- 12 June 2019
Last night Regional Development Australia Southern Inland (RDA Southern Inland) with support from the Southern Region Business Enterprise Centre (SRBEC) held the first Business Workshop for migrants in the region. It was an intimate learning experience held at The Mill in Bowral to assist migrants who want to start their own business in Australia.
The workshop kicked off at 5pm with RDA Southern Inland’s Skilled Migration Officer Jayde Butz opening the workshop by introducing RDA Southern Inland and the program in which this event is a part of; the Fostering Integration Program. This workshop event comes after RDA Southern Inland held their first ‘Welcome to the region’ evening on May 29th. With the program’s intent to support migrants to integrate into social, economic and civil society within Australia, the response from migrants so far has been extremely positive. Migrant coming to the region on Skilled Migration Working Visas choose numerous pathways to employment in the region and often this includes starting their own business. The importance of these business workshops is to inform migrants of that option and to make them feel as though it is achievable once they understand the basic tools and skills that are needed to successfully go out on their own.
The facilitator of the night was Peter Gordon from SRBEC, who got the ball rolling, starting with the fundamentals of starting a business. “Don’t do something you don’t like or aren’t interested in,” Peter told the attendees. With migrants keeping that in mind, it was interesting to find out what kind of business each were thinking of building, some being online services, IT business, tutorial services and more. Attendee Precious Werimegbe also noted that he was in fact still in the foundation stage where he was researching what the region was lacking in order to figure out where he could fit in and grow a business that could best benefit the region.
After breaking for dinner, the group quickly got stuck back into the workshop, with plenty of questions being asked. RDA Southern Inland CEO and Director of Regional Development, Mareeca Flannery, pointed out the importance of researching real estate property and types of commercial leasing when finding a space for their business. She addressed factors such as reading the fine print of “Make Good” sections of leases and also suggested to migrants to keep in mind spaces like The Mill at Bowral or The Collective in Goulburn. These spaces are built for small business to rent a desk or small space.
“Our aim is to assist our migrants and new businesses to get it right from the start-up phase. We have seen several of our new migrants start businesses, grow and employ others,” said Mareeca Flannery.
The attendees of the workshop will continue to work closely with the SRBEC, who will provide ongoing support and advice.
The next business workshop will be held in Goulburn at The Collective on the 18th June from 5pm. This project is funded by the Department of Home Affairs Fostering Integration Grants program.