The Andrews Government has announced a $250 million Victorian Business Growth Fund for small and medium enterprises, with Treasurer Tim Pallas today committing $50 million towards the fund and industry super funds, First State Super and VicSuper, both helping with its development.
The fund would invest in established small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to help them access capital, with the goal of them creating jobs to grow the Victorian economy. This came after repeated concerns from both the Reserve Bank and the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman that a lack of access to finance for SMEs was holding the state economy back.
“The Victorian Business Growth Fund will give some of our best small and medium sized businesses the incentive to take on new ventures and employ more Victorians,” Pallas said, with the Victorian Minister for Small Business, Adem Somyurek, adding that the fund would help SMEs break down the barriers they faced in obtaining the capital they needed to grow.
Both First State Super and VicSuper welcomed the opportunity to invest in a program that would help create long-term value for their members.
“So many promising small and medium-sized businesses are unable to reach their full potential because they simply can’t access the capital they need to take the next step,” First State Super’s chief executive, Deanne Stewart, said.
“As one of Australia’s largest super funds, we have long been looking for innovative ways to invest in successful small and medium-sized companies that are ready to expand, in turn creating new jobs and economic growth in regional and metropolitan communities.”
VicSuper chief executive, Michael Dundon, added: “The Victorian Business Growth Fund is an exciting example of how Government and super funds can think differently and work together to drive great outcome”.
Victorian Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade, Martin Pakula, noted that, as industry super was “a partner for people through their working life”, the Government was proud to join with the two funds to help provide jobs for Victorians.
The two super funds were still working with the Government to finalise the design of the fund, which would be subject to a formal agreement. An independent fund manager would be appointed through a competitive process.