Start-up hub re­ceives $2m

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

A Kar­ratha small busi­ness and start-up hub able to ac­com­mo­date up to 25 en­ter­prises has been given the green light with an in­jec­tion of mil­lions in State Gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

The Kar­ratha En­ter­prise Hub was ap­proved and granted $2 mil­lion through the Roy­al­ties for Re­gions Pil­bara Cities ini­tia­tive early last week.

The cen­tre, which will be de­liv­ered by the Busi­ness Cen­tre Pil­bara, is in­tended to ex­pand and di­ver­sify the West Pil­bara busi­ness sphere, with ca­pac­ity for up to 25 busi­nesses in an open-plan space, in­clud­ing co-work­ing ar­eas, in­cu­ba­tion suites, meet­ing rooms and space for busi­ness and com­mu­nity events.

Busi­ness Cen­tre Pil­bara chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Jag­ger said it was ex­cit­ing news, as af­ter al­most six years in the works, the hub an­nounce­ment came at a time when the bar­ri­ers to Kar­ratha start-ups and small busi­nesses were eas­ing.

“Over that pe­riod of time we’ve fine-tuned the model for in­cu­bat­ing new busi­ness and new en­ter­prise in the Pil­bara, and I think what we’ve ended up with now is a model that re­ally does fit the need,” he said. “It’s re­ally about fos­ter­ing a greater level of col­lab­o­ra­tion and con­nec­tiv­ity across the busi­ness sec­tor.”

Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Terry Red­man said the hub would ad­dress a marked gap in the lo­cal small busi­ness space, which had his­tor­i­cally been over­shad­owed by the re­sources in­dus­try.

“The Pil­bara cur­rently has less than half the num­ber of busi­nesses per capita com­pared to the WA av­er­age, with the lo­cal econ­omy dom­i­nated by the re­source and con­struc­tion sec­tor,” he said.

“The en­ter­prise hub will en­able en­tre­pre­neur­ial ideas to be­come re­al­ity and fa­cil­i­tate the growth and ex­pan­sion of ex­ist­ing small busi­nesses.”

Mr Red­man said the hub would also offer more sup­port and men­tor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to busi­nesses across the West Pil­bara, in­clud­ing Tom Price and Onslow.

Kar­ratha and Dis­tricts Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try pres­i­dent Ky­lah Mor­ri­son said the hub would give smaller busi­nesses a much-needed help­ing hand.

The hub will be in the Kar­ratha CBD and has been funded by the Pil­bara Cities Eco­nomic Di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion Fund, ad­min­is­tered by the Pil­bara De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion.

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