SME export hubs initiative to fuel regional economies

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science recently announced 10 successful applicants for Round One funding under the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Export Hubs Initiative.

The Export Hubs are business networks designed to help small and medium businesses harness opportunities in international markets, particularly in countries where the federal government has signed free trade agreements, such as China, Japan, Korea and Indonesia.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews, said the funding will boost the economy by giving more businesses access to new and bigger markets, increasing sales and creating more Australian jobs.

The funding is integral to helping Australian businesses grow and will ultimately increase local and regional job opportunities,” said Andrews.

“The Coalition is committed to supporting small and medium businesses through the SME Export Hubs Initiative and other successful programs like the Entrepreneurs’ Programme and Industry Growth Centres initiative.”

“Export hubs will be expected to develop export strategies based on local strengths, which in turn will align with the national strategies and networks of the Growth Centres,” said Andrews.

The Export Hubs operate in six key industry sectors of competitive strength and strategic priority identified under the federal government’s Industry Growth Centres initiative: Advanced Manufacturing; Cyber Security; Food and Agribusiness; Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals; Mining Equipment, Technology and Services; and Oil, Gas and Energy Resources. These sectors were identified as having strong prospects for creating future economic and jobs growth.

The Successful Applicants for Round One are:

SA Food and Beverage Export Hub –

This Export Hub will bring together business, research and government organisations to support food and beverages manufacturers and producers in South Australia. The hub will offer specialist advice, support, and tailored coaching.

Berry SME Export Hub –

The Berry Export Hub will target fruit growers in South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales, particularly berry growers. The hub is expected to facilitate increased berry production, export revenues, and employment.

Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday METS Export Hub –

This hub will develop and implement a targeted export strategy for the Mining Equipment, Technology and Services sector in the local region, and provide training, market intelligence, and financial support to local SMEs.

NSW Export Hub –

The hub will focus on three industry sectors: Mining Equipment, Technology and Services, food, and advanced manufacturing. The hub will provide an Export Hub manager for each industry sector to develop partnerships and benefits for SMEs, as well as services and training to help encourage and maximise entry into export markets.

Southern Queensland Innovation in Export Hub –

This Export Hub will improve the global reputation of food, agribusiness and oil and gas SMEs in Southern Queensland. The hub will encourage SMEs to develop a collaborative export culture within the region to promote its premium products and services, and provide professional support services and networking opportunities.

Orana Opportunity Network METS Export Hub –

Focused on supporting and developing SMEs in the local mining equipment, technology and services sector, the hub will identify commercial opportunities, facilitate increased investment, and help establish a local economic development strategy.

Gippsland Connect –

Focused on the food industry, this hub will support Gippsland agrifood SMEs to improve their capabilities, increase exports, and support business and industry growth. The hub will develop and implement an export strategy that connects Gippsland agrifood sector capabilities with export market demands.

The Australian Beef Export Capability Development Hub –

This Export Hub will develop export capability for SMEs in the Australian Wagyu industry by implementing Japanese Meat Image carcass grading cameras. The hub will help SMEs develop skills in the use of these cameras, enabling the Australian Wagyu industry to build on product quality and brand recognition.

Rail and Haulage Supply Chain Export Hub –

With a focus on the manufacturing industry, this Export Hub will deliver specialised education, and tailored support services to SMEs engaged in rail and haulage supply chain commercial enterprises, enabling them to develop the knowledge, capability and capacity to successfully export their products and services.

Capital Regions Export Hub ­–

Focused on the food industry, this Hub will provide a business assessment program and tailored advice to help SMEs understand capacity to export, and develop products and services for businesses considering exporting.


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