WOMEN in small business will have access to free TAFE courses and professional advice thanks to $15 million over the next four years in the 2022-23 NSW Budget.
Port Stephens women will be able to access these courses through the TAFE Connected Learning Centre at Salamander Bay.
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There is also funding in the package for local networking events for women.
Treasurer Matt Kean said more than 95 percent of businesses in NSW were small businesses, however only a third of these businesses are run by women.
“Many people dream of owning their own business, however we know that cultural and structural barriers like access to professional networks and capital can hold women back from taking the leap,” Mr Kean said.
“The NSW Budget is focused on giving women more opportunities for their future.
“That’s why we’re investing $15 million to help women translate their business ideas into reality.”
Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said the investment is another example of the NSW Government supporting women-led small businesses.
“From Ballina to Braidwood and everywhere in between, this package empowers women to start and grow their businesses, because we know when women succeed, NSW succeeds,” Mrs Taylor said.
Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens said the fee-free TAFE courses will give women in small business access to a wide range of online learning topics and webinars, which can be studied anywhere, any time.
“The Women in Business TAFE program will provide women in every corner of NSW with access to fee-free online training on how to start or build a business,” Mr Henskens said.
“More than 15,000 women have already benefited from the program, and this investment will help support a pipeline of female-led start-ups to boost their budget and grow the economy.”
Minister for Small Business Eleni Petinos said the Business Connect program will be expanded to provide dedicated services to women-led small businesses.
“Since 2017, Business Connect has already helped more than 44,000 small businesses by providing them with personalised and tailored support to help them to start, adapt and grow their operations,” Ms Petinos said.
“We’re expanding this program by providing a further $5 million over the next four years to women-led small businesses to upskill these leaders with the tools they want, whether it be marketing, social media, business planning, and digital literacy.”
Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Victor Dominello said the Service NSW for Business program will provide targeted support for women-led small businesses.
“The Budget is expanding the Service for Business program to provide further funding to female-run small businesses to make their business journey easier. This includes access to our Business Concierges, Online Information Hub and Business Profile Digital Platform,” Mr Dominello said.
Fiona Brown, President of Port Stephens Women In Business told News Of The Area, “Port Stephens Women in Business are thrilled at the announcement by the NSW Government of increased support for women in small business.
“Most of our members fit into this category and I hear from them first hand that one of the biggest barriers to growing their business is lack of access to the right services and resources to help them do so.
“Women wear many hats and the ability for them to access flexible learning is key to them being able to balance work and home life while still moving forward in business,” she said.
The group is looking forward to applying for grants to assist them in delivering and building support to our local business women through expanded networking and learning opportunities.
By Marian SAMPSON
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