Start-up hub receives $2m
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.