NSW Government batting for small business

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The NSW Government has announced a new initiative to drive economic growth in the SME sector.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner announced the State Government’s new initiative ‘Innovate NSW’, a program aimed at addressing the State’s biggest growth barriers.

Backed by $6.7 million in funding over four years, Innovate NSW aims at driving collaboration between SMEs, researchers, corporations and users to develop innovative products, particularly in the State’s key priority sectors, which are the digital economy, manufacturing, professional services and international education and research.

Around 250 SMEs with high growth potential will be eligible to apply for up to $15,000 in financial assistance for market or technology validation opportunities.

“Priority will be given to key issues identified by the Industry Action Plans for manufacturing, professional services, the digital economy and international education & research, including port logistics, online education, agri-food manufacturing and energy technology and services,” said Stoner in a statement.

The initiative also plans to bring together a consortium of SMEs, larger companies, end-users and researchers to develop solutions and create opportunities.

“In a globally competitive environment we can no longer afford to allow limited resources, barriers to international markets, knowledge flows, weak intellectual asset management and lack of entrepreneurial capital act as brakes on our potential,” Stoner said.

The announcement of this opportunity was made in tandem with a range of ICT sector plans, announced by the NSW Digital Economy Industry Taskforce.

It also comes in the same year that NSW Trade and Investment cut small business events such as Small Business September, MicroBiz Week, the Women in Business mentoring program and the Young Entrepreneurs program that was met with criticism by the small business community.

Details for the application process and guidelines for funding will be released in the new year.