SME snippets August 27, 2013

All the smaller, and often bizarre and humorous, SME-related stories from Australia and abroad that we’ve come across this week.

All the smaller, and often bizarre and humorous, SME-related stories from Australia and abroad that we’ve come across this week.

After threatening with a legal challenge, Coca-Cola has backed off of Sydney small business owner Annie Young (pictured, right) and her family iced tea business Teavolution. Teavolution produces iced tea under the trademark Honest Tea, which Young trademarked in Australia in 2005 to sell a range of homemade iced tea and tea leaf products online and at small markets and distributors. In 2011, Coca-Cola challenged the trademark after it bought out a US iced tea giant, also named Honest Tea, which had previously unsuccessfully challenged Young’s trademark in 2007. While relieved that the 18-month dispute is now over, Young the decision doesn't make up for toll inflicted on her business by having to fight the multinational giant. 

The Australian eGov Cluster is inviting innovative SMEs to build new digital government services for Canberra via the newly launched Digital Canberra Challenge. With $300,000 in funding kicked in from the ACT Government, the competition will see ACT public servants and members of the public put forward unresolved business ‘challenges’ relating to the delivery of government services, with local SMEs invited to submit conceptual solutions.The organisers will shortlist two submissions who will then work with the ACT Government and compete to develop their ideas into proof-of-concept prototypes within six months. The winning solution may be implemented in Canberra. The challenge is expected to stimulate innovation in electronic and mobile technologies, and improve community access to public sector services. All information can be found here.

A survey of around 500 SMEs in the UK has found that the majority of SMEs that have won business alongside larger partners could not have done so without them, suggesting that the potential success of SMEs in winning government and private sector contracts hinges on collaboration with larger firms. The survey adds that only six per cent of SME owners believing it has become easier to win these contracts independently in the last two years. The survey reveals that smaller businesses are still struggling to secure direct business from government, and many want to collaborate with larger suppliers and see doing so as the most viable route to winning large contracts.

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