Startups vs SME

STARTUP vs SME (Small to Medium Enterprise)

STARTUP vs SME Gippsland Business Incubator

If we say the word ‘startup’, most people picture a small business that consists of 10 employees, with a vision that’s bigger than the office they work in. Well this isn’t far from the truth. However, these trailblazers bring something special to the world that sets them apart from other entrepreneurs.  Ensuring that the product/service is perfect for the market, the business will grow fast, and having a team that knows how to recover, the skies the limit for an aspiring startup.

By definition, a startup is a ‘temporary organisation that is searching for a repeatable and scalable business model’. But what does that mean in simple terms? Let’s remove the jargon and break it down…


A startup is a business with high impact potential, that is looking to grow to national or international markets. Startups focus on achieving rapid growth and dominating in a niche space. These businesses are looking to scale to a national or international level, using technology to stand out within their industry, and to provide something fresh and innovative.

On the flips side, we have the “small to medium sized enterprise”. (“SME”).


An SME is typically interested in providing a service or product to a smaller area, with a focus on sustainability. These are what we call your typical “bricks and mortar” businesses.

SMEs focus on using “tried & tested” products or services to support a smaller community, placing a high value on face to face support.  The key priorities of SMEs differ to those of startups in that they can operate using the conventional technology that is already available. Technology and innovation are not as important to SMEs — the goal is to achieve a sustainable and stable business.

Both Startups and SMEs are founded by entrepreneurs, and whilst they may appear the same at first, they are chalk and cheese when it comes to their objectives and methods of working.


Apply Now.

Applications for the Startup Gippsland Incubator Program are now open. 

If you have an idea, or are in the early stages of your business with a goal to scale to both national and international markets, then apply now. Through this tough time, you can innovate! 

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