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Young SA entrepreneurs "hitting the wall"

Tuesday, 30 July 2013
Author: Melissa Mack, Indaily

Support for potential entrepreneurs in Adelaide must be improved to stop young people moving interstate, the industry says.

"Tere are so many good young people with fresh ideas and a lot of entrepreneurism and passion behind their ideas, but I think the way things are, they find themselves hitting a wall in terms of bringing ideas to market in SA" Entrepreneurs' Organisation SA president Tim Seymour Smith told InDaily.

He said the State Government focus on small business had been "lost a little bit", with budding entrepreneurs not knowing where to start.

"If we lose starting entrepreneurs interstate because those state's programs have greater recognition, then we lose their whole idea from the state and someone else reaps the benefits.

"If they were fostered into support programs, then all of a sudden the creative benefit is not lost to SA."

One investor group, SA Angels, agreed there needed to be more centralised support for start-up businesses in Adelaide.

"There seems to be a number of things that are all quite fragmented," spokesperson Mike Richards said.

"There are entrepreneur-type support programs, but some are quite short. They might only be a 12-week program and, to me, that is not a long-term support.

"They [entrepreneurs] need a lot more mentoring and access to networks and international markets and that kind of thing."

Richards said SA was in danger of being left behind, with business incubators successfully established interstate, particularly in NSW.

He said a central service was needed in SA to guide entrepreneurs or would-be entrepreneurs, giving appropriate advice and mentoring.

Opposition Leader Steven Marshall plans to make supporting entrepreneurs a focus of his election campaign, but would not reveal specific policies or ideas.

However, he agreed there needed to be a central service.

"So many graduates are finishing and trying to find a job and can't get one, and we are losing so many in SA, so it's a fantastic growth opportunity to ask young graduates to consider starting their own business," he said.

Marshall recently attended the "Start-Up" conference, which aims to kick-start entrepreneurs.

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