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Media Release

CBA named principal partner of Small Business Victoria Festival

CBA named principal partner of Small Business Victoria Festival

Festival to host CBA’s Innovation Lab’s “Small Business Restart” program helping SME’s to re-skill for the future of work.

Victorian small businesses will have the opportunity to partner with innovators from tech giants, universities and Commonwealth Bank's Innovation Lab as part of "The Small Business Restart" program running as part of the annual Small Business Festival Victoria.

The Victorian Government appointed CBA's Innovation Lab as principal banking and innovation partner to the event for the second year running, reaffirming CBA's commitment to supporting and fostering small business across Australia.

Presented by Small Business Victoria, the festival runs through August and comprises an extensive program of events across metropolitan and regional Victoria. The festival provides small business owners with ideas and information to help them start and grow a business.

As principal partner, CBA’s Innovation Lab will host “The Small Business Restart”, a multi-stage program set up in the University of Melbourne’s Innovation Precinct. Running for the duration of the festival, the program invites small business owners into a digital open innovation challenge, where they participate in masterclasses, one-off workshops and classroom training to create the ‘restart’ movement in Australia.

As part of the program, the Innovation Lab takes a collective impact approach by curating the best minds and IP in Australia – from academic, corporate, big-tech and government, and point their human capital towards small business owners. The brands and institutions partnering with CBA for the festival will be announced in coming weeks, and include global giants and leading academic institutions both locally and abroad.

Small businesses can access the program by registering through the festival’s website. The first week of the festival will call on business owners to submit a digital innovation idea for their brand to the ideas marketplace powered by CBA Innovation Labs, and in doing so, go into the draw to have Australia’s best ‘techxperts’ workshop their solution as part of the month-long challenge.

The Hon. Minister Philip Dalidakis MP, Victorian Minister for Small Business, said: “The Victorian Government is delighted to have CBA as the Principal Partner of the 2018 Small Business Festival. The festival will inspire, inform and connect our small businesses which play such a pivotal role in our economy."

CBA Executive Manager, Innovation Labs, Heath Brown, added: “Small businesses will be fronted by the best of the best ‘techxperts’ as we re-skill participants for the future of work. It’s important that all small businesses can innovate and stay competitive, and CBA has a leading role to play in this. That’s why our Innovation Lab is so excited to deliver this social innovation program to market, in what will be an Australian-first program for small businesses."

“CBA’s Innovation Lab uses an open innovation model, meaning we tap into all players in Australia’s innovation eco-system to put our collective effort behind the innovation economy across all industries and geographies.

“CBA and the Victorian Government are a fantastic example of combining forces to drive high impact innovations together rather than in isolation, and in this case to help small business owners are at the centre of the Australian innovation eco-system,” Brown said.

For more information and to register for CBA’s Innovation Labs “Small Business Restart” program, please visit

For more information about the Small Business Victoria Festival, please visit