The Entrepreneurship Facilitators initiative was expanded to 20 additional locations in 2018–19. Facilitators are now located in 23 locations across Australia. The Entrepreneurship Facilitators work closely with local stakeholders to promote and encourage self-employment in their regions and help people to create their own job by starting their own business. They provide workshops and information sessions, as well as one-on-one support and mentoring. They report to the department through account managers and quarterly reports outlining the support they have provided in their region.
In 2018–19, Entrepreneurship Facilitators helped more than 25,784 people interested in starting or running their own business.
The SelfStart online hub (jobsearch.gov.au/selfstart) provides people considering self-employment with a range of information and tools to help them start a business. New stories were featured on SelfStart in 2018–19 to highlight how New Business Assistance with NEIS and Entrepreneurship Facilitators have helped people start their own business.
SelfStart had 147,327 page views during the year.
Exploring Being My Own Boss
Exploring Being My Own Boss workshops run over two weeks and give people interested in starting their own business a taste of what is required to run a business. The workshops cover 10 core topics including idea validation, tax essentials and branding.
In 2018–19, 780 people participated in a workshop. Of these, 237 went on to start a small business through New Business Assistance with NEIS.
Entrepreneurship Facilitator helps develop new pet food
Glen was a commercial fisherman for over 20 years. He would watch his dogs await the arrival of the boats to get their share of the haul and was disappointed at the amount of waste that was occurring. With this in mind, he decided to establish a business producing premium-grade fish treats for dogs and cats.
In March 2018, Glen was referred to his local Entrepreneurship Facilitator in Cairns, Tara Diversi, as he needed help to improve his business operations and keep up with demand for his product. With Tara’s support, he developed a strategy to seek funds to purchase a second fish dryer. He had difficulty securing a business loan, so he started looking for investors. Tara helped him secure an investor and create a plan to increase productivity.
Since his first meeting with Tara, Glen’s business has increased almost threefold. The products are sold in pet shops around Australia and through Glen’s own online store. He has been able to fund two additional dryers and has employed his first staff member. He is now looking to expand the business further and plans to employ at least two more staff next year.
Glen won the Proven Innovation Award and Eco Innovation Award for his business at the Tropical North Queensland Innovation Awards (TNQiA) held on 22 November 2018. These awards recognise people working innovatively across the region.