BACK YOUR SELF

Life & Style Weekend - - BUSINESS - WORDS: JEN­NIFER SWAINE

"Doubt kills more dreams than fail­ure ever will." Suzy Kassem

A friend of mine quit her job last week. Not be­cause she was chang­ing em­ploy­ers but be­cause she is go­ing into busi­ness for her­self. She is a tal­ented lady with a range of skills and al­ready has new clients who wish to use her ser­vices. She has joined the grow­ing num­ber of Sun­shine Coast­ers who are, by na­ture, en­tre­pre­neur­ial peo­ple. Ac­cord­ing to an ebook pub­lished by the Sun­shine Coast Coun­cil, "Twenty-two per cent of Sun­shine Coast res­i­dents run their own busi­ness com­pared to fif­teen per cent across Aus­tralia" – which are pretty im­pres­sive statis­tics. But we are more than en­trepreneur­s – we are also op­ti­mistic! Our most re­cent Busi­ness Con­fi­dence sur­vey in­di­cated that we have the high­est level of busi­ness con­fi­dence in Queens­land with 60% of busi­nesses ex­pect­ing to make a profit and 33% ex­pect­ing to em­ploy more staff. So why is it that we are so en­tre­pre­neur­ial? Is it be­cause, in or­der to live here we had to carve out our own ca­reer paths by seek­ing out op­por­tu­ni­ties where oth­ers could see none? Or is it that our eco­nomic cli­mate is now so at­trac­tive that our in­ter­state broth­ers and sis­ters have realised they can run their busi­ness from any­where in Aus­tralia – so why not run it from a place where the cli­mate is amaz­ing, we have world class health care, an out­stand­ing choice of ed­u­ca­tional fa­cil­i­ties and you can choose to live on acreage or have ocean views and still only be 30 min­utes from any­where? Per­son­ally, I think it’s a com­bi­na­tion of both. Cer­tainly, cloud based soft­ware has made it in­cred­i­bly easy to do busi­ness from just about any­where in the world and it is now the ac­cepted norm for peo­ple to work re­motely. We also have an in­cred­i­bly sup­port­ive net­work for starts ups and en­trepreneur­s, and fos­ter a cul­ture that sup­ports peo­ple with great ideas who are pre­pared to back them­selves. On top of that there are an ar­ray of grants for small busi­ness in­clud­ing the Qld Gov­ern­ment "Small Busi­ness En­tre­pre­neur Grants Pro­gram" which of­fers match fund­ing of up to $5,000. We have world class en­tre­pre­neur­ial tal­ent right here on the Sun­shine Coast in­clud­ing He­limods who, last week were awarded a grant of $1 mil­lion for their new stretcher that does all the heavy lift­ing of a pa­tient from am­bu­lance stretcher to chop­per and Walker Seafoods who also re­cently cel­e­brated the open­ing of their $1.2mil­lion dol­lar ex­panded fac­tory. Re­gard­less of the in­dus­try, any­thing is pos­si­ble here, so much so that if you have the will there will def­i­nitely be a way. You just need to be pre­pared to back your­self !

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