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Entrepreneurs should always have a seat at the table

Entrepreneurs should always have a seat at the table

Bruce Billson, federal minister for small business, federal member of Dunkley

SMEs are key to our nation’s economic prosperity and the jobs of our future. Everybody seems to be talking about it, but for those of us involved in small business - it isn’t a passing trend.

For this increased public profile to mean anything, it needs to translate to more people supporting their local corner store, boutique and cafe. It also requires any policy or reform discussion of national significance to consider and involve SMEs.

The Abbott coalition government made it clear from the outset this is what we would always do and made small business a cabinet portfolio at the last election. This enables me to ensure the opportunities and implications for small business are factored in to all policies discussed around the cabinet table.

We are committed to getting the settings right to give small business the best possible chance to thrive. That is why we developed the historic $5.5 billion growing jobs and small business package in this year’s budget.

This is in addition to our implementation of a range of other policies including changes to employee share schemes, the proposed unfair contract term protections and an ongoing commitment to removing the burden of red tape.

As I write this we are almost ready to tick off every single election commitment for small business as completed.

What we need is for useful discourse between business, industry, media and the community to also be about what we can do to secure the gain and opportunities offered in an increasingly global, contested and disrupted market place; and how we can best enable entrepreneurs to create the new businesses and modes of economic engagement that will deliver growth, prosperity and livelihoods for the future.

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I use the term ‘livelihoods’ as it is not just about the employment others may be in a position to offer for our job seekers because risk-takers and entrepreneurs see a genuine prospect of reward arising from their private endeavours.

Bruce Billson, federal minister for small business, federal member of DunkleyThe conversation needs to include what economic contri