As the Government’s advertising campaign on the ideas boom makes its way onto billboards around Australia, corporates are rushing to take a piece of the action, finding ways to offer their services to new entrepreneurs. ANZ is the latest to make a move, partnering with Sydney startup Honcho to help people set up their new business through Business Ready.
Honcho is an online service that helps customers set up their small businesses, registering their ABN and business domain name and setting up a website and email address in one day. The partnership with ANZ and link to Business Ready will now allow clients open and connect an ANZ business bank account as part of the service.
Mark Hand, managing director of corporate and commercial banking at ANZ, said, “Each year in Australia around 300,000 small businesses are set up and one of the biggest frustrations our customers have is it takes weeks to get started and they often don’t know what steps to take next. This tool is a simple, efficient and cost effective solution that guides customers through the process.
“Combined with our $2 billion dollar pledge for new small businesses and discounted banking packages, our Business Ready initiative is another way ANZ is providing ongoing support from the start-up phase through to the growth phase and beyond,” Hand said.
Matthew Abrahams, CEO of Honcho, said the company chose to partner with ANZ because of the bank’s commitment to small businesses.
“The single biggest issue that new small businesses face is time. Being able to fast track starting up a business from weeks to hours with only a small capital outlay, enables people to start earning revenue faster and to concentrate on building their customer base,” Abrahams said.
Though focused primarily at small businesses, the Business Ready initiative is the latest to come from ANZ in the realm of innovation. The bank partnered with Melbourne coworking community York Butter Factory and signed on to sponsor Sydney fintech hub Stone and Chalk last year, while its Innovyz program in Adelaide provides entrepreneurs with end-to-end support through a nine month accelerator program.
The competition among banks in the space is fierce, with all jockeying to highlight their interest in and support for the space. NAB, for example, signed on to sponsor Sydney coworking community Fishburners last year, with its sponsorship entitling it to a permanent desk at the space. The bank also launched NAB Ventures, a $50 million fund, to make investments in fintech startups.
Westpac also committed $50 million to startup investments through VC firm Reinventure in 2014.
Image: Mark Hand of ANZ. Source: Herald Sun.