Frontier Innovators

We are searching for innovative businesses that are making an impact across the Asia-Pacific with new products or services or through new ways of working. Frontier Innovators are businesses that are leading by example.  

We want to find up to 15 of these businesses, elevate their incredible work, and help them to grow.

Whether you are an established business, a growing startup with an innovative product or service, or a social enterprise with a business model - if your work benefits people in the Asia-Pacific, apply now for your chance to win a package of funding and tailored support.

We are looking for a diverse group of businesses from across the region, so if you are making an impact through your work, we want to hear from you!

If you are considering applying but aren’t sure this is the right program for your business, or if you require support with the application, please contact us.

At a Glance

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September 30th, 2017

How to Apply

About This Funding Opportunity

Eligibility Details

All eligible applications will be evaluated by a panel of reviewers with varied backgrounds and relevant experience. Shortlisted applicants will be asked to join a video-conference interview with a number of reviewers. Up to 15 businesses will be selected to take part in the Frontier Innovators program.  

Winning businesses will receive up to $100,000 AUD in grant funding. These businesses will also receive 3-6 months of support, which will be tailored to meet their needs, and delivered by experts in the relevant fields.

We encourage anyone that is generating revenue while delivering impact through their work that supports the Sustainable Development Goals to apply. While your business can be based anywhere, your work has to impact people in the Asia-Pacific.

We want this program to support a diverse group of businesses who are doing great work across the region, so your business’s gender balance, location and connection to community will all be considered.

Application Guidance

Q. What stage does my businesses need to be at when applying?

A. We are looking for businesses that are actively delivering a product or service to the market. This means that you must have more than ideas. You should at least be testing and developing your products and services (i.e. at pilot stage).

Q. Does my business need to be growing, or trying to grow?

A.  Yes, we want to hear about how you are growing (or trying to). We understand that businesses grow in different ways and are interested in the different approaches, so we want to hear about your plans.

You could be looking to scale in the region, franchise your business, expand into a new market, or diversify the product or services that you offer. Most importantly, we are looking for businesses that are seeking to grow their operations and their impact.


Q. What legal status or structure does my business need to have?

A. There are no specific legal or structural requirements that your businesses must meet. As long as you have a business model, are generating revenue and are benefiting people in the Asia-Pacific through your work, you are eligible.

Q. Does my businesses need to be registered? If so, where and in what form?

A.  Your businesses does not need to be registered for you to apply. It can be based anywhere in the world and have operations anywhere in the world, provided that you are still delivering impact in one or more of the eligible countries listed above.

In order to receive grant funding from the Australian Government, you may need to register your business.

Q: What does ‘impact’ mean?

A: By impact we mean we are looking for businesses that are having a positive effect on the lives of people in developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Your impact should be contributing to one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals which form a roadmap for global development efforts to 2030 and beyond.

Q. My business is delivering impact outside of the region, but we are looking to expand our impact in the Asia-Pacific, are we eligible?

A. If you are not yet delivering impact in one of the eligible countries listed above, but have clear plans to begin doing so within a year of submitting your application, you are still eligible to apply.

Please note that you will be required to provide evidence of these plans/efforts.

Q. We are a not-for-profit/charity. Are we eligible?

A. Not-for-profits and charities are eligible to apply, but we will need evidence of a business model. In other words, you must be generating revenue from/through your activities, and benefiting people in the Asia-Pacific.

 Q. Which sectors and/or issues do we need to address through our work?

A. You do not need to be from a specific sector or address a certain type of issue to apply. We are looking for applicants from all sectors, who are addressing a wide range of issues. You might be focusing on the one specific problem area, or maybe you address a number of different issues through your work.

As long as you are able to describe and/or provide evidence of the impact that you are having, we want to hear from you.

 Q. We are having an impact on people and groups, but they aren’t customers, are we still eligible?

A.  If you are impacting people in the Asia-Pacific then yes, you are eligible. They could be suppliers, distributors, employees or a variety of different stakeholder groups.

We are interested in learning more about the impact you are having, and how you are doing it.


Q. How will the applications be assessed?

A. Applications will be assessed on three main areas:

  • business case
  • impact delivered and / or potential impact
  • potential for growth or scale

Winners will be selected with a view to showcasing a range of businesses from across the region, and in line with DFAT priorities.  

Q. Are there any resources or support available to assist my businesses with our application?

A. Frontier Innovators strives for all businesses across the region to have an equal opportunity to apply for this program. We are working with local partners to develop resources and provide support based on your needs (e.g. workshops, translation or technical support).

Please contact us if you require any assistance, or would like to know how we can help.