Incubating young entrepreneurs

Article image - Incubating young entrepreneurs 2016 Southern Downs Young Leaders and Youth Development Officer, Hailey Cos.

Young entrepreneurs across the Southern Downs region in Queensland are being invited to pitch ideas and gain business skills in an innovative new program.

Southern Downs Regional Council has partnered with Toowoomba-based consulting company Strategenics, to deliver a workshop for young people in the region aged from 15 to 24, to develop start-up skills to help ideas and innovations become alternative paths of employment.

Facilitated by Strategenics, and with support from the Stanthorpe and Warwick Chambers of Commerce, the ‘INCubate Start-up Workshop’, held in March, will offer individuals the opportunity to pitch their product or business idea and then learn practical business skills and start-up principles, such as how to develop a business model and market an idea.

Participants will work in groups to pitch selected ideas to a panel which will decide on the most promising idea.

The chosen group will then receive a business coaching session from Strategenics’ founder and Managing Director, Mr Chris Mills.
Southern Downs Mayor, Tracy Dobie, said that she hopes the workshop will be the start of a local entrepreneurial movement in the Southern Downs.

“Ask any young person what is lacking in our region and they will tell you, it’s employment opportunities,” she said.

“By investing in young people to become more entrepreneurial and innovative, we can build the workforce of the 21st century and ensure the next generation has the potential to become job creators.

“This project will ensure young people in our region are set up to drive new innovations and business opportunities for themselves and for our community.

“If we can better prepare young people to succeed in a rapidly changing world, the productivity and prosperity of the Southern Downs region will be assured.”

The workshop will be funded through the State Government’s ‘Advance Queensland Young Starters Fund, developed specifically to help young Queenslanders turn their ideas into business plans, along with a financial contribution from Council.

Southern Downs Regional Council’s Youth Development Officer, Ms Hailey Cosh-Rickard, said Council’s Community Development and Economic Development units had partnered to secure the State Government funding.

“With $7000 in funding from the ‘Advance Queensland Young Starters Fund’, Council only has to inject just over $3,000 to make this initiative happen.

“This is a small investment, for what we hope will achieve big outcomes,” Ms Cosh-Rickard said.

The ‘INCubate Start-up Workshop’ will offer spaces for 36 young people between the ages of 15 to 24 who reside in the Southern Downs region.