Labor launches start-up visas for graduates, entreprenuers
Posted on September 28, 2015
Visas for entrepreneurs and monetary support for local university students wanting to start their own businesses are the cornerstones of Labor’s innovation policies.
Up to 2000 foreign university graduates and 2000 entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business would be able to come to Australia under the new Start-up Entrepreneurial Visas.
To access the visas, entrepreneurs would need to show they had access to around $200,000 of capital. The visas would be valid for up to three years, after which time recipients could apply for an extension or permanent residency if all requirements had been met.
The graduates would be granted a visa for one year initially and this would be able to be extended if their business idea progressed significantly.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Australia could be in the top 10 per cent of countries globally when it comes to start-ups, if the right policies are implemented.
“There’s a lot more value to be created here if we’re imaginative, if we’re bold and if we’re willing to back our best and brightest,” he said.
“We will all be better off if we can win the competition with the rest of the world for the brain race.”
SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS
Labor also announced on Thursday a $5.5 million policy to support Australian university students who want to start their own business by creating a HELP loan of about $10,000 to fund a start-up year for graduates who want to participate in an accelerator program.
Well known start-up supporter and Labor MP Ed Husic said the party was willing to work with the Coalition to implement these ideas.
“Innovation doesn’t wait for elections,” he said.
Other initiatives announced included an Innovation Investment Partnership to bring together venture capital, superannuation funds and start-up stakeholders and $5 million over two years to support start-ups compete for government tenders.
VentureCrowd chief executive Rob Nankivell said the proposed financial help for graduates was a good idea but there needed to be wider-ranging measures to boost the ecosystem.
“We need to see a range of support mechanisms from the government, in particular for investors of all sizes … so the tax system can encourage participation in this section.”
Responding to Labor’s announcement, Coalition Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne, said innovation needed to be more than a “political buzzword”.
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