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Industry Statement delivers for small business.



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1 May 2007 07/154

INDUSTRY STATEMENT DELIVERS FOR SMALL BUSINESS

The Industry Statement will deliver a $14.3 million boost to small businesses seeking to develop their business skills.

The Building Entrepreneurship in Small Business (BESB) programme will receive an additional $2.6 million in 2007-08 and a further $11.7 million to extend the programme to 2008-09.

The new funding was announced today by Prime Minister John Howard and Small Business and Tourism Minister Fran Bailey.

"Australia's 1.88 million small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They are a vital source of jobs, exports and innovation. Through the BESB programme, the Australian Government is developing the entrepreneurial skills of small business operators as part of our strong commitment to the sector," Fran Bailey said.

The BESB programme funds third party service providers to deliver skills development, mentoring, succession planning and advisory services to small businesses throughout Australia.

"The additional $14.3 million will allow even more small businesses to develop their business skills and access advisory services. This will help small business in a range of areas, including exporting, IT skills development and encouraging young entrepreneurs to grow their small businesses."

Over the past 15 months there have been two rounds of the BESB, which has provided funding for 98 projects totalling $19.9 million.

There have been 71 projects funded under the Training and Mentoring Projects initiative, 25 projects under the Succession Planning initiative, and two projects under the Incubators initiative.

Programme guidelines for the BESB programme can be found at www.ausindustry.gov.au

For more information refer to the fact sheet at www.industry.gov.au. CMR07-220