Startups Get A Hand Up – local businesses profit from government initiative

Sheryl Duguid receives advice from Courtney Tune. Photo: supplied.


MORE than 200 local small businesses are benefiting from a Federal Government initiative called the “Entrepreneur Facilitation Service”, run by Courtney Tune through his “Alt-Collective”.

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Courtney is a familiar face in the area, having established a very successful bar/restaurant in Sawtell.

He applied for and received one of only 20 Federal Government grants to provide support for small businesses.

Courtney works with small businesses in the Coffs Harbour-Grafton region in a range of areas such as identifying their purpose, finding markets and using technology.

Small business owners engage in one-on-one catch ups, group sessions, workshops and events.

Drawing on his business qualifications and real-life business experience, Courtney provides assistance such as developing social media/marketing, business planning and sales/selling.

He also refers clients to other professionals such as solicitors and accountants.

About 250 local businesses have been involved with the entrepreneurship program, mostly startups in their first or second year of business.

“Many businesses return, which shows they are getting something out of it,” said Courtney.

Sheryl Duguid, who operates Pure Heart Wellbeing, agrees wholeheartedly.

“The biggest way Courtney influenced me was by changing the way I think about things,” said Sheryl.

“Since being a part of the program I’ve gained confidence and I am definitely thinking bigger.”

Sheryl began doing face-to-face workshops, but is now rolling out a year-long online meditation and mindfulness program for primary schools.

She went on to say, “Having other professionals come and share their knowledge has been of enormous benefit.”

“I met a sound engineer who helps me with recording and an IT person who helped out with my website.”

“The program links people within our community to share skills.”

By Andrew VIVIAN

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