POSITIVE POLICY

Backing In Startups and Innovative Companies

Labor believes our potential as a nation comes from the creativity and ingenuity of Australians.

We know our future prosperity depends on harnessing Australian entrepreneurship and defining a new global market for world-leading Australian products.

Australia has an unprecedented opportunity to transition from an economy based on resources, primary industries and domestically focused businesses to one based on high-growth, knowledge-intensive businesses that can compete globally.

A Shorten Labor Government will work hand in hand with banks, the finance industry, venture capital and tens of thousands of Australian entrepreneurs to harness the smarts and skills of our people to drive economic growth and create the jobs of the future.

The recent Startup Economy study undertaken by PwC and commissioned by Google Australia projected that, in the right conditions, high-growth technology companies could contribute 4 per cent of GDP (or $109 billion) and add 540,000 jobs to the Australian economy by 2033 from a base of approximately 0.2 per cent of GDP today.

To support this transition, Labor will create a new $500 million Smart Investment Fund to back-in great Australian ideas and help them compete on the world stage.

The Smart Investment Fund will partner with venture capitalists and licensed fund managers to co-invest in early stage and high potential companies, providing a Commonwealth investment of up to 50 per cent of the start-up capital needed to help Australian companies commercialise their smart ideas and innovations.

The Smart Investment Fund will open two rounds over five years, with the intention of making it a rolling program, to develop an ecosystem for ongoing innovation and jobs.

In addition to providing a co-investment, businesses supported by the Smart Investment Fund will gain access to expert advice in commercialisation and access to international networks.

The Smart Investment Fund will be based on the successful Innovation and Industry Funds, which were created by the Howard Government in 1998 and cut by the Abbott Government in last year’s Budget.

More information about Labor’s positive plan is available here.