Get that business rolling

New Careers for Aboriginal People’s Darren Finn, NEIS’ Peter Torning, MPSC community liaison officer Ros Laws, Many Rivers’ Natalie Young, Aboriginal Enterprise Development’s Kirby Mills and Indigenous Business Australia’s Niel Barry.

HAVE you been sitting on that money-making business idea for a long time and just never acted to turn it into a reality? For Moree Plains Shire Council (MPSC) community liaison officer Ros Laws, the time to act is now.

The Dhiiyaan Aboriginal Centre hosted a free business workshop on Thursday to help locals gain the skills, knowledge and resources to start and grow their viable and sustainable business.

MPSC teamed up with Many Rivers, NORTEC New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS), Indigenous Business Australia, TAFE NSW, Moree Community College and Centrelink to deliver the Business Connect program.

“It’s really great to see so much support come from out-of-town. It really shows they are willing to help and behind behind the Business Connect Program.

“The program can bring your business idea to life by providing advice and information that assists your start-up and to establish a new business. It will provide support and enhance your current business for long term viability,” Ms Laws said.

“Drought is a factor, as well as a change in the agriculture industry. This workshop is really meant to provide the tools to create a long-term and sustainable business. The more businesses we see in town, the more the economy will pickup.”

The Business Connect Program will help locals work through ideas and concepts, design a mentoring and education plan, draft a business plan and provide practical support on how to do their taxes on top of many other things.

“We have been able to work one-on-one with people coming to the workshop, which has helped to create that free flow conversation on what they want to achieve,” Ms Laws said.

But Ms Laws admitted, the program could only provide the tools. The locals would need to build the business themselves.

“At the end of the day, it’s up to them if they want to take up these business strategies.”

For NEIS program mentor and trainer for the New England Region Peter Torning, it’s a worthwhile investment of time.

“Eighty percent of businesses in Australia are small businesses. The economy runs on small businesses.”

He called out poor planning and cash flow problems as the two most common reasons for a business folding.

“Two thirds of small businesses fail within the first couple of years.”

Compare the 66% failure rate to NEIS’ 85% success rate, and there’s clear evidence how planning and support can make the difference in a business.

“The NEIS started 30 years ago. One hundred thousand people went through the scheme, and 85% succeeded in establishing their business. Eight out of 10 businesses have employed someone else. That means these people are not only staying in business, but they’re growing,” Mr Torning said.

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