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The innovation small business conference

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

We’re heavily involved in assisting to organise the National Small Business Conference (Melbourne, 11-12 August)  which we strongly recommend you consider attending, if you have the time.

The conference is ‘into’ innovation. But there are limits! Watch this very funny YouTube clip presented by US comedienne Julia Louis-Dreyfus. It’s amazing what innovators can do with the humble AA battery! Ha! More...


How powerful institutions try to crush entrepreneurship

Sunday, February 07, 2016

In a recent news alert we discussed the rise of self-employment in the UK and Canada that is making up most of the new jobs in those countries. We discussed how China is discovering that the self-employed are the ‘happiest’ workers. This is part of the pattern of the ‘gig’ economy: Uber, Airbnb and many others creating a new economy. We call it ‘capitalism of the individual’; self-employment.  

This should be a welcome and exciting progression of human economic development. But, around the world, hugely powerful institutions are in the ‘suppression’ game. These institutions are government-funded and pursue their own agendas in a ‘Yes, Minister’ style of control over the political process. More...


A Changing World

Saturday, January 02, 2016

There’s probably no more startling evidence of change than the development of the ‘bionic human’. Watch this extraordinary TED presentation about the new bionics creating enhanced human capacity. Alleged disability becomes ability! It’ll have your mind leaping!

Just as will the ticklingly funny discussion (also on TED) between Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin exploring how women’s relationships differ from men’s. As we’re (ICA) interested in small business, it makes us wonder about how women manage small business differently from men. It’s a cultural difference! More...


The banks tried to stop fairness: Good-bye banks

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Australian banks tried hard to stop unfair contract laws for small business people and they nearly succeeded. Fortunately, the banks failed. Now the laws have been proclaimed and come into effect on 12 November 2016.

Here’s the new Act. Here’s what makes a contract clause unfair.
Here’s ACCC information. The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) is now checking contractsMore...


So big businesses don’t like having their powers cut back. How surprising!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Big business is angry that the Abbott government is proposing to make anti-competitive behaviour by them more difficult. New laws would restrict big businesses from abusing their market power. Small Business Minister Bruce Billson has hit back saying big business is talking “utter nonsense”. We agree.

Just recently, Coles had to refund $12m to 200 suppliers due to unconscionable conduct by Coles. And the competition regulator (ACCC) is finally responding to evidence of big business cartels in the construction industry. What’s odd is that unions and Labor seem be lining up with big business on this. More...


Budget response: ALP announces small business policy

Friday, May 15, 2015

Yesterday we sent out a summary of, and commentary on, the Abbott government’s Budget policy initiatives for small business people. We’ve given the package a big tick. It’s essentially a tax-reduction approach to encouraging small business activity. We think that’s the most effective way to go.

Last night the Labor opposition supported the package, which means it will pass the Senate. Labor leader Bill Shorten also announced an aspiration to reduce small business tax by 5 per cent.  More...


Productivity Commission Inquiry could prove valuable

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Just last week the debate over workplace issues revved up again with the release by the Abbott government of its Productivity Commission inquiry into workplace relations. Naturally, the unions and the ALP are salivating at the idea that this will be a re-run of WorkChoices, almost guaranteeing them a win at the next election. ICA will be putting a submission to the Inquiry. More...


Uber, Disruption and the Unpredictable

Saturday, January 10, 2015

ICA Executive Director, Ken Phillips, has penned two recent articles on the related themes of disruption and the politically unpredictable.

The first, on the power and disruptive force of Uber, generated a mixed bag of responses, both friendly and hostile. No surprises there! But Ken's point is that disruption is becoming an increasingly commonplace phenomenon in our lives and we need to learn how to deal with it. More...


Small business people and the budget

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

As predicted and expected, almost everyone has been whacked by the budget with higher charges and taxes, and lower payments.

Here’s a quick summary, however, of the situation for small business people summarised from this article by Robert Gottliebsen of Business Spectator. Robert says there’s a big shift of emphasis from big to small business.  More...


Turn yourself into a brand

Sunday, December 15, 2013

If you don’t ‘brand’ yourself when you’re self-employed, your capacity to be your own business and make good money is diminished. This is an important message I took from a presentation at the Pan-Asia small business conference in Macau in November. Full blogpost hereMore...



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