News & Information

Farewell Bruce Billson your passion for small business will be sorely missed

Bruce Billson was arguably one of the most passionate and focused Small Business Ministers Australia has seen. During his relatively short time in the role he achieved a lot and yet he left unfinished business in the form of the “Effects Test”. His successor will have her tenure as Small Business Minister put to the test over this critical decision. 

Business incubators and start-up accelerators: Valuable assets or a waste of time and money?

Business incubators are organisations that provide support to start-up and early stage businesses through the provision of facilities, mentoring and coaching, training, networking and seed capital financing. The first business incubator is thought to have been established in Batavia, New York in 1959 within an abandoned Massey Ferguson tractor factory.

Boosting commercialisation of research poses a big challenge for universities

Universities will need to change their missions and policies to break down the layers of bureaucracy and develop more entrepreneurial cultures. They will also have to change their performance management systems to encourage more industry engagement.

Small firms and the digital economy

Most small to medium enterprises (SMEs) will face the challenges and opportunities of the global trend towards digital, online and mobile technologies transforming markets. Yet many are not prepared and seem unwilling or unable to embrace this technology. A review of recent academic research suggests there are many benefits, but also some risks for SMEs in the digital economy. However, the overall message is that an SME is better to engage with the digital economy than to try to ignore it. Yet owner-managers need help to become better educated and assisted to adopt and implement this technology.

Healthiness of Business Ecosystems

This research project entitled, “Healthiness of Business Ecosystem Index (HeBEx)” seeks to identifyand substantiate rules to assess the relative healthiness of countries and the organizations thatcomprise them–creativity through exploration, opportunity through niche creation, productivitythrough exploitation, entrepreneurship, and reinvestment, through the establishment of the HeBExInstitute. In this research, 46 countries have been analyzed in relation to the aforementioned indices, andranked in comparison to one another. Hopefully, this research could provide an insight as to how wecould all improve, and become a starting point for further development and growth in the future.

Entrepreneurial ecosystems and the role of regulation and infrastructure

If we take an ecosystem’s perspective, the ability of businesses to start-up, grow, employ people and generate economic growth, will be enhanced if the macro-conditions within their environment are appropriately configured. Poor infrastructure and excessive regulation and compliance costs will impede economic growth and stifle long term prosperity.

Entrepreneurial ecosystems and the role of government policy

In the first of a series of SEAANZ White Papers on the growth and sustaining of entrepreneurial ecosystems, we provide an overview of what comprises an entrepreneurial ecosystem, and the role played by government policy in their development. As the paper’s recommendations suggest, it is important that government policy supports the creation of these ecosystems, but it should not focus purely on start-ups or trying to replicate Silicon Valley. It is better to build on existing industries and develop their growth organically. All sectors, not just high-tech industries need to be considered. Government policy should be designed to lead but to also delegate responsibility to local and regional actors. Attention needs to be given to both firm level “transactional” issues (e.g. tax policy, ‘red tape’ reduction), and management level “relational” issues (e.g. strategic thinking, network development). 

Cash flow and working capital management are critical to small business success

In a review of 18 recently published research papers the importance of effective management of cash flow and working capital was highlighted. Small business owner-managers need to learn how to manage the cash conversion cycle, and improve their working capital management. In particular they need to focus on managing accounts receivable and payable, plus their inventory turnover. No surprises here perhaps, but sadly far too few do this well. 

Call for papers Indigenous Enterprise and Small Business Special Issue

Papers are invited for this special issue of Small Enterprise Research devoted to indgenous enterprise and small business.

Special Issue Editor: Professor Dennis Foley, University of Newcastle, Australia.

Indigenous communities or 'first nations' can be found around the world from the Inuit, Ainu and Sami people in Canada, Japan and Norway, to the Aboriginal, Maori and San people of Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Although these communities have many differences in language, culture and appearance, they all share a common characteristic of being minorities in their own land. Most Indigenous communities have suffered from dispossession of their traditional lands, plus economic and social marginalization. Economic self-determination for these communities can be achieved via entrepreneurship and small enterprise activities. This special issue examines the state of research, policy and practice in the field of Indigenous enterprise and small business.

Call for papers Freelancers and Independent Contractors Special Issue

Papers are invited for this special issue of Small Enterprise Researchdevoted to Freelancers and Independent Contractors. 

Special Issue Editors: Dr Tui McKeown and Dr Robyn Chochrane, Monash University Australia.

The world of work has seen the downsizing and outsourcing of work that once took place as part of a conventional employer-employee relationship. However, today there are a significant number of self-employed independent contractors or 'freelancers' working with and within organisations. The concept of a 'freelancer' remains vaguely defined in law and poorly understood within the academic literature. Definition of this type of micro-enterprise is also poor with the word 'freelancer' used in conjunction with 'independent contractor' and other terms. This special issue seeks to understand the nature, characteristics, contributions and challenges facing the freelancer. It also seeks to identify current research activity and directions for future research into this important and growing form of small business.