News Pulse for December 6, 2017

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

The gifts AI deliver for business

There is a lot of talk about the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI), and the amount of time that will be freed up for businesses. However, there is still confusion about how companies will actually use this free time productively, and how they will convert this time into greater value for consumers and increased overall business performance.

It’s important to understand the ways in which AI will result in increased productivity, particularly for Australia’s 2.1 million small businesses that form the backbone of the economy.

Amazon Australia launches

There’s been loads of excitement surrounding the launch of Amazon in Australia on Tuesday , but one e-tailer isn’t coming to the party.

Australia’s e-commerce giant, eBay, should be scared. Very scared. Because the world’s online retail behemoth, Amazon, is going to dominate in Australia and it’s going to hurt eBay’s bottom line.

Social enterprises are building a more inclusive Australian economy 

Social enterprises employ twice the rates of Australians with disability and female managers as mainstream small businesses. Our study of Victorian social enterprises also found 12% of jobs are held by previously long-term unemployed people (those who have been out of work for more than 12 consecutive months), and 2% by Indigenous Australians.

This shows that social enterprises are an important vehicle for the development of an inclusive economy — one that broadens economic participation is more equitable, stable, and sustainable.

One sale for the day: Small business off to a slow start on Amazon

Amazon’s launch on Tuesday was more of a whimper than a bang for Jessie Goh, who was one of the first group of small businesses on the platform.

After a day’s trading, the owner of baby and kids online boutique Summer Lane had sold only one product but was hopeful of more sales to come.

Amazon Australia has timed its launch perfectly for the Christmas period, but here’s how local retailers can survive

Amazon’s delayed start in Australia is seemingly not a huge handicap, with delivery tech startup Sendle revealing the peak of the shopping season is still almost two weeks away.

Industry analysts had predicted Amazon Australia would open as a general store in November, in time for the US shopping days known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday (November 24 and 27). However, system problems reportedly found during a soft-launch two weeks ago delayed its opening to the wider public.

ACCC to launch probe into Facebook, Google to understand impact on journalism, advertisers

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion.) will conduct an inquiry into the effect digital platforms such as Facebook and Google are having on competition in media and advertising services markets.

ACCCAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission The ACCC is Australia's competition regulator and national consumer law champion. Chairman Rod Sims said the commission will examine whether digital search engines, social media platforms, and other digital content aggregation platforms are exercising market power in commercial dealings to the detriment of consumers, media content creators and advertisers.

Government business registry platform request for information now open | The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP

The Turnbull Government has today opened a request for information (RFI) to explore solutions for a potential whole-of-government business registry platform.

In December 2016 the Government announced it would not proceed with the commercialisation of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASICAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. asic.gov.au) registry functions.

Reforming administration of tax deductible gift recipients | The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP

The Turnbull Government will reform the administration and oversight of organisations with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, announced today.

“These sensible reforms will enhance the role of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), strengthen governance arrangements, reduce administrative complexity and ensure continued trust and confidence in the sector,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

Fintechs baulk at lending rules

Fintechs have baulked at a proposal spearheaded by Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnell to beef up rules covering how they lend money to fledgling enter­prises.

The move, which industry sources said was led by the Square Peg-backed Prospa, comes amid renewed scrutiny of peer-to-peer lending by the corporate regulator, caused in part by its controversial new disclosure standard, RG97.

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