Startups are natural exporters, with a ‘born global’ mentality driving them to find and address the biggest global markets for their products. In general, Australian exporters have traditionally enjoyed strong support from governments. One of the central pillars of that support from the federal government is the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG). While many startups looking to expand overseas also benefit from the EMDG, it has limitations which make it less well-adapted to startups than to traditional exporters.
The tranched nature of payments under the EMDG make it impossible for businesses to be confident of their EMDG returns at the time of submitting a claim. Cash is critical for startups, and EMDG claims often involve a long lag between submitting the claim and final payment. The combination of these factors often radically diminishes the benefit provided by EMDG for cash-strapped startups.