Wednesday 15 May, 2013
The budget's funding of an extra $700 million will stimulate innovation and growth for Australia's small business entrepreneurs. Knows as 'Venture Australia', the initiative will provide high risk capital (venture capital) to Australian businesses to help them innovate, grow and become globally competitive. Whilst previous access to government grants has proved burdensome, this package comes in a number of guises so that more businesses can receive the help they need. The grants may be in the form of cash hand-outs, matched funding or subsidised business advice. As the founder of a small business myself, OneShift, I personally understand how access to finance and associated business advice is often a major hurdle for growing enterprises. So how do businesses get this 'free' money? To begin with, the business needs to identify a need in the community that is currently lacking. Good ideas are essential but a business also needs to be able to market their case and prove that they know how to put it all together. So far, medical technology companies, outdoor ping pong and a chocolate shop have all received funding - I'm sure we can all recognise the real 'need' of the chocolate business. Advice on how to apply for these grants can be found here, sometimes, a business qualifies in 2-3 weeks. In many respects, small businesses were not the overall 'winners' of the budget. As the NSW Business Chamber states: 'Fees and taxes are up by $25 billion over the forward estimates and even though small business owners will only pay some of this directly, higher taxes mean less consumer spending and lower revenue.' The Venture Australia program however, will provide many small businesses around Australia the opportunity for future growth.