The week in brief March 11 2015

All the smaller - and occasionally bizarre or humorous - business newspieces from Australia and abroad from the past week.

All the smaller - and occasionally bizarre or humorous - business newspieces from Australia and abroad from the past week.

A father-son duo who live on the outskirts of Byron Bay are behind one of the world's biggest crowdfunding successes to date. In a few short weeks, beekeepers Stuart and Cedar Anderson have raised a massive $US5.2 million on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo for a revolutionary beehive system they’ve invented that lets users to harvest honey on tap without disturbing the bee hive. The Andersons were only after $US70,000, which they scratched up on Indiegogo in a mere eight minutes. Within three hours they had $US1 million in pledges and pre-sales. Just a day later, it was $US2.18 million ($AU2.8M) and set a record for the most funds raised in a day. More than 92,000 people have pledged support, raising an average of $US53,000 an hour, with more than 10,000 products ordered. With a month to go, they’ve now raised more than $5 million in the most successful crowdfunding venture outside the US, with investors in 116 countries. Read more here.



Australian payments platform eWay – which is taking the fight to giant competitor PayPal – is becoming the preferred way to pay online with 67 per cent of shoppers choosing the startup when also given the choice of using PayPal. This is the feedback from a recent survey conducted of 1,094 online merchants using eWay and Paypal checkout options. The survey found that not only is eWay more often chosen to process the payment, but by including it as an option for customers, merchants are reporting an increase in their revenue. Of the 1,094 merchants, 518 who offered a second payment option in addition to PayPal saw an average revenue increase of 37 per cent. Read more here.


The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has launched Business Envoy, a new bi-monthly online publication that connects DFAT with business. It provides Australian business with a direct line to the Australian Government’s global diplomatic network, offering perspectives and insights on the economic and market impacts of geopolitical events and trends. Business Envoy draws on reporting and advice from Australian embassies and high commissions in key trade and investment markets, as well as analysis and assessments on international issues from DFAT in Canberra. If you’re keen, you can download the current issue of Business Envoy here.


Kristen Keegan, head of the Hunter Business Chamber, says supporting more women who run their own SME businesses could be the key to getting more women into boardrooms. As reported by the ABC, Keegan says only about three per cent of CEOs in Australia are women, while 32 per cent of women work in or own SMEs. While she would like to see more women heading up major companies, Keegan says there is a real and pressing need to support women working in small business. “The vexing issue we need to discuss with policy makers is, if the lion's share of women are working in small to medium enterprises, how do we boost them in what they're doing?," she said. Read more here.


Doom and gloom? What doom and gloom? New survey stats from Business Connector reveal that 54 per cent of Aussie companies raising capital are looking to raise $500K or more, which seems to dispel the myth that most companies are not raising enough funds. These findings and many more insights into the SME and start-up funding landscape are available through this Business Connector research report.

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