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Study urges continued incubator funding

A STUDY by Pricewaterhouse-Coopers has found that Federal Government funding should be continued to small business

incubators.

Prior to the release of the National Review of Small Business Incubators in Australia study findings, funding to small business incubators had been suspended.

Small business incubators are designed to help establish new and growing businesses by providing premises, advice, services and other support.

The ‘incubation’ period usually ranges from one to three years.

Incubators have been part of the key to Israel’s success in the international information technology market.

There are nine Federal Government-supported business incubators in WA including the Bassendean Enterprise Centre, the Coastal Business Centre, the Rockingham Business Development Centre and the Wheatbelt Business Incubator.

The review found there was scope to improve the performance of a significant number of existing incubators and ensure better support and outcomes for incubators seeking future Federal funding.

A number of changes to improve the overall monitoring, management and performance of the incubator funding program will be made including:

• Strengthened incubator program guidelines to ensure funding closely relates to performance and achieving best practice

• More flexible funding arrangements to encourage development of the most appropriate and best performing incubator proposals

• An independent review process for new funding applications and feasibility studies to strengthen proposals and improve

viability

• Improved reporting, accountability and monitoring standards for all incubators

• Annual awards, sponsored by the Federal Government, to recognise achievement among incubators.

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