What is the Creative Enterprises Program?

The Creative Enterprises Program provides four-year investment in medium to large creative organisations and smaller organisations positioned for sustainable growth. The funding invests in the leadership, organisational infrastructure, and capacity of non-government creative industry organisations to deliver on the Victorian Government’s Creative State 2025 priorities.

The program has three streams:

  • First Peoples – recognising and embracing Aboriginal self-determination principles
  • Industry service organisations – recognising their role in delivering capability strengthening within the sector
  • Creative organisations – recognising a record of achievement in the development and delivery of creative programs.

Who can apply?

As this program is targeted towards not-for-profit, non-government, medium and larger organisations, or smaller organisations positioned for sustainable growth, your organisation needs to have a formal governance structure (legally constituted), annual financial budgeting and reporting, and be guided by a strategic plan that includes an annual operational or business plan.

The Creative Enterprises Program Guidelines provides details on all the requirements of this program including eligibility criteria.

Applications are invited from across the creative industries, including:

  • circus and physical performance
  • contemporary dance
  • design
  • digital games
  • fashion
  • industry service organisations
  • literature
  • multidisciplinary practice
  • music
  • screen
  • sound art
  • theatre
  • visual arts/craft.

What are the benefits of the Creative Enterprises Program?

This multi-year financial investment will help your organisation to:

  • contribute to the quality and reputation of the Victorian creative industries
  • develop mid to long-term strategies to increase operational viability
  • develop markets and audiences through the diversity of creative content/programming
  • grow employment for a diverse cohort of creatives and creative workers
  • strengthen capabilities within the sector
  • contribute to the development of an engaged, contemporary and equitable creative sector.

See Creative State 2025

What type of organisations can apply for this program?

The program is open to eligible non-government and not-for-profit creative organisations and service organisations across all creative fields that:

  • have operated as a legally constituted entity for a minimum of four years
  • are based in Victoria (i.e. have their primary operational/administrative office in Victoria) and whose activities predominantly benefit Victorians
  • can demonstrate the delivery of creative programs or services to the creative industries sector for four consecutive years or more
  • have a formal governance structure, annual financial budgeting and reporting, and are guided by a strategic plan that includes an annual operational or business plan
  • can demonstrate an average total income of at least $200,000 per year over the past three years.

Who is not supported through this program? 

  • Local government authorities or their business units
  • Academic and tertiary training institutions and/or entities controlled or owned by tertiary institutions
  • Organisations whose primary focus is the delivery of competitions, awards or fundraising activities
  • Organisations that have applied to the Creative Ventures Program
  • Applicants that have an overdue and unsubmitted Creative Victoria (or former Arts Victoria) acquittal.

If our organisation isn’t currently legally constituted, can we apply for the Creative Enterprises Program?

No. Your organisation must have operated as a legally constituted entity for a minimum of four years.

To be legally constituted, your organisation will need to be a public entity (a company structure or an incorporated association) registered with either Consumer Affairs Victoria, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and/or the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations (ORIC).

How will the First Peoples stream be assessed?

Applications from First Peoples-led organisations will be assessed by external First Peoples creative industry peers. This embeds Aboriginal self-determination into the assessment process.

How will applications from non-Indigenous organisations engaging First Peoples be assessed?

Applications from non-Indigenous organisations that contain First Peoples content will be reviewed by First Peoples Panels to ensure best practice cultural protocols are reflected in applications and that content aligns with our commitment to First Peoples.

As a non-Indigenous led organisation applying for this program how do we demonstrate our commitment to First Peoples First in our application?

Your organisation needs to demonstrate that it has correct protocols in place when working with First Peoples artists, content, or communities. Activity that doesn’t demonstrate correct protocols will not be supported.

Please submit appropriate documentation if you propose to work with First Peoples stories/cultural material that is not your own, such as letters of confirmation from the First Peoples artists/ participants/ Board member/staff member.

Refer to the Australia Council’s Protocols For Using First Nations Cultural And Intellectual Property In The Arts, in particular the checklist on pages 168 to 172.

Appropriate documentation must also be submitted if you intend to work and engage with First Peoples, including a cultural safety plan, and practices and protocols for employment of and/or engaging with First Peoples.

Refer to DHHS Cultural Safety Framework Part 1 and DHHS Cultural Safety Framework Part 2 for guidance.

We’re an organisation that’s eligible to apply for this program and have been working with another liked-minded organisation. Can we apply to this program as a partnership?

We encourage and welcome applications from partnerships where a consortium of small non-government organisations (NGO) not-for-profit (NFP) creative organisations unite to achieve economies of scale, expand impact and collaborate.

A lead organisation may apply on behalf of the consortium and is required to meet the program eligibility criteria. The benefits of the partnership need to be demonstrated for all partnering organisations.

Your application must include a formal recognition of the partnership (e.g. signed Memorandum of Understanding or other documentation detailing the financial and organisational contribution of each organisation) and ideally, a joint strategic plan.

The joint plan should be developed and endorsed by the partners, and set out the shared benefits, direction, activities, arrangements/operations/management and strategy of the endeavour. This joint strategic plan is in addition to all the documents listed in the Creative Enterprises Program Guidelines, Application Support Material and Documents section that need to be submitted by each organisation.

Discuss your partnership application with the Creative Enterprises Program staff before submitting.

Contact the Creative Enterprises Program team

What happens if I have been successful?

If your funding application is successful, you’ll receive a funding agreement between the Victorian Government and your Organisation, outlining the conditions for funding, payment information and reporting requirements.

What are the reporting obligations for this four-year funding program?

Recipients of the Creative Enterprises Program need to meet annual reporting milestones including commencement, end-of-year financial and activity reporting using the Creative Victoria online Reporting Portal. An updated strategic plan may also be required during the four-year period. All organisations must also provide a mid-year financial report by submitting the organisation’s six-month financial reports (Profit and Loss statement and Balance Sheet). A schedule of milestones and reporting requirements is included in the funding agreement.

There may be a requirement for quarterly reporting for organisations funded over $500,000 per annum.

If our organisation receives Creative Enterprises Program funding, are we eligible to apply for project funding?

Please refer to Creative Victoria’s website for up-to-date information on funding opportunities and eligibility requirements.

If our organisation receives this funding, can we auspice or apply on behalf of a creative or organisation we’re working with as part of our annual program?

Yes. An organisation funded through the Creative Enterprises Program can auspice an independent creative or other entity for project funding.