REDARC is backing community scheme launched by Beyond Bank who will be offering grants over the next five years in Adelaide and northern South Australia with a further $600,000 nationally spread across the same period.
Anthony Kittel, Managing Director REDARC Electronics, who was the 2013 Central Region Technology category winner of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year and the 2014 Telstra Australian Business of the Year believes the scheme will be an important contribution to help start-ups and will encourage innovation.
“The entrepreneurial spirit is thriving in South Australia,” said Mr Kittel. “We know from the business community that there is strong creative thinking and savviness in finding niches in the marketplace and we need to support these types of initiatives.”
“Providing support for budding entrepreneurs is critical, both in terms of assisting with making their dreams a reality, but also to the local community in terms of potential new jobs, investment and economic development.”
Community Development general manager Peter Rutter said the bank wanted to support the economic contribution entrepreneurs make with a grant program to help start-ups become up and running or to propel a business beyond the initial growth phase. The grants will be funded via the bank’s charitable arm, the Beyond Bank Foundation, which is committed to strengthening the fabric of local communities.
Applicants will need to nominate the level of funding they need and demonstrate the community impact of their business idea, such as the potential for job creation and local economic benefit Mr Rutter said.
“We see time and again the biggest challenge entrepreneurs face is access to funding and support to help them grow their idea, either at the feasibility or planning level, or to secure funds in the start-up phase as expenses start to mount,” he said.
The bank is also keen to help by developing shared workspaces, crowd-funding, training, education and local government initiatives he said.
“We recognise it isn’t just about the money and that helping provide access to support can really fast track development so that ultimately the business has a greater chance of succeeding.”
Mr Rutter said applications for the initial phase of the funds will be open until the end of next month with no limit on the particular industry applicants may wish to work in.