Small business has always been a key driver in the state’s economy. Innovation isn’t just a ‘nice to have’, but rather essential, for South Australia’s growth.
New innovation grants have been added to the 2016 Annual Small Business Statement – as the state continues to shake off its perception of Adelaide being a place that’s conservative with little opportunity.
On the cusp of economic transformation
This is particularly timely with the state’s recent setback from the traditional manufacturing industries which in the past provided many jobs. The 2016 Statement sets in motion three actions:
- Make South Australia the best place to do business
- Improve the operating environment for small businesses
- Help businesses to build their competitiveness
- Help position small businesses to gain and maintain a distinct competitive edge on a global stage
- Make it easier to find new business opportunities
- Connect businesses with new prospects and market opportunities.
To innovate, we need to take risks, which is what the Government is encouraging in their new Statement. The end goal? Creating future jobs and industries for tomorrow.
And with SA’s powerful blend of a strong research community, entrepreneurial businesses, creative groups, education system, links to global markets, and Government backing, it’s a great place to be right now.
2017 is the year to invest in your SA business
Take, for example, the Manufacturing Strategy. It aims to bring the industry back to a place of confidence for South Australia. The 10-year Manufacturing Works Program focuses on introducing new technologies and improved coordination with research outcomes. In 2015 alone, 290 new jobs were created, adding $26 million to the state’s economy. This year there is an emerging priority to connect inventors and people who want to make ‘things’ to manufacturers keen to explore new applications, products and markets.
And then there’s the Innovation Voucher Program aimed at SMEs looking to conduct research and development. Eligible businesses can access up to $50,000 for technical research, design validation, prototype development, and innovation processes.
Business missions with Asia, Europe & Middle East
SA businesses looking to export into international markets have access to support and connections. Some of the focus regions include the Middle East and North Africa, South East Asia, China, Europe, North Asia, and India.
The Government will accompany business owners to these regions to help SMEs meet importers, secure orders, connect with investment partners, and understand local laws. There is also the opportunity to meet incoming delegations including those co-hosted by Workforce BluePrint from Ecuador, Philippines and Indonesia.
Breaking barriers for international growth with engagement strategies
Australia has always had close ties with Asia, and this will strengthen with the SE Asia and China engagement strategies.
In 2013-14, SE Asia accounted for 15% of the State’s merchandise exports, the second largest proportion after China alone. Latest figures show Vietnam is the front runner, with Malaysia and Indonesia a close second and third.
Copper, wheat, lead, wine, and seafood are popular merchandise exports. The region is expected to become the world’s fourth largest economy by 2050 – and SA will have a first-class ticket. China and India remain strong with their own individual engagement strategies. Closer ties have formed between SA and Europe to increase exporters – with hopes to increase direct investment and expand trade where R&D is a particular focus.
Cutting the red tape for global growth
Manufacturing, wine, food and professional services are the most popular industry sectors for South Australian exporters. The SA Government is tapping into the top new markets, including China, Europe, and South East Asia with increased grant and travel opportunities.
New investment and exporting capacity is making it possible for small, South Australian businesses to thrive locally and internationally. With less hoops to jump through, small business are very likely to bring our economy to Australia’s front stage.
If you would like to know more about building your export capability and making international connections, please contact Wendy Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org.