The Victorian government has unveiled its new initiative, in partnership with First State Super, to support small to medium enterprises that want to grow but can’t raise the funds or find the right investment partner.
Recognising the difficulty small and medium businesses have in accessing capital amid a global coronavirus crisis, the state government has devised a plan that will see it invest in a business on commercial terms and take an equity stake in return for funds.
“This is a Victorian-first program that finds a new way of backing our local businesses to become bigger and better. We know access to capital is often a handbrake on growth — we’re fixing that,” Treasurer Tim Pallas said.
The Victorian government explained it will partner with the superannuation industry to back these businesses.
“Small- to medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of the Australian economy, and in the current environment, supporting them to grow and flourish has never been more important,” said First State Super chief executive officer Deanne Stewart.
“This investment will support economic recovery, create new jobs and help stimulate growth across the Victorian communities that need it the most.”
The state government hopes its new fund will help drive permanent, high-skilled jobs in priority areas of the economy, including jobs for the unemployed, for apprentices or people attempting to reskill.
The plan will operate for 10 years and will be managed by independent fund manager Roc Partners.
The state government has confirmed that all investment decisions will be made by Roc Partners based on a commercial assessment about the potential growth and return profile for the business, governed by an investment mandate agreed by the Victorian government and First State Super.
For more information about the Victorian Business Growth Fund or to apply online, visit dtf.vic.gov.au/businessgrowthfund.