WOMEN IN BUSINESS PROGRAM HELPS ENTREPRENEURS PIVOT TO SUCCESS DURING COVID

With more than a third of Australian small businesses now headed by females, the NSW Government is encouraging more women to take up free training to grow their business.

The $5.9 million Women in Business initiative is offering free TAFE NSW online learning for women running small businesses, micro-businesses, or start-ups. New courses have just been added including Building a Professional Brand, Better Business Writing, Effective Time Management Techniques and others.

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said many female business owners are using skills from the program to turn challenges into opportunities.

“The fact many businesswomen have found ways to grow their business at such a challenging time is testament to their entrepreneurial spirit and hard work,” Mr Lee said.

“The NSW Government, through TAFE NSW, is fostering the talents of the State’s women in business by offering practical skills and knowledge to boost their business.”

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Recent TAFE NSW research of 1003 female small business owners found more than 69 per cent had explored new opportunities for their business during COVID.

The program also includes access to a range of online learning topics, advice from leading Australian female entrepreneurs, as well as workshops.

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the pandemic has forced many businesses to pivot their operating model.

“While COVID has clearly been a challenging time for businesses, it’s also provided an opportunity for many to pause and reevaluate their business,” Mr Tudehope said.

“We’ve seen businesses diversify and change up the way they do things to get through this global health pandemic and the TAFE NSW Women in Business program is giving them the tools to successfully do that.”

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“The program provides NSW businesswomen with access to a range of fee-free online learning topics, with business planning, marketing, and business readiness amongst the most popular classes.”

Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said the program would help women upskill and grow their businesses, no matter the size.

“It’s been a really challenging time for so many women and this initiative is all about supporting them to achieve their full potential by empowering and equipping them with everything they need to thrive in their chosen business,” Mrs Taylor said.

One of the many NSW businesswomen to benefit from the program is Eagleton resident and Camelot Valley Farm owner Jennifer Sandstrom, whose honey, wax, and polish business was decimated when COVID hit.

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“I lost 99 per cent of my business when COVID first struck and I knew I had to do something urgently to save it,” Ms Sandstrom said.

“Refreshing my marketing skills through the TAFE NSW Women in Business program gave me the practical skills to pivot and reach a new market by manufacturing cloth face masks – to the point I was actually able to expand my business during COVID-19.”

The NSW Government’s Women in Business initiative forms part of the $7.8 million NSW Women’s Strategy 2018-2022. It complements a range of other small business support measures and offers fee-free online learning for women running small businesses, micro-businesses, or startups.