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ASB is calling on entrepreneurs across the country to apply for one of four $50,000 grants to help them bring an innovative business idea to life.

The $200,000 grant pool is part of the ASB Backing Business series on TVNZ, which celebrates Kiwi businesses that have used COVID-19 as a springboard to reinvent themselves in the face of unprecedented challenges.

ASB executive general manager for Business Banking Tim Deane says the grants are aimed at inspiring businesses to keep adapting and innovating so they can come through COVID on a firm footing.

“Through the ASB Backing Business series on TVNZ, we’re hearing some incredible stories from businesses that are embracing the challenges of the past few months and using them to their advantage, coming up with new ways of doing business, or completely new business ideas.

“There’s no doubt it’s tough out there for some, but at ASB we’re also witnessing some incredible Kiwi ingenuity and resilience and we want to celebrate and nurture that.

“It’s fantastic to be partnering with TVNZ to highlight the can-do Kiwi attitude but it’s just 10 episodes and we know there is a lot more creativity and innovation out there that just needs that extra financial push. We can’t wait to hear these ideas and to help put them into action.”

To enter, businesses need to share how they would use the $50,000 grant to innovate in this time of change. An ASB panel will make the selection with the four chosen businesses announced early next year.

The ASB Backing Business Grant is the latest in a range of initiatives supporting small businesses this year. It includes the launch of the ASB Business Hub, the Borrow the All Blacks, Black Ferns and Maori All Blacks campaign where ASB shared its New Zealand Rugby sponsorship with 100 SMEs across the country, and Borrow Eden Park where Kaikoura fish and chip shop Cooper’s Catch was gifted naming rights to the park for Bledisloe Cup week.

Mr Deane says, “It can be tempting for business to stop innovation spend in challenging periods like this, but we want to inspire businesses to keep adapting so they don’t just survive but thrive in a post-COVID world.”

ASB Backing Business airs Mondays on TVNZ1 at 7:30pm. ASB’s Backing Business Grant sits alongside a range of ASB initiatives aimed at helping small businesses through COVID-19. Visit the ASB Business Hub at for more information.

About ASB’s Backing Business Grant

·       SME businesses across New Zealand will be able to enter the draw to win one of four $50,000 business grants to help them with their business.

·       The grant is open to all New Zealand SMEs not just ASB customers. 

·       Businesses applying for the grant will be asked to share what they would do with the $50,000 to innovate in this time of change.  

·       The competition will be run through TVNZ channels. TVNZ will host the entry form on their ASB Backing Business programme page.  

·       A panel across ASB will be formed to select the four winners.

·       Winners will be announced in early 2021