UP AND COMING: Sothertons Gladstone director Steve Marsten facilitates the first workshop for Startup Gladstone Inc. members.
UP AND COMING: Sothertons Gladstone director Steve Marsten facilitates the first workshop for Startup Gladstone Inc. members. Contributed

A start-up club is bringing new businesses to Gladstone

DO YOU have a great idea for a small business in Gladstone?

Then the Club of Entrepreneurs is a good place to start building your dream.

The club is an initiative of Gladstone Startup Inc in partnership with Sothertons Gladstone, with workshops held over two days once a month to help budding entrepreneurs and existing small businesses.

Startup Gladstone president Luis Arroyo said the workshops would build strong foundations to solidify the prospects of budding and existing small businesses in Gladstone.

"The workshops are for anyone who is in business or anyone who would like to innovate and anyone who wants to revisit their business foundations,” he said.

"Virtually anyone who is in business or who is considering business as well (can participate).”

Information sessions cover important key topics such as business foundations, financing, accounting, business mindset and marketing strategies.

The workshops are heavily subsidised by the State Government's Advance Queensland - a suite of programs designed to create knowledge-based jobs and drive productivity improvement, while having a strong culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

"The price of those sessions is $100, which is an absolute bargain for the content...we ran one Club of Entrepreneurs session in August, and the feedback we got was remarkable,” Mr Arroyo said.

"We are very sure that the delivery responds to the business needs in the Gladstone market.”

Mr Arroyo said Start-up Gladstone had already identified a group of hi tech entrepeneurs who were interested in emerging technologies.

"It's certainly is one of the primary focuses of this exercise, because those entrepreneurs generally would have technical knowledge, but not necessarily the management skills,” he said.

"We would like to provide those management foundations from the beginning so they can combine those high tech skills with management skills and become what we call hi tech startups.”

The next session will be held in mid-October and another in mid-November.

The workshops, held on two consecutive days on a Friday and Saturday, aren't only for budding entrepreneurs.

Workshop participants are expected to come up with a fully finished business plan by day two.

Small business owners can also participate to refresh and update their knowledge with new elements and considerations.

Start-up Gladstone also helps solidify ideas of people who are thinking about setting up a business or are in the early stages of a start-up.

Mr Arroyo also said event management and entertainment is another big area for start-ups in Gladstone.

"Certainly, when you get economies that are rather depleted in many ways, you will find that individuals are more inclined to identify activities that provide relaxation and entertainment,” he said.

"There are some people who come with a clean slate and don't have any business plans at all. We provide some foundations for them to build afterwards. One of the key strategies of the workshops is to build a very basic business plan, which can complement the disciplines at a later stage.”

For more information visit www.startupgladstone.org.au or contact Startup Gladstone president Luis Arroyo at president@startupgladstone.org.au.