News Pulse for November 24, 2016

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

Canberra’s small businesses optimistic despite skills shortages

A new survey shows Canberra’s small businesses are optimistic about their future and planning to diversify their services despite skills shortages and red tape hampering their growth.

The Deloitte Private SME Survey , a partnership between Deloitte and the Canberra Business Chamber, showed 90 per cent of small to medium enterprises wanted to grow their businesses. Eighty-one per cent were as or more optimistic about the next 12 months than they were in the previous year.

Foodora, Deliveroo face legal challenge over independent contractor claims

Food delivery services Foodora and Deliveroo are riding a wave of popularity with consumers. But like ride-sharing service company Uber before it, they face a legal challenge over the claim their army of cycle couriers are independent contractors, not employees.

“We think these companies are exploiting ambiguities in the law to underpay these workers and we are going to bring a case to make sure it stops,” said Daniel Victory, a lawyer at Maurice Blackburn, who is taking a test case to court.

Government tech changes to give startups a $560 million boost

The government will today outline plans to shake up the way it delivers services via technology, opening up as much as $560 million for spending with startups and smaller technology companies.

The moves come as part of a much-anticipated taskforce into government ICT procurement, which will be launched by Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor at an InnovationAus conference in Canberra.

This tech start up wants to help you take control of your future

For millennials today the prospect of owning a home is dwindling. That’s why, Bennetts says, superannuation is fast becoming our most important financial asset despite the fact that most of us have no idea where 9.5 per cent of our weekly pay income is going.

 

Cue Spaceship, the Australian tech start-up that is pioneering a place for millennials and their super by combining the tech-obsessed nature of today’s young adults with some serious maths to create solid investments in the future.

Australian businesses failing to address this issue lose more than $6.5 billion a year: Is your startup prepared?

Many Australians spend more time in an office than they do with their family and friends.

We’re averaging 46 hours a week looking at screens – most of it related to work – a good eight times more than the six hours we’re spending with family and friends, according to recent research research by R U OK?

Ideas boom or bust

A little less than a year ago, our newly anointed Prime Minister announced he was ushering in the “ideas boom” with a $1.1 billion innovation package. The start-up community lauded the government’s innovation agenda as transformational.

But has anything really changed for tech start-ups, or does Australia still have ‘room for improvement’ on its report card?

Fintech start-up Airwallex chipping away at the major players

Technology companies do not have to reinvent the industry they address – sometimes they can take a small slice of an enormous industry by being faster and cheaper.

The Melbourne start-up, Airwallex, is a case in point. Offering flat-fee pricing for foreign exchange transactions will not instantly challenge the big players but given that forex sees a global daily turnover of about $US1.4 trillion ($1.9 trillion), the year-old business does not need massive market penetration to be highly profitable.

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

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