Title: Creating balanced partnerships for regional innovation and entrepreneurship: lessons from Australia's Community Banks®

Authors: John Martin

Addresses: Centre for Sustainable Regional Communities, La Trobe University, PO Box 199, Bendigo 3552, Victoria, Australia

Abstract: The rapid growth of Community Bank® concept across Australia, operating under franchise arrangements with the Bendigo Bank, provides an effective model for regional innovation and entrepreneurship. The way in which the Bendigo Bank works with local communities to enter into and maintain a partnership has important lessons for those in government, business and other industry sectors of interest who seek to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in local communities. Since the opening of the first Community Bank® branches in Rupanyup and Minyip in western Victoria in 1998 some 178 Community Bank® partnerships have been established with the Bendigo Bank. In this article we use a psycho-sociological framework to analyse the success of the Community Bank® partnership model in terms of the motivation for both the Bendigo Bank and communities to work together to provide sustainable local financial services. We conclude that the innovation and entrepreneurship opportunity in the Bendigo Bank Community Bank® partnership provides a valid framework for other community-based economic development initiatives.

Keywords: Australia; community banks; entrepreneurship; regional innovation; innovation policy; regional development; local communities; motivation; economic development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJFIP.2009.022105

International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy, 2009 Vol.5 No.1/2/3, pp.181 - 192

Published online: 18 Dec 2008 *

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