June 2022

The Missing Middle


There are 2.4 million SMEs in Australia delivering 7.3million jobs and $700billion to the economy.

In NSW there are around 14,000 medium sized businesses, these businesses consistently make up around 20% of NSW total turnover, exports, jobs, and profits. Medium businesses have a 75% survival rate.  

At Beckon Capital, we see hundreds of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) with a turnover of >$1m, ready to scale. We focus on the 56,000 SMEs with 20-200 employees in Australia who would otherwise rely on bank debt to grow.  

State and Federal governments focus on early stage, micro and small businesses, commercialisation of research and large business. No one is really focused on profitable SMEs needing to scale. These SMEs need more than debt, and the debt they can access is tied to their mortgage if they are lucky to have one (ASBFEO Business Growth Fund Research Paper,2018; ASBFEO Affordable Capital for SME, 2018); they need capability and capital, but few know about VC, and most VCs wouldn’t invest in SMEs unless they are the next Canva.  

Pipeline isn’t the problem.

We have seen a demand from NFPs, NGOs and local government who want to commercialize, leverage under-utilised assets, and access capital outside government to support local needs. In fact there are over 600,000 NFPs, employing 1.38 million people, or 11% of the Australian workforce. Around 54,000 NFPs contribute around $129 billion to the economy, or 4.8% of GDP. Government funding accounted for $78 billion. (McKinsey & Co, Unlocking power of Australia’s NFP sector, November 2021)

There is a clear pipeline of startup, scale up and social benefit businesses and projects ready for investment right now, but capital is not reaching them.  

📈 Yet, at the same time there are cashed up funds, foundations and family offices sitting on billions - if not trillions - in assets, that struggle to find viable and sustainable investments, investing less than 10% of their assets each year.  

🤝 Beckon capital exists to get capital and capability to underserved markets across sectors.  

This year we committed to holding investor forums to showcase investible impact/ESG SMEs and social benefit projects. We have already highlighted five SMEs working on environmental impact, ready to scale.  

We found ourselves meeting other firms with great deal books but no capital, so we are working with others to elevate impact and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) driven businesses and enterprises and seeking out the investors that feel the same sense of urgency we do.

We invite you to join us on our mission to get capital and capability to the "missing middle", supporting the SMEs that will employ more people and return more to the economy, and NFPs with under utilised assets. There is too much at stake to sit on billions or trillions that can be directed to solve social and environmental challenges.

Anne-Marie Elias

Chief Executive Officer

+61 (0) 409 881 910




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