An organisation that has helped grow more than 120 fledgling Bega Valley businesses has received $250,000 in Federal Government funding to continue its work.
The Bega Valley Innovation Hub (BVIH) has received the funding under the government’s Incubator Support Initiative, which is investing more than $1 million in incubators across the country.
Announcing the grant, Senator Jim Molan said funding for Bega Valley Innovation Hub 2.0 would enable local businesses to access the information they need, and build the necessary skills to commercialise and grow their business ideas.
“This is great news for start-ups in Eden-Monaro, who will benefit greatly from specialised support to develop their business plans and reach their potential more quickly, both in Australian and overseas markets,” Senator Molan said.
“As a government we are supporting the ingenuity and determination of small businesses, which are essential to a strong, diverse economy that creates jobs.”
BVIH aims to engage the entrepreneurial culture of the region’s existing businesses as well as startup-minded individuals wishing to explore new sectors and markets, and to offer training and support to move their business or idea to the next level of operation.
After the Black Summer bushfires and COVID-19, BVIH helped businesses with workshops and programs to stabilise after the disruption to the region.
“We called it the Phoenix Program,” the then BVIH regional manager Mia Maze said. “We moved our sessions online and introduced digital technology to our programming to keep the support and training going so we can help each of the businesses to survive, grow and stay connected.
“We have connected local knowledge and expertise with our 120 business owners to deliver training and support for the economic recovery of our region.”
“The Bega Valley Innovation Hub has now created a community of innovators, changemakers and business owners who actively collaborate and support each other. They are a part of leading a successful innovative economy and will create jobs for the future of the Bega Valley.”
However federal funding ran out on 31 July, 2020.
The funding will be administered by Bega Valley Shire Council, with the 2021 program to be delivered by the University of Wollongong.