Startup Year: entrepreneur loan program to kickstart startups

Dept of Industry, Science and Resources

Joint media release with Minister for Education the Hon Jason Clare MP

The Albanese Government is engaging key stakeholders to deliver on an election promise for a new program to help the next generation of young Australian entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life.

The Startup Year program will provide up to 2000 HECS-style loans each year to allow final-year undergraduate students and current post-graduate students to participate in a higher education-based incubator or accelerator program.

Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic said startups were leading the way creating jobs, commercialising ideas and finding solutions to emerging challenges across the economy.

“We want our next generation of businesses to grow from the ideas and energy of young Australians. And we want Startup Year to help make that happen,” Minister Husic said.

“By expanding access to vital capital and startup programs we will help diversify the talent and skills pipeline so that new ideas can come online from all corners of the Australian community.

“It will strengthen links between our universities, industry and the startup community, leading to greater research translation and commercialisation.

“We want to get this program up and running next year.”

Minister for Education Jason Clare said the program will build the pool of knowledgeable entrepreneurs and encourage the development of startups to drive innovation.

“The higher education sector has wonderful incubators and startup support schemes, but are limited by the number of students they can take on board.

“We want consultation for Startup Year to learn from the best programs and appropriately expand them to reach new layers of students with great ideas.

“By working in specialist higher education settings these new entrepreneurs can gain access to resources, facilities, mentoring and business networks,” Minister Clare said.

“This will give them the best chance at success. “Consultation is key. We are calling on higher education providers, industry, entrepreneurs, investors and students to share their views and advice on how this program should work.”

The program will be designed to provide to income-contingent loans through the HECS/HELP system.

The Startup Year consultation paper will be available at: https://www.education.gov.au/startup-year.

Consultations close on 15 November 2022.

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