The Victorian government will establish a fund to help small businesses and medium-sized businesses access capital.

The Victorian Business Growth Fund aims to “create thousands of jobs by investing in established Victorian businesses with compelling potential for growth and jobs creation”.

Victoria’s state government will contribute $50 million to the fund, which will be run by a “high-quality, independent fund manager”.

The fund is being developed in partnership with two superannuation funds – First State Super and VicSuper.

Details are still to be finalised.

“This fund will help break down the barriers small businesses face in obtaining the capital they need to grow,” according to Victoria’s minister for small business, Adem Somyurek.

Australia’s small business ombudsman, Kate Carnell, said she is supportive of any initiative that gives SMEs access to funding at a time when lenders have made it harder to borrow money.

“We know that the biggest barrier to SME growth is access to finance. While we understand the design of the fund has yet to be finalised, it should be focused on long-term funding solutions for SMEs,” she said.

“Ideally, the fund would allow SMEs to access amounts between $250,000 and $5 million, with terms up to seven years.

“The involvement of superannuation funds in providing an initial pool of capital is also something we have previously recommended.”