News Pulse for October 31, 2016

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

SMEs should consider cyber insurance safety net

Cyber-attacks, hacks, breaches, data loss, DDoS, ransomware and more are a fact of life, but so far it seems only the big end of town, not SMEs, receive the publicity. It is a case of when, not if, the Australian government will introduce mandatory data breach notification revealing the true extent of the pain.

Norton  by Symantec has done two proactive things. First, it has released a new independent survey of over 1000 Australian SMEs (small to medium enterprises from 1 to 250 employees) revealing that 19% have experienced a cyberattack, with expectations that that number will increase over the next 12 months. Second, it is throwing its commercial weight behind ways to make it easier for SMEs to get cyber insurance to help recover from attacks.

Uninsured, small Australian businesses breached at nearly twice the rate of the US

Australian small businesses are reporting cybersecurity breaches at nearly twice the rate of their counterparts in the US but are still proving slow to embrace cybersecurity insurance policies, a small-business security expert has warned as new research suggests SMBs are leaving themselves substantially exposed to damages from unchecked breaches.

Fair to become the new standard for small business contracts

In about two weeks’ time, a significant – but relatively little known – law will come into place that will help level the playing field for small businesses when entering into contract negotiations with larger companies.

At the moment, when a small enterprise enters into an agreement with a bigger business, it’s often finalised using what’s called a “standard form contract”.  On average, small businesses enter into about eight of these kinds of contracts a year.

Nationals payroll tax bid to prod economy

The WA Nationals will reveal a plan to drastically cut payroll tax for small to medium-sized businesses in an audacious, $800 million scheme aimed at stimulating the flagging State economy.

The policy, to be confirmed at the WA Nationals’ conference this weekend, comes as Brendon Grylls steps up his campaign to tax big mining companies.

WA Nats shape-up for ‘blood nose’ politics as Brendon Grylls maps out election battle plan

WA Nationals leader Brendon Grylls has promised “blood nose politics” as he pledged to crash or crash through with his plan to fix the budget and solve WA’s GST shortfall with a mining tax.

In a pugnacious keynote speech to the WA Nationals state conference in Geraldton, Mr Grylls hardened the policy battle lines from which his party will fight the next election.

Australian small businesses booming

AUSSIE workers are pinning down success by kickstarting their careers in small business, exclusive new figures show.

Smaller operators have grabbed the workplace limelight with almost half of those who have small business experience (47 per cent) admitting it was instrumental to them going on to having career or academic success.

muru-D guru seeks to shape Australia’s start-up future

Prominent technology entrepreneur and the latest entrepreneur-in-residence at Telstra’s muru-D, Ben Sand, is looking at the big picture as he gets ready to tend to the latest crop of entrepreneurs entering the telco’s start-up accelerator.

Mr Sand, the co-founder of augmented reality start-up Meta, recently stepped into the role at muru-D and says that he’s keen to play a role defining the culture that will underpin the future of Australia’s start-up system.

 

Census botch: Heads will roll … but whose?

Prime Minister Malcolm TurnbullThe Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Federal Member for Wentworth Prime Minister from 15.9.15 promised he would decide “which heads will roll and when” in the aftermath of the Census fiasco and a recent public hearing into what went wrong provides interesting clues as to whose blood could be spilt on the government’s guillotine.

The Prime Minister was given the report examining the Census night imbroglio by his special advisor on Cyber Security Alastair MacGibbon on October 14 and the Senate Economics References Committee  is due to release its report on what happened on November 24.

“We’ve Only Achieved 1% Of What We Know Is Possible,” Says CEO Of US$365m Startup Canva

A few short years ago Melanie Perkins was desperately pitching her graphic design start-up to investors, uncertain whether she’d secure the support necessary to fulfil her mission to democratise design. Today, she and co-founders Cliff Obrecht and Cameron Adams are being courted by large firms, keen to get in on the action.

Since launching three years ago, the home-grown graphic design start-up has amassed more than 10 million users from 179 countries plus a workforce of 120 across two offices – one in Surry Hills, Sydney; the other in Manila, the Philippines

Late Payments Impacting 3 In 4 Small Businesses

New research by MYOB highlighting the financial and emotional toll late customer payments are having on SME owners has prompted the cloud accounting provider to renew calls for federal government and big business to implement a solution.

The company’s latest SME Snapshot,  revealed 77% of business owners had been impacted by late payments. Notably, 35% said their personal finances had taken a hit, 32% reported their ability to cover expenses (e.g. rent and power) had been compromised and 52% indicated heightened stress and anxiety levels.

Elevacao’s Pitch Ready workshops a boon for tech start-up women

A recent Bloomberg study found private technology companies led by women are more capital-efficient, achieve 35 per cent higher return on investment and, when venture-backed, bring in 12 per cent more revenue than male-led tech companies.

Yet only 3 per cent of tech start-ups worldwide are led by women. It is a statistic that makes the corporate glass ceiling look like an affirmative action program.

Existing migrants giving newcomers a helping hand

Two members of Sydney’s Lebanese community are helping refugees and newly arrived migrants transition into Australian society with a new mentoring program.

They’re giving participants in the new start-up business program – Quest – access to their own skills, and those of other well-established entrepreneurs.

NRMA to buy 40pc stake in Divvy Parking start-up

The NRMA will purchase a 40 per cent stake in Divvy Parking, an aggressive transport technology start-up connecting commuters with under-utilised city parking spaces.

The motoring group would not divulge the cost of the acquisition negotiated under its new strategy of making city parking more ­accessible to its more than 2.4 ­million members across NSW and the ACT. However, a spokesman said the acquisition would involve periodical payments benchmarked to performance over a number of years.

Tyro’s new boss Gerd Schenkel says fintech revolution mostly hype

Tyro’s new boss, Gerd Schenkel, has warned the unfolding fintech revolution is mostly hype and it is debatable how many of the ­companies entering the fray will end up delivering real solutions to ­customers.

Mr Schenkel is a rare talent in the financial services space, having successfully combined his digital acumen with 17 years’ experience in the banking industry.

Tips, comments or suggestions? Let me know in the comments, send me an email or tweet me @simeonduncan.

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