Department of State Development

eCAP guidelines

Introduction

The South Australian eCommerce Accelerator Program (eCAP) is an initiative to assist small to medium exporters in South Australia to build revenue by selling their products and services online.

Grants up to $10,000 (GST excl) are available to help fund eligible businesses to:

  • Establish an ecommerce presence on an existing or newly developed platform, and successfully engage with international customers through these online channels
  • Undertake training to assist them to develop their business models and select and leverage online marketplaces 
  • Establish their own ecommerce capability
  • Commission preparation of a digital marketing plan to drive traffic to an online store or ecommerce listings on third party platforms
  • Purchase online advertising, including sending email marketing to support ecommerce activities.

Application process

This is a competitive program that is awarded based on the merit of applications.

Applications are to be completed and submitted on eCAP.

Opening and closing dates for the upcoming round of applications are available on eCAP. Subject to availability of funding, applications for grants may also be invited in future rounds.

Applications need to be submitted prior to the closing date and time, to be considered. Applications will be assessed after the close of each funding round.

Information sought will include:

  • Company name and ABN
  • Number of employees
  • Nature of business
  • Current distribution channels
  • Product/services to be sold online
  • Financial statements for the most recent financial year
  • Markets including export markets in which product/services have been sold in the past 5 years
  • Value of sales including exports in the past 5 years
  • Activities for which funding is sought
  • Total funding sought
  • Timeline for expenditure and establishing eCommerce presence
  • Anticipated revenue growth resulting from online sales

Eligible applicants

Applications are sought from eligible entities to receive the grant for approved expenditure if they meet the following criteria.

Applicants must:

  • Have a good or service that is export-ready and made in South Australia
  • Be an existing exporter
  • Demonstrate revenue from international exports within the past five years
  • Have an annual turnover between $100,000 and $20 million
  • Be a registered South Australian business. Applicants may be sole-traders, partnerships, companies, trusts or incorporated associations
  • Have an ABN and be registered for GST
  • Have been actively trading for at least 12 months
  • Be able to enter into a legally binding funding agreement with the South Australian Government
  • Be willing to provide information and data, including financial information as required.

Applications from organisations representing ‘clusters’ of companies are preferred, to foster collaboration and critical mass, with an additional administration fee of up to 10 per cent of total grant approved for the combined cluster allowable within eligible expenditure. The facilitating organisation may apply for a grant of up to $10,000 for each business in a cluster.

Receiving funding from the eCAP does not impact on the potential to receive funding from other South Australian Government programs, except that funding cannot be received from multiple Commonwealth, State or Local Government programs for the same activity.

Eligible activities

The following activities and expenses are eligible for reimbursement (‘eligible expenditure’):

  • Undertaking non-accredited training to develop eCommerce capability and commence online selling
  • Consulting services such as (but not limited to) assistance with:
    • Selection of online marketplaces
    • Selling products/services through third party platforms such as Ali Baba, Amazon and many others
    • Order fulfillment
  • Establishing a presence or listing SKUs or otherwise contracting to sell product through an established ecommerce platform or developing an ecommerce sales platform
  • ICT equipment to support ecommerce activities
  • Commissioning preparation of a digital marketing plan to drive traffic to an online store or ecommerce listings on third party platforms
  • Establishment of other online international marketing platforms
  • Purchasing online advertising, including sending email marketing to support ecommerce activities.

Other activities may be funded at the discretion of the Department for Trade and Investment.

Exclusions:

  • Unapproved expenditure
  • Expenditure incurred prior to the date of application
  • Costs of routine business activities, such as (but not limited to):
    • Routine or seasonal marketing costs
    • Routine accounting costs, including the costs of audit certificates
    • Rental costs and expenses, not directly related to ecommerce activities
    • Routine utility costs
    • Routine training costs
  • Freight costs
  • General stationery
  • Production of product including samples
  • Travel expenses
  • Food and beverage
  • Working capital not directly related to ecommerce activities
  • Payment of wages/salaries
  • Trademarking, copywriting and Intellectual Property protection
  • Design and manufacture of product labels and product packaging
  • General academic qualifications and courses
  • Membership of professional associations
  • Any activity that is subsidised directly to the recipient by another Commonwealth, South Australian or Local Government program.

This list is not exhaustive and other exclusions may apply.

Application assessment

All submissions will be assessed on a competitive basis by an assessment panel. All applications received are assessed against the program eligibility and merit criteria.

Applicants should note that irrespective of eligibility and merit, there is no guarantee that an offer of funding will be made.

Merit criteria

Applications will be assessed by a panel under set criteria. The assessment panel will score each application related to the following (in no particular order):

  • Business: Does the business have a sound business model and potential for export success?
  • Finances: What is the level of risk related to financial sustainability?
  • Proposed ecommerce activity: Is the proposed activity plan achievable, robust, specific, viable, sustainable and logical? Is market selection appropriate?
  • Product/service: Is the product or service innovative, high quality, viable, does it meet demands etc?
  • Benefit to South Australia: Are South Australian jobs made/retained? How much export revenue will be generated etc?

Supporting documentation

Each application will require the following mandatory supporting documentation to be uploaded at the time of submission:

  • General Purpose Financial Statements for the most recent financial year including (but not limited to):
    • Statement of Financial Position (or Balance Sheet) complying with the relevant Australian account standards.
    • Statement of Financial Performance (or Profit and Loss) complying with the relevant Australian account standards.

Confidentiality

The Department for Trade and Investment is obliged to publish names of grant recipients and grant amounts for various purposes, including public disclosure.  Apart from these details, the financial and commercial information pertaining to or in an application for funding under eCAP will be, subject to the application of the Freedom of Information Act 1991 (SA), kept strictly confidential. Any information given on an application or subsequent report or survey will only be reported as part of aggregated data that does not identify any individual responses or companies, unless otherwise permitted in writing by companies. Businesses may be invited to participate in promotional activity.

The Department for Trade and Investment may disclose confidential information without the consent of the grant recipients where it is a disclosure where the law (including Freedom of Information Act 1991 (SA)) requires the Department for Trade and Investment to make.  

Made in South Australia

Goods are considered ‘made in South Australia’ if the applicant’s manufacturing process:

  • Results in the manufacture of a new product; or
  • Substantially transforms the nature of the materials or components; or
  • Represents an important stage of manufacture of a product created from an imported component.

In addition, goods are considered ‘made in South Australia’ provided that the manufacturing process or operation is not:

  • Designed to circumvent the correct origin of the product; or
  • Simply grading, packing or sorting of imported components.


To be eligible, export goods must be made in South Australia or alternately applicants must show how South Australia would derive a significant net benefit from the sale of the goods outside Australia.

To determine this, the Department for Trade and Investment will take into account whether:

  • The business assets used in making the goods ready for sale (other than assets used in manufacture) are primarily or substantially based in South Australia
  • The activities (other than manufacture) that result in the goods being made ready for sale are primarily or substantially conducted in South Australia
  • A significant proportion of the value of goods is added within South Australia
  • Any sale of the goods generates, or would generate, substantial economic benefits for South Australia, including employment.

The Department for Trade and Investment assesses all submissions concerning goods not made in South Australia on the individual circumstances, based on the information submitted and the relevant guidelines.

Decision process

Decisions to offer grants to applicants are made considering the:

  • Recommendations of the eCAP Assessment Panel
  • Availability of funding based on commitments of program funds in the current and future financial years.

Final decisions on funding rest with the Minister for Trade and Investment (Minister).

Applicants will be advised in writing whether their application was successful.

No further correspondence will be entered into.

Payments

To receive initial grant funds, a successful applicant must enter into a written Funding Agreement with the South Australian Government and submit a valid tax invoice for 85 per cent of the approved grant amount.

Final payment, representing 15 per cent of the grant amount approved, will be made after submission of a summary of activities undertaken, provision of a tax invoice and evidence of payment of approved expenditure (supporting tax invoices and receipts).

The funding period will be specified in the funding agreement and will generally be 12 months. If, at the end of the funding period, the recipient has not expended all of the grant for approved activities, then the recipient must notify the Minister of the unexpended amount and must repay that amount to the Minister within 14 days after the end of the funding period, unless the Minister agrees otherwise.

Reporting

Recipients will be required to participate in a survey within 12 months from the date of executing the Funding Agreement, advising estimates of export revenues received as a result of the grant funding.

Recipients are also required to submit an acquittal for the grant received and funded activities undertaken, using Schedule 1 to Treasurer’s Instruction 15, within 15 months from the date of executing the Funding Agreement.

Varying the agreement

The Department for Trade and Investment recognises that unexpected circumstances may occur in plans to develop and leverage an online sales presence. Any such changes should be discussed as soon as possible with the eCAP Program Administrator, or you may risk breaching your funding agreement. The Program Administrator will advise whether a formal variation to your funding agreement is required.

No extensions to the agreement end date will be made, under any circumstances.

Taxation

Grant amounts may be subject to GST. Grant amounts referred to in the program guidelines, application form and funding agreements are GST exclusive.

Receipt of grant funding from the eCAP grant may have taxation implications. Applicants should seek independent taxation advice regarding the potential taxation implications of receiving an eCAP grant.