experimentation, and progresses disruptive business models will be considered for funding.
      • Clearly outline how they will attract and identify suitable small business participants that have appetite and capacity to grow to ensure applicants are best positioned to benefit from your proposal.  
      • Contain a well-developed delivery plan and budget 
      • Be able to demonstrate clear outcomes attributable to the funding received, contain quantifiable success measures and an ability to demonstrate ROI. 
      • Proposals should not be designed for people who are in the early stages of investigating a business idea and are not in business.  Proposals should focus on participants who are in business and have a strong appetite and capacity for growth. 

      Once you have discussed your proposal with the Acting Executive Manager, Business Growth & Investment Attraction, you will need to complete your application online via SmartyGrants. You must register if you are a new SmartyGrants user. If you already have a SmartyGrants account, you can use your existing details to log in and complete an application. Your application form can be saved and updated at any time until you click ‘submit’. 

      All questions in the application form must be answered and any requested attachments provided in order to be assessed. You must not refer to an attached document as your only response to a question. You may, however, reference an attachment in support of your answer.

      • Applications open: Wednesday 23 August 2023
      • Applications close: 4:00pm Monday 18 September 2023
      • Notification of assessment outcomes will be made from 26 October 2023

      Minimum $75,000 per proposal and up to maximum of $405,000 per proposal. Given AEDA wishes to engage with a range of partners, proposals in the range of $75k to $150k are encouraged.

      No. Applicants can only submit one proposal for consideration.

      Applicants are required to make a funding contribution. This could include government grants, membership fees, and revenue generated through the project. While in-kind contributions can be accepted, direct financial contributions would be preferred.

      Proposals can be for up to 12 months.

      The assessment of proposals is a competitive process and applications will be considered on merits against the assessment criteria. The assessment panel will provide recommendations to the AEDA Managing Director, with final approval of projects provided by the AEDA Board. 

      Applications that meet the eligibility and assessment criteria are not guaranteed funding.

      Proposals will be assessed, and applicants notified within 5 weeks of receipt of the closing date. If additional information is requested, this may affect the timing of advice given to applicants.

      The program will only support the delivery of projects that have an impact within the City of Adelaide boundary.

      Prior to payment, all successful applicants will be required to:

      • Enter into a funding agreement with AEDA detailing benefits in return for the sponsorship investment as well as mutually agreed KPIs;
      • Provide AEDA with a Certificate of Currency for Public Liability Insurance (minimum $20 million) noting AEDA as an interested party; and
      • Provide AEDA with a tax-compliant invoice for the agreed amount of funding plus GST (10%) (if the applicant is registered for GST).

      If a proposal is successful, you will be assigned a Senior Manager, to work with you to develop the scope of the partnership and funding agreement. This person will connect with partners regularly and specifically at the mid-way progress report.

      Payments will be split into instalments, depending on the length of the agreement. An initial payment will be made upon a co-signed partnership agreement. The agreement is likely to include at least one instalment payment subject to progress of the project.

      Successful applicants will be required to evaluate the project and report on the outcomes.

      All successful proposals are required to complete a detailed report on outcomes of the project.

      Long term projects will require regular reporting determined by the nature of the proposal. The reporting requirements will be articulated in the funding agreement.

      All projects are required to complete an acquittal report within 6 weeks from the conclusion of each project including a summary of the outcomes, visual documentation (if applicable) and evaluation results.

      We understand that some activities may be affected due to COVID-19. We will work with partners to either alter delivery format as required or postpone delivery where possible.

      For more information please contact:

      Ben Kirchner

      Acting Executive Manager, Business Growth & Investment

      08 8203 7718