National business networking program gives businesses a leg up

National business networking program gives businesses a leg up

PERTH - Three WA resellers have taken advantage of a national business networking program, forming WestNet, a business network set to tackle major state and federal IT contracts.

WestNet graduated from the Federal Government initiative, AusIndustry Business Network Program (BNP) and has already identified $200 million worth of opportunities to take place over the next three years in WA.

West Australian Business Networks Program manager Stuart Knott said that by networking, the companies of WestNet will be able to compete against large companies based overseas.

He said the network can provide a range or services from systems development and integration, service and project management to hardware coordination and supply.

"The network has already won a State Government contract worth around $600,000," Knott said. "Networking allows innovative Australian businesses to combine their marketing capability to successfully compete in the international market."

The BNP subsidises three or more small businesses to join together and undertake a business objective, R&D or a broader based production system that they would not be able to carry out individually.

"It increases their competitiveness and capabilities so if they want to access and export market they can do it together," said an AusIndustry spokesperson.

To take part in the program, businesses must apply and meet the eligibility criteria of three stages.

Next stage

The first stage involves a feasibility investigation into the proposed network concept. BNP will subsidise up to $12,500 for the cost of a feasibility investigation if the businesses use an AusIndustry accredited broker.

The second stage sees the formulation of a business plan prepared by the broker (up to $30,000 in subsidies is offered on a 50/50 basis).

If the businesses are successful in applying to the third stage, their business plan is implemented with the financial assistance of the BNP, a maximum of $60,000 on a 50/50 basis covering specifics such as the employment of a network business manager and production of a brochure.

National AusIndustry Hotline: 13 2846


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