The Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) program is a government-led export funding assistance scheme for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This program encourages SMEs to market their Australian-made goods and services to international audiences by providing up to 50% matched funding (up to the Tier-based caps) for overseas promotional expenditure (Tiers are delineated by export status and carry respective maximum funding amounts: Tier 1 - $40,000, Tier 2 - $80,000, Tier 3 - $150,000).
Since its inception in 1974, the EMDG program has undergone several revisions. In 2021, AusTrade announced that the EMDG would pivot from a retrospective scheme (where applicants applied for funding after having incurred overseas promotional expenditure) to a prospective scheme, where applicants provided marketing plans and budgets up-front, but would still receive payments retrospectively in accordance with incurred expenditure.
As the new scheme is eligibility-based, the available funding pool has been divided amongst all eligible applicants utilising the forecasted budgets. Unfortunately, this has led to substantial reductions in funding across all three rounds in the new scheme (e.g. the Tier 3 funding cap has not exceeded $36,600).
In an effort to revise and improve the scheme, AusTrade has recently announced that Round 4 will be delayed until late 2024, with funding expected to be available at the start of F26 (July 2025). This ultimately means there will be no new grant agreements for the F25 period.
How does this affect applicants?
- If you have a current EMDG grant agreement with AusTrade that includes F25, you will continue to receive your grant payments as planned
- If your grant agreement concludes at the end of F24 and you did not reapply in Round 3, you will be unable to access EMDG funding until the start of F26
While the delay in Round 4 funding is not ideal for those planning to incur export-related promotional expenditure in F25, we are hopeful that the strategic refocus will help reinstate the value of the EMDG program for Australian SMEs.
If you'd like to learn more about the EMDG and other funding opportunities that may be available to you, please feel free to book a complimentary consultation with our grant writing experts.