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The Friday SMB wrap-up

Friday is upon us again, which means it’s time to catch up on the most important small business headlines of the week gone by. This week, MYOB released findings that showed a third of SMB owners haven’t holidayed since opening their business, CatchOfTheDay announced its expansion into the wine space and the Commonwealth Bank launched a competition to give businesses a $10,000 boost.

Social entrepreneurship fastest growing sector of economy

Social entrepreneurship has grown 37 percent in the past five years, making it one of the fastest growing sectors of the Australian economy, new research has revealed.

The research by Opportunity International Australia (OIA), which was undertaken to mark World Entrepreneurship Day, shows universities and government initiatives have led us to embrace a ‘fourth sector.’

“The growth in social entrepreneurship as a field of study is in response to student demand,” OIA philanthropy director Stephen Robertson said.

CBA launches competition to give SMBs a $10,000 cash injection

The Commonwealth Bank is giving the small to medium business community a chance to share in a $30,000 support package, in an attempt to help the sector that accounts for more than 35 percent of Australia’s economy.

The BetterBusiness Booster competition aims to help recognise and reward the role of SMEs across the nation, including a $10,000 cash injection and 12 months of business coaching with Peter Switzer, one of Australia’s leading business and financial commentators.

Matt Comyn, Commonwealth Bank’s executive general manager of local business banking said: “Small businesses are the backbone of the Australian economy, so it’s important that we continue to support their growth and development.”

One third of SME owners haven’t holidayed since opening for business

A nation-wide survey has found one third of SME owners are sacrificing holiday time with family and friends, in order to keep their businesses up and running.

“The most concerning result from this MYOB Business Monitor is that so many self-made business people have not taken a break at all. This has big implications for their wellbeing,” MYOB CEO Tim Reed said.

The MYOB Business Monitor found that of the third of business owners who had not holidayed since starting their business, 33 percent were baby boomers. Fewer younger business owners were willing to make this sacrifice, with only 23 percent of Generation Y missing out on holiday time.

CatchOfTheDay sets sights on online wine space

CatchOfTheDay has announced it is expanding into the wine sector, with an acquisition of the specialist wine deals site,vinomofo.com.

The investment in Vinomofo is expected to rapidly accelerate CatchOfTheDay’s position in the online wine space. It forms part of the company’s strategy of building a portfolio of leading eCommerce brands across niche categories.

According to CatchOfTheDay co-founder Gabby Leibovich, the need for specialised knowledge and expertise led the retail group to pursue the investment.

Toyota retrenches employees due to high dollar

Australian export industries continue to get hit hard by the high dollar as Toyota retrenched 350 workers from its Melbourne factory this week.

Toyota released its plans to decrease its workforce in a statement in late January. Chief executive and president of Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Max Yasuda said that the high dollar, market conditions, and loss of profits in exports were the main factors behind the job cuts.

“Toyota Australia is facing severe operating conditions resulting in unsustainable financial returns due to factors including the strong Australian currency, reduced cost competitiveness and volume decline, especially in export markets,” Yasuda said.

“Manufacturing is a vital element of our overall operations in Australia. The actions we take now to transform our business will pave the way for our future success as a leading manufacturer and marketer of vehicles to local and export customers,” he added.