Entrepreneurial workshops tackle unemployment

The City of Mandurah – Western Australia’s largest regional council – is using an innovative entrepreneurial program to helps tackle the city’s high unemployment.

Building entrepreneurial capacity and human capital is fundamental to economic development.

A vibrant entrepreneurial environment significantly contributes to a region’s innovation, employment growth and industry diversification.
In 2014, the City of Mandurah commenced delivery of a series of free entrepreneurial workshops for mums, artists, migrant women and unemployed people who sought to start their own business.

Since the program began, more than 350 participants have attended a range of eight-week workshops, with each series custom-made to address specific needs of target groups.

The aim of the entrepreneurial program is to create economic independence for people who are seeking alternative employment opportunities by starting their own business.

The City is supporting these people to build entrepreneurial skills and to develop a different and innovative path to job creation.

The City of Mandurah is one of the first local governments in Australia to offer a free entrepreneurial program specifically targeted at unemployed people, as a new way of addressing Mandurah’s very high unemployment, currently at 10.1% (June 2016).

Mandurah Mayor Marina Vergone said the entrepreneurial program provides unemployed people with an opportunity to generate their own employment and create their own future.

“We know that Mandurah’s unemployment rate is traditionally much higher than state and national averages, and we are strongly committed to finding solutions for our community,” said Mayor Vergone.  

The entrepreneurial program encourages participants to design their own job and become their own boss, and focuses on changing mindsets, teaching lifelong skills, and supporting participants to develop and implement their business ideas.

The program covers a range of entrepreneurial topics including exploring skills, hobbies and interests and translating them to business outcomes.

It also teaches participants how to find the right customers, launch product online and generate sales.

The entrepreneurial program also facilitates development of business networks for participants who have previously been isolated by unemployment.

The program teaches participants to understand and evaluate their individual strengths and skills, and to then use them to connect their business with the broader business community.