Start Up Australia opens free classes for entrepreneurs

A startup initiative launched by the federal government and sponsored by industry players has announced a free online school for people wanting to start a business in Australia.

Federal Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson, on Wednesday launched the not-for-profit organisation Start Up Australia. Founding sponsors include American Express, MYOB, The Fortune Institute and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Start Up Australia will offer a free “Entrepreneur Academy” for anyone that wants to start a business but lacks the necessary skills and confidence, the group said. The academy includes an online five-day conference with 50 Australian business leaders and a 12-week small business MBA.

The program is based on a model established in 44 countries including Canada, the UK, and the US.

“There are more than two million active small businesses in Australia employing around 42 per cent of private sector workers, making a vital contribution to the Australian economy,” Billson said.

“Together we need to support the inspiration behind the creation and growth of start-ups; the invention of new technologies, products and services to boost Australia’s economic activity and international competitiveness.”

American Express Australia Managing Director, Rachel Stocks, said Start Up Australia “has the potential to fuel significant growth of the Australian small business economy and we are thrilled to be part of it.”

“Anyone with the passion and dedication to see their dreams of starting a business realised deserves all the support and encouragement possible.”

MYOB CEO Tim Reed said it’s critical to inspire Australians to build startups.

“We know it takes courage, hard work and determination to start and run a business and the rising rate of insolvency shows how much encouragement today’s potential entrepreneur needs to move a business idea into reality.”

John Osborn, chief operating officer of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also welcomed the initiative.

"At every level of government, regulation is suffocating small business and entrepreneurship. We must achieve a bipartisan commitment to making it easier for startups to establish and become successful innovators and wealth creators.”

Adam Bender covers startup and business tech issues for Techworld and is the author of dystopian sci-fi novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall. Follow him on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Techworld Australia on Twitter: @Techworld_AU

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