Big breaks for small business: nine success stories

A person wearing safety goggles and operating a laser.

Are you brewing a great business idea? Every year, we help some of our city’s brightest minds realise their dreams through our Small Business Grants program.

In fact, we’ve supported 395 small businesses with $8.3 million in funding since we launched the program in 1996.

Councillor Susan Riley, Chair of the Small Business, Retail and Hospitality portfolio, said the many success stories showcase our city as a global leader in innovation, design, science and technology.

‘Our Small Business Grants program helped local businesses generate $71 million of gross turnover, $58 million of equity investment, $3 million of export earnings and 939 jobs from 2006 to 2016,’ Cr Riley said.

We’ve supported 395 small businesses with $8.3 million in funding.

‘The funding is just one of the ways we are helping build and maintain sustainable and diverse small business, retail and hospitality sectors as Melbourne embarks on a period of unprecedented transformation.’


Allume, a business that helps apartment dwellers split solar power bills, has been accepted into the world-renowned Elemental Excelerator based in Honolulu and San Francisco.

Beetbox – a portable, sustainable lunchbox made from premium glass and aluminium – has been named the Good Design Award Gold Winner by the Design Institute of Australia.

Code Like a Girl has reached more than 2000 women and girls through their events, workshops and coding camps this year, and placed seven women into technology internships.

Gewurzhaus, a herb and spice merchant, opened its first store in Lygon Street in 2010 and now has seven stores across Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra.

HealthKit, a healthcare industry software management platform, now has a network of more than 150,000 practitioners across 40 countries.

KeepCup has sold more than three million cups, currently supplies to more than 60 countries and has turnover of more than $6 million a year.

NexVet, a biotechnology company, was sold to United States-based Zoetis, the world’s largest animal healthcare company, for $111 million.

Reground has expanded its customer base to 73 cafes, roasteries and offices, diverting 154 tonnes of coffee grounds from landfill.

UbiPark, an app that shows on-street parking availability using our live data feed, secured additional investment to rollout new technologies, bringing the company’s total funding to more than $1 million.

Girls using laptops

Code Like a Girl

To find out more, visit small business grants.

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