The Turnbull government's change of strategy will be a wonderful thing for Australian SMEs - and here's why.
Prime Minister Turnbull yesterday launched the National Innovation and Science Agenda, a plan devised to push things forward in Australia, rather than have us patiently wait for the mining industry to magically regain its former glory.
Over $1 billion will be invested in new business and technologies over the next four years, a move that is possible as welcome as it is late. Australia has fallen behind when it comes to innovation despite having universities that consistently top the highest-ranking lists in the world. It will help us secure our own economy by investing in burgeoning talents rather than discouraging any and all but the biggest firms from taking some calculated risks. For SMEs in particular there are some great changes embedded in the new agenda. The new regulations around insolvency will provide some support for risk-taking, something that was lacking under Abbott.
It's long overdue that Australia picks up the pace and invests in innovation and technology in a major way and PM Turnbull is already showing himself to be up to task in a way the former Prime Minister was not. Already we're seeing practical initiatives rather than the endless posturing we had gotten used to and SMEs will benefit from this new realism more than anyone. The new regulations surrounding company losses is one of the strongest initiatives within the plan because it will assist in encouraging business owners and entrepreneurs to dust themselves off and try again, rather than be completely weighed down under the pressure of a company loss.
But the most important factor is without a doubt what has been named the "Digital Marketplace" in the agenda. It entails dividing large government IT-projects into smaller segments, which will open up a whole new market for SMEs. That this hasn't been put into place sooner is more than a little bit strange, it should be obvious to anyone that competition will only help these industries and the effect is a stronger economy and a great IT sector. It's unquestionable that to compete in the future a country absolutely has to invest in IT and technology.
For new start-ups and small businesses to grow a solid support structure needs to be in place, and this agenda will provide exactly that support structure. There will be a new interaction between innovation within institutions like universities and commercial businesses, which will ensure Australia does not allow itself to become out-dated and outpaced but rather takes up the race against the US and Asia in developing and integrating new technology. A flourishing community of innovators and entrepreneurs is the best way to achieve a strong and healthy economy. It's not only a new government, but in so many ways it's also a new Australia.