Joint Media Release

Supporting Crowd-sourced Equity Funding

MC 132/14

Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Acting Assistant Treasurer

The Hon. Bruce Billson MP
Minister for Small Business

8 December 2014

The Government is committed to creating the right conditions to drive economic growth, support innovation and create jobs by improving Australia’s competitiveness. 

The recently released Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda called for consultation on a potential regulatory framework for crowd-sourced equity funding. 

Crowd-sourced equity funding is an innovative type of online fundraising that allows a large number of investors to make small equity investments in a company. 

The development of crowd-sourced equity funding has the potential to increase the funding options available to entrepreneurs to assist in the development of their businesses and contribute to the development of a more dynamic, competitive Australian economy.

The Government is releasing a discussion paper on the characteristics of regulatory frameworks to facilitate crowd-sourced equity funding, including the model put forward by the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee in a report released in June 2014 and a model similar to that recently implemented by New Zealand. 

We are keen to ensure that any crowd-sourced equity funding model appropriately balances supporting investment, reducing compliance costs (including for small business) and maintaining an appropriate level of investor protection.

Small business and entrepreneurs are a crucial driver of productivity and economic growth.  The release of the discussion paper progresses our election commitment to improve small businesses’ access to affordable finance.

The discussion paper is now available for comment on the Treasury website (www.treasury.gov.au). Submissions close on 6 February 2015.

[ENDS]

Media Contact(s): 

For Minister Cormann – Karen Wu – 0428 350 139
For Minister Billson – Sally Branson – 0455 050 045