Free short course to help small businesses look to the future

THE University of the Sunshine Coast is helping future-proof small businesses on the Fraser Coast.

USC Senior Lecturer in Management Dr Wayne Graham will host six free two-hour workshops to Fraser Coast small business owners. PHOTO: Supplied.

USC is offering a free short course to small business owners and managers that will focus on developing strategies for sustainability and success.

The Business Planning Course will be offered to small business owners in Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast, Gympie and the Fraser Coast following a pilot series of workshops in the Moreton Bay Region over the past year.

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Senior Lecturer in Management Dr Wayne Graham will present six free two-hour workshops from mid-August to eligible participants.

Dr Graham said the short course was particularly valuable as people re-evaluated, redefined or diversified their businesses in the economic conditions produced by COVID-19.

“The aim is for owners to develop a customised business plan that they can use to source funds from banks and investors, or leverage grant applications, and to apply what they have learnt in an attempt to future-proof their businesses,” he said.

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“Participants will have the chance to pitch their new business plans to a panel of experts for feedback.

“Following the course, they will also have the opportunity to join a research project involving post-workshop visits to their businesses to monitor and measure progress and have access to a mentor program.”

Successful completion of the course also opens a pathway to university education, with participants earning credit for one course in the USC Graduate Certificate in Business Administration.

Jeanette Jifkins, principal lawyer of Onyx Legal at North Lakes, is among more than 50 local small business owners to have completed the course and gained a better understanding of the factors underpinning prosperity and long-term survival.

“Participating in the course made me realise what is really important to my business right now, and what I need to focus on in order to move forward,” she said.

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Employers from regions from Moreton Bay to Fraser Coast with fewer than 20 staff and who have been operating for at least two years are eligible to participate.

Small businesses in the Sunshine Coast will also need to be a member of one of the chambers of commerce in the region. 

People can email their interest to bpc@usc.edu.au.

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