News Pulse for June 15, 2017

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

Concerns raised over “black market” for unpaid interns but employers want candidates with “common sense”

Small businesses should plan out intern programs and be careful the enthusiasm of young workers doesn’t put them in a tricky position down the line, say researchers, with recent studies suggesting the connection between unpaid work and future employment isn’t always clear.

The Australian reports recent research from academics at the University of Adelaide, University of Technology Sydney and Queensland University of Technology indicates that while more than half of young Australians are likely to have completed unpaid work, there’s not a large amount of clear evidence that this work led to future career prospects.

NBN fail: ‘Streets are being deliberately left off the grid’

TIM Norris’ internet is so slow, he’s considering moving his small IT business into his home where he already has an NBN connection.

The frustration for Mr Norris, who lives in the small town of Dungog in the Hunter region of NSW, is that houses just a few streets away have had fibre speeds of up to 100Mbps since the February switchover, when 100 businesses and homes on the main street were excluded without explanation.

Fewer companies hit the wall in April

THE number of companies hitting the wall has dipped, ­ latest statistics reveal, although retailers continue to be well represented among the victims.

Some 590 companies went insolvent in April, down 21 per cent on a month earlier, ­according to insolvency specialist FTI Consulting.

Palaszczuk Government strategy helps hundreds of Qld small businesses

The PalaszczukThe Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk (pr. Pal-a-shay), Premier of Queensland and Minister for the Arts from 16.2.2015 Government’s $22.7 million Advancing Small Business Queensland Strategy 2016-2020 continues to deliver on its commitment to grow the sector and create jobs.

Small Business Minister Leeanne Enoch said the strategy – launched almost a year ago – is providing small businesses with the support they need to succeed.

Don’t let your SMB become a cybercrime stat

Today, the reality is that Australian start-ups and small business organisations face unprecedented security challenges. According to the 2017 Norton SMB Security Survey, 19% of Australian small businesses have been hit by a cyber attack.

At the same time, Gartner says that in 2016, total external spending on cyber security by Australians and Australian organisations reached A$3.46 billion, and it is estimated that organisations spent a further A$919 million on their internal cyber security functions.

The industry secretly flourishing within fintech

Regulating financial innovation is “in the public interest”, and regtech startups are here to do just that.

Outside of the room, most people couldn’t tell you what “regtech” was. But the energy felt at’s Regtech Australia Forum was in a similar line to fintech events held one or two years ago. There was a sense of hopeful camaraderie and excitement at the prospect of being present at the early stages of something big.

This is the memo Telstra’s CEO sent to staff about cutting 1400 jobs

Telstra’s plan to sack 1400 employees as part of a $1 billion cost-cutting drive was leaked to the media on Wednesday morning before management had a chance to brief staff.

Now the message explaining the rationale to the telco’s employees (full transcript below) reveals chief executive Andrew Penn blaming technology and the NBN for the need to trim the 32,000-strong workforce.

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