Free USC workshops will give small business owners and managers in the Moreton Bay Region the chance to learn how to future-proof their success, while earning credit towards a Business degree and joining a research project to monitor their progress.
Head of USC’s Caboolture campus Dr Wayne Graham, a senior lecturer in management, will present short sessions over six Fridays from October 16 to November 27.
At the end of the Moreton Bay Business Planning Workshops, each participant will give their own half-hour business pitch to a panel of experts.
Dr Graham, who co-ordinates the University’s MBA program and in 2018 received the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, says the business planning workshops will give participants a clear understanding of the key factors underpinning their prosperity and ensuring their long-term survival.
“The workshops offer a platform for owners to strengthen their businesses by learning and implementing strategic management principles,” Dr Graham says.
“This includes the development of a customised business plan designed to source funds from banks and investors or through grant applications.
“Participants will also have the opportunity to join a research project involving post-workshop visits to their businesses to monitor and measure progress.”
Dr Graham said the series could potentially open a pathway to university education, with completion of the workshops earning credit for one course in a USC postgraduate Business degree.
It will include three 90-minute in-class sessions on campus at USC Caboolture and three 60-minute online sessions. The workshop series will culminate with a one full-day pitch to an expert panel where business managers will present their plan in 30-minute sessions.
The workshop series is a joint initiative of Moreton Bay Regional Council, Moreton Bay Region Industry and Tourism (MBRIT) and Regional Development Australia Moreton Bay.
Moreton Bay Mayor Peter Flannery says small business are the engine room of the region’s economy, home to more than 28,800 businesses employing almost 150,000 locals.
“Benjamin Franklin famously said, ‘by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’ – so these workshops are a great opportunity for our small businesses to get ahead of the curve,” Mayor Flannery says.
“We want to help small businesses with short-term tactics to get through this pandemic, but also to plan for growth opportunities that will help our economy rebound. Our 2020-21 Budget is an economic and jobs stimulator, creating or supporting up to 3,000 jobs through a $220 million capital works program.”
Council has also waived $1.56 million in food licence fees to support more than 1100 businesses in the hospitality industry as part of its $33 million COVID-19 stimulus package.
“Our new Local Preference policy supports local jobs by giving Moreton Bay businesses a leg up in the market and the best opportunity to land future Council tenders,” Mayor Flannery says.
“Council’s Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) is currently being finalised. Together with our business community, we will chart a bigger, bolder and brighter future for our region and further diversify and develop the Moreton Bay Region economy post COVID-19.”
“We are home to fantastic businesses and entrepreneurs, and these workshops will provide many with the opportunity to reflect on their business and the current market situation and plan for success. I encourage everyone to have a look at the workshops and sign up quickly as places are limited.”
Dr Graham said employers based in the Moreton Bay local government area, with fewer than 20 staff and have been operating for at least two years, were eligible to register interest.
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