The bright startup minds of Batemans Bay and beyond have come together to pitch their new business ideas to other entrepreneurs in conjunction with the New Business Assistance – NEIS program.
Coordinator Tim Whitaker works with the government-funded program and decided to bring the Big Pitch event to the Bay after huge success in Bega and Narooma.
“In regional areas there’s high unemployment but that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot of people with really good skills and ability. Often the only opportunity for them to use these skills is to start there own business,” he says.
Mr Whitaker proudly speaks of a participant who’s business led to her dream job on the other side of Australia.
“Some of the outcomes are not necessarily a successful business, a lady ran a takeaway business for 12 months and is now selling it, not because it’s a failure, because it led her to an incredible job offer in Darwin.”
Our coastline is home to many bright and creative minds who are busting at the seams with ambition.
Melanie Horsnell from Candelo has been a touring performer for 20 years and like many creatives is a self-confessed business illiterate. She’s starting her own music label as a way to distribute her and other local musicians work on an international scale.
“In all those years I haven’t actually done a business plan, my brain can’t think of business stuff – I’m just trying to write songs all the time,” she says.
“Even if we don’t want to be all businessy we still have to do the set up to move forward.”
Find Melanie’s music HERE – you’ll be hooked!
Spiritual healer Janice Jenders found her calling in the ancient herb – comfrey.
“I even have a local doctor selling comfrey oil in his rooms, one bloke used it on skin cancer and it worked but I can’t make that claim, it’s too big. A fella also called me from Canberra saying he was using it on his skin cancer,” she says.
You will find Janice and her comfrey balm at the Batehaven Markets every fortnight.
After not securing consistent work for 15 years, Batemans Bay local Amy Blackmore has just opened a salon in Orient Street. The NEIS program gave her the confidence to start Magic Owl Hair and Beauty.
“This has given me a chance to get off Centrelink payments and make a life for myself,” she says proudly.
“I was a bit down this morning but I just have to remember where I’ve come from – no direction, no qualifications to educating myself and now starting a business.”
Micro businesses are fast becoming a way for regional entrepreneurs to make their impact nationally. Kitty Brooker works from Milton where she runs her online second-hand clothing business – Trash and Trending.
“I can’t wait for the day I go out of business because that means the world has stopped buying new clothes and I have done my job,” she says.