Any private sector firm that has been operating for at least 2 years and is currently in the area served by Top Energy’s network from Hukerenui in the south to Cape Reinga in the north, can pitch for financial support on any idea or initiative that helps grow and diversify the local economy. For example, it could be new product innovation, marketing initiative, an export promotion programme or a value-added opportunity.

This is a competitive grant. A judging panel will decide whether submissions in Stage 1 qualify and will then invite those winning submissions to enter into Stage 2. In the event that the judging panel decides that there are no suitable submissions, Top Energy reserves its right not to award a grant. Top Energy also reserves its right to split a single $30,000 grant between several winning submissions.

Q4 Stage 1 Submission Dates

Entries Open

Entries closed

Entry Deadline


Stage 2 Finalists notified



Q4 Stage 2 Submission Dates (Finalists)

Entry Deadline


Winner Announced


Business Development Fund - Stage 1 application

Application Criteria:

  • The business must have been trading for more than one year and have at least a set of 1 year's financial accounts.
  • You will be asked to demonstrate the level of your investment in the business for the new initiative. 
  • Only one application per applicant per year will be considered.
  • Applications are invited from the area served by Top Energy’s network only, from Hukerenui in the south to Cape Reinga in the north.
  • Top Energy Business Development Fund grants are available to private sector (for profit) businesses only.
  • The Top Energy Business Development Fund grant is open only to established businesses operating for two years or more.  

Applying for a Top Energy Business Development Fund grant is a two-stage process:


Stage 1 

Complete the fields below summarising the nature of your business and the idea or initiative for which you seek a grant. 

The deadline for Stage 1 submissions is 5pm on Friday 19 April 2024.

Stage 2

Successful applicants will be invited to complete a broader and more detailed questionnaire.

The name of your business and a brief summary of what it does. It should also indicate how long your business has been operating.
A comprehensive description of the innovative idea or initiative for which the grant would be used.
An explanation of why you believe the idea or initiative meets the criterion of "growing or diversifying the local economy".
An explanation of why or how your believe the initiative would succeed in expanding/growing your business.

Next Steps:

We will notify you by Wednesday, 1 May 2024, whether or not you will be invited to take your submission to the next stage.

If you are successful, the deadline for the next stage of your submission will be Tuesday, 4 June 2024. A short list of finalists may be interviewed by the judging panel.

The 2024 Q2 Grant winner will be announced by Friday, 14 June 2023.

Important Notes:

  • All information disclosed in this entry form and any attachments is STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL and, outside the Awards Judging Panel, will not be disclosed to any third party. An objective and robust judging system assesses performance against specific business criteria. 
  • The Grant is awarded on a $ for $ basis. Applicants must show proof that they have the capacity to self-fund an amount equal to the amount requested, either in cash or in equity. 
  • Only one application per applicant per year will be considered.
  • Applications are invited from the area served by Top Energy’s network only, from Hukerenui in the south to Cape Reinga in the north.
  • Top Energy Business Development Fund grants are available to private sector organisations only.
  • Funds cannot be used to pay for retrospective purchases/funding arrangements.
  • Retail businesses are not encouraged to enter because, in our opinion, it is unlikely that retail ideas or initiatives will offer the broad economic growth potential we are looking for. However, retail applicants who feel that they can demonstrate that their ideas and initiatives will have Far North-wide or otherwise significant economic impact may apply and be considered for grants in certain circumstances.
  •  The Top Energy Business Development Fund grant is for the sum of $30,000 and is awarded every six months. Top Energy intends to award each grant to the most deserving applicant to make a meaningful contribution to the applicant’s success and, in turn, the economic growth of the Far North. However, Top Energy reserves the right to split the grant between several applicants if it believes this is of greater economic benefit. 
  •  The Top Energy Business Development Fund grant is open only to established businesses that have been operating for two years or more.  
  • The judging panel's decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.


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