Local capability fund: Aboriginal business round

Helping local Aboriginal businesses enhance their capability, capacity and competiveness when bidding for Government and private sector projects
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This round opens at 9am (AWST) on Wednesday, 20 September 2023 and closed at 3pm (AWST), Tuesday 31 October 2023. 


The Aboriginal Business Round provides funding support to Aboriginal Western Australian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to enhance their business capability and capacity to supply to major Western Australian State or Local Government agencies, the Australian Government and the private sector.

The level of funding support under the Aboriginal Business Round is 50% of eligible costs (excluding GST) up to a maximum funding level of $50,000 per successful applicant.

Who is eligible

To be eligible for funding, applicants must:

  • Be an Aboriginal business (at least 50% owned by an Aboriginal interest);
  • Be registered with either the Aboriginal Business Directory Western Australia or the Supply Nation’s Indigenous Business Direct; and 
  • Have been operating for at least 12 months in Western Australia at the time of submitting an application for funding.

Additional eligibility criteria applies, please refer to the funding guidelines for the full list.

How to apply

Eligible applicants must submit their application online via the SmartyGrants portal

A preview of the application form detailing the information required is available through the portal. 

Before applying, applicants must read and understand these guidelines and the Financial Assistance Agreement found on the portal.

Assessment process

Applications will be assessed by an independent evaluation panel following the round closing. Applications will be assessed against their eligibility as well as the objectives for that round, and will then be scored against the following evaluation criteria and weightings:

  • Relevance/need 40%
  • Level of impact 30%
  • Capability and capacity 10%
  • Value for money 10%
  • Financial viability and risk 10%

Tips to applying

  1. Always double-check your application. It is worth getting someone else to read over it, if possible, before you submit it to ensure it makes sense.
  2. Remember that assessors are unlikely to be experts in the business’s industry. Overly technical and detailed answers may be difficult for assessors to understand which could lead to lower scores. When writing an application it is useful to write it in a way that anyone could understand, not just those who work in the business’s industry. A good way of doing this is to imagine you are promoting the business via its website or social media where the public will need to understand the core activities of the business.
  3. Give yourself enough time before the closing date to be able to source quotes and relevant documents. As these documents can often take a bit of time to get hold of - with quotes sometimes taking a number of weeks - if you start an application the day before the closing date, and do not have the necessary documents ready to go, then you might run out of time to get them. Applications without quotes or relevant documents will receive lower scores.
  4. Good applications provide sufficient detail but are also concise. While you definitely want to provide enough detail to ensure assessors are able to properly assess your application, if you overwhelm them with large amounts of detail it may be difficult for them to determine the point you are trying to make. Again, it is worth double checking your application and getting someone else to look over it to make sure that it is detailed, but to the point.
  5. Assessors are only able to make a recommendation based on the information you provide in your application. If there is something important that will help your application stand out then include it.
  6. Always read the eligibility criteria and the eligible activities carefully to ensure the business is eligible to apply, and that the activities the business is seeking funding for are eligible. A good application takes time to write, so if the business is ineligible you don’t want to spend time on an application that will be rejected straight away.