Labor to offer loans to start-ups

University graduates with a big idea will get the chance to pursue it under a federal Labor government.

The opposition wants to give 2000 students each year an income-contingent loan to help establish a start-up under accelerator or incubator programs to give the young entrepreneur mentoring, business skills and capital.

The $5 million plan would be open to final-year university students and new graduates and help build up Australia’s pool of innovative entrepreneurs, Labor says.

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“The next sort of big dotcom start-up inventor might be right now studying at one of our universities,” opposition leader Bill Shorten told reporters in Sydney.

“They’ve done three years of study, they’ve got an idea which they think is an idea which might change the way our society is organised, might change the way commerce is conducted.”

Labor also wants to offer 2000 graduate entrepreneurship visas each year to keep international students who have studied at Australian universities here while they develop a business idea.

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