Screen Australia's Enterprise Program has been deemed a success, with the $19.5 million allocated to 29 production companies over five years resulting in increased profitablity, sustainability and income.
Speaking at the Screen Forever Conference in Melbourne this morning, Screen Australia’s Chief Operating Officer Fiona Cameron discussed the results of a survey conducted in order to analyse the success of the Enterprise Program. The survey looked at the business sustainability measures of 16 companies funded in the first two rounds of the Enterprise program, in 2009 and 2010.
Although admitting the Program is only a "small part of the pie" in terms of Screen Australia funding, Cameron went onto reveal a number of encouraging statistics, such as 94 per cent of companies that received Enterprise funding were consistently active in production over the last three years, compared to 40 per cent for the wider production industry surveyed in 2010.
The survey also revealed that of the companies that received enterprise funding, 88 per cent reported a profit in at least one of the last two years, compared to 56 per cent of businesses in the 2010 survey, and interestingly, the collective level of profit for these production companies has more than doubled compared to the year before they received Enterprise funding.
“The early success of the Enterprise Program is very encouraging and the program, while only representing a small part of our overall funding, is an important plank in supporting a commercially sustainable screen production sector, a requirement under the Screen Australia legislation,” Cameron said.
“Businesses have increased and diversified their income, with 75 per cent reporting five or more revenue sources last year, compared to 38 per cent in the year prior to receiving Enterprise funding.
"Collaboration levels have increased and broader industry benefits have included the delivery of mentorships, traineeships and internships. Many companies have also enhanced their development capacity through new script initiatives and the appointment of development executives.”
Cameron also pointed out the Program assisted Australia's up and coming talent, with the number of internships/traineeship schemes increasing from 25 in the year prior to the compaanies receiving funding to 43 in 2012/2013.
But she also said Screen Australia is looking how to best shape the Program in moving forward, and recognised there were some areas that needed to be improved. (For instance, when demonstrating where the funding went in terms of states and territories, South Australia was not listed. "We need to address that," Cameron said.)
“It is always best to review programs when they are succeeding, so now is a great time to contemplate how the Enterprise Program may evolve to continue to serve the industry."
From December 9-18, Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason will lead public forums around Australia to consult with key industry stakeholders on how best to shape the Enterprise Program in years to come.
For those unable to join a physical forum, Screen Australia will also host a webinar on Wednesday 18 December. For more details and to RSVP to the webinar or an event in your city, visit http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/enterpriseconsult
An Enterprise Program options paper will be available from Screen Australia’s website on Friday 6 December.
Deadline for submissions is Jan 2014, with final guidelines being released March/April 2014.