Business owners thrive in free business development program

Business owners thrive in free business development program

A group of business owners from around Moreton Bay Region have strengthened their business strategies in Business Planning workshop series presented by USC.

The six-week, free pilot program was launched by USC in partnership with Regional Development Australia Moreton Bay, Moreton Bay Regional Council, and Moreton Bay Region Industry & Tourism, with the aim to help small business owners and managers in the region to plan for future success.

In just six short sessions, 27 participants developed a customised business plan and pitched this plan to a panel of experts.

Business planning identified as key skill

Nette Griggs, Director at Regional Development Australia Moreton Bay, said the need for some business owners to understand the business planning process was identified in early 2020.

"Through other workshops programs we discovered that business plans often only existed in an owner's head and not written down," said Nette.

"During COVID we noted that businesses with business plans, were used to this process and were more easily able to "pivot" their business to the new conditions."

Certification and Course Credit

The program not only provided the opportunity for business owners to develop a long-term plan for their business, but all those who completed the course received a USC Certificate of Completion and gain credit for one course in a USC Graduate Certificate in Business Administration.

"The opportunity to both pitch to a panel of experts and receive a constructive critique, as well as network with similarly placed businesses cannot be overstated."

Council sponsored workshop program

Mayor Peter Flannery said the Council sponsored Business Planning Workshops showed a snippet of bright and diverse businesses that are leading local industries back to recovery.

“Seeing businesses bring their business plans to life shows how much talent we have in our region,” he said.

“Small business is the heart of our business community and Council was very pleased to support the USC Business Planning Workshops to support and inspire a new set of entrepreneurs.

“The call for entrepreneurs went out and Moreton Bay Region answered. Congratulations to the 2020 cohort of businesses who didn’t let COVID-19 stop their great business ideas.

“Council was proud to support this initiative and support small business across our great region in what has been a challenging environment.

“All the best to each and every one of them as they take their business to market.”

Education pathways

Moreton Bay Region Industry & Tourism (MBRIT) CEO Shane Newcombe says this program is just the beginning of many collaborations

"MBRIT is proud to be working with Council, RDA Moreton Bay and USC to create these education pathways for our region's business owners."

"From shorter online learning modules to face-to-face workshops and fully-accredited courses, the opportunities to upskill, develop and network will grow even more in 2021."

Participants excited to apply new knowledge

Angie Moore, owner of The Coffee Patch on Hasking Street, participated in the program and is keen to apply all she's learned to her future business strategy.

"I started a little coffee shop on Beerburrum Road which grew out of its skin. I joined the Business Development Program because I needed the guidance, the knowledge, the networking and the support to ensure I put my goals on paper and achieve them."

"I can honestly say that I'll be applying almost all of what I've learned."

Program scheduled for 2021

With the success of the pilot program USC is already planning the 2021 workshop series.

Anyone who would like to be involved can register their interest for this (and other future workshops) by emailing

Moreton Bay Regional Council REDS

The Business Planning Workshop series was just one of many initiatives being rolled out as part of Council’s new Draft Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS).

REDS will clearly articulate how Council will diversify and grow the local economy, with the aim to more than double the economy to $40 billion, support 16,000 new businesses and create 100,000 new jobs by 2041.

Read the draft here:

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