Showing posts with label Advice and Support. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Advice and Support. Show all posts

Friday, 13 February 2015

Local entrepreneurs and business start ups get helping hand


Chief Minister Andrew Barr, CBRIN CEO Sarah Pearson and Griffin Accelerator CEO Craig Davis

On Friday 13 February 2015 ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA launched the 2015 GRIFFIN Accelerator program; a program conceived and managed by Canberra entrepreneurs who invest in, host, teach and mentor selected start-ups to create successful new businesses.

GRIFFIN has already completed one very successful program last year with all five participating start up companies receiving investment offers from around Australia at the end of the three month immersive commercialisation program. The 2015 GRIFFIN program will be bigger than 2014, with early planning to support up to 10 new innovative business start-ups.

The Chief Minister said "The ACT Government has placed support for business innovation centrally in its economic development agenda. We know that business innovation and entrepreneurship are essential to expanding the city’s economic base, diversifying our economy and creating new jobs for the future. Our policies and programs to in this area have been successfully guided by Growth Diversification and Jobs, A Business Development Strategy for the ACT"

"In my Ministerial Statement to the Legislative Assembly earlier this week, I announced new directions around procurement reform and advocacy for local SMEs and these directions will form an important part of a second phase of Business Development Strategy to be released in the first half of this year. Greater synergy between innovation policy and government procurement is something I know the business community is keen to see."

"I am delighted the ACT Government has been able to play a role in the establishment of the Griffin Accelerator through administrative funding support in 2014, and in 2015 through our support for the CBR Innovation Network" said the Chief Minister.

Innovators and entrepreneurs from Canberra and Australia are encouraged to apply for the GRIFFIN accelerator’s three month program supported by the CBR Innovation Network. For more information visit the GRIFFIN Accelerator website External Link - opens in new window.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

New support available through the CBR Innovation Network


Male entrepreneur looking at camera

Public Sector Landing Pad

Have you been a permanent employee of the Australian or ACT Public Service in the past 12 months? Are you ready to work on your innovative idea full-time?

You may be eligible for the CBR Innovation Network’s External Link - opens in new window ‘Public Sector Landing Pad’ (PSLP) program.

Being run by the Network’s partner, Entry 29, the PSLP program gives you 3 months free full-time access to the Entry 29 co-working space located at 1 Moore St, Canberra, normally valued at $990.

The Entry 29 space allows you to work closely with other entrepreneurs and start-ups, as well as the CBR Innovation Network and their partner institutions.

You’ll also have access to the Entry 29 facilities External Link - opens in new window which includes 24 hour access, high-speed internet, height-adjustable desks, breakout spaces, meeting rooms and kitchens. You will also have access to other co-working spaces when you travel through Entry 29’s Reciprocal Membership arrangements.

Youth Entrepreneur Summer Session

All teams that received seed funding in this year’s Innovation ACT External Link - opens in new window (IACT) 2014 competition are invited to take part in the inaugural ‘Youth Entrepreneur Summer Session’ (YESS) program.

As part of the program you will receive 3 months free full-time access to the Entry 29 co-working space located at 1 Moore St, Canberra, normally valued at $990.

Eligible IACT start-ups must commence their 3 month access prior to 31 December 2014.

To find out more and discuss your eligibility for the PSLP or YESS program contact Entry 29:

Website: www.entry29.org.au External Link - opens in new window
Phone: 0426 816 288

The CBR Innovation Network has been established by the ACT Government and the ACT innovation community to play a major role in accelerating innovation and growth to maximise wealth creation and transformation of the ACT economy. The Network is unique within Australia in that it’s based on a collaboration between five world-class research and education institutes in the ACT: the ANU, University of Canberra, NICTA, CSIRO and UNSW Canberra. 

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Start-Up Camp helps Canberra find its inner entrepreneur



Start-Up Camp Canberra is an event that celebrates creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial thinking.

Run over the course of a single weekend, individuals come together to form teams, work to come up with an idea for a web-enabled business and then pitch their concept to a panel of judges.

The purpose of Start-Up Camp is to encourage entrepreneurial thinking no matter whether you are young or old, already involved in a start-up or simply an ‘ideas person’. Start-Up Camp is open to anyone over the age of 16 years who is interested in innovation, creativity and problem solving.

Last year’s attendees had this to say about start-up camp:

“This one night, two-day crash-course in entrepreneurship gave me an amazing insight into the world of development: the importance of knowing your customer, and how much we need a network of people to compliment our own skills & interests. I strongly recommend attending events like this one if you have ideas, and want to bring them to life!” Pirra

“The weekend showed me that if you are among the right people and focus on an idea, implementing it does not seem as challenging as it would when you are trying to tackle the idea on your own. It also definitely gave me a better understanding on where to start working on start-up ideas.” Sajj

“I registered for Start-Up Camp Canberra because I was interested in seeing “behind the scenes” of what goes into planning and starting a business. Although I have a business I run from home, being a mum with two young children means that I normally mainly meet other mums. I was keen to network amongst a completely different crowd of people and move the “grey matter” out of the playroom and into the boardroom.” Suzanne

Start-Up Camp Canberra will be held 25 - 27 July 2014 at the ANU College of Business and Economics.

To find out more visit the Start-up camp website External Link - opens in new window.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Canberra based accelerator program launched


Last week as part of the ANU Connect Ventures Innovation Showcase Chief Minster Katy Gallagher MLA launched the GRIFFIN Accelerator, a Canberra-based start-up accelerator program with a focus on ‘servicing government’.

The GRIFFIN Accelerator gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to take part in a 3+3 program where they have the chance to validate their idea, develop networks and fine-tune their business model. This program model is unique where selected applicants are invited to take part in a 3 month program with $25,000 for customer validation activities, in return for 10% equity. At the end of this 3 month block, a select number of Griffin start- ups will be invited to continue for another 3 month intensive program with an additional $25,000 instalment for a further 5% equity.

Named in recognition of the contribution of the city’s founding father, Walter Burley Griffin, the GRIFFIN accelerator aims to form and support new innovative companies. Its goal is to provide a structured high growth path so start-ups exiting the program have an investible proposition or revenue generation.
The accelerator draws experience from a pool of mentors, each with entrepreneurial experience, skills and experience in the government sector, or a significant technology industry network.

Nick McNaughton, spokesperson for the GRIFFIN Accelerator said “This accelerator program is another building block in the early-stage innovation eco-system in our city. Last year we launched Entry 29 the co-working space which has attracted over 125 paying members since its launch in May 2013. The success of Entry 29 demonstrated the demand for an accelerator program and we are pleased to now be open for business”.

The GRIFFIN Accelerator is the product of collaboration between several of Canberra’s innovation-led institutions including the Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre, NICTA, the Australian National University, the University of Canberra and Ignition Labs, part of ATP Innovations.

Hamish Hawthorn, CEO of ATP Innovations said “We have extensive experience in running accelerator programs in technology, health and energy sectors. Leveraging our capability and expertise to launch other regional programs is of significant interest to us. Partnering with the impressive innovation community of the ACT to launch this in Canberra demonstrates the collaborative spirit that will make this program a success”.

The program’s focus is unique to Australia and leverages the city’s strengths. “We are so much more than a politics, public service and tax town. We have a huge customer on our door step (the Federal Government) and we have significant research and domain expertise in the themes selected for this year’s program” said Mr McNaughton.

Stage one of the GRIFFIN Accelerator program will run from 1 July – 30 September 2014 and will be based at the NICTA Research Labs in the heart of the city.

Phil Robertson, Chief Operating Office of NICTA said “We are excited to be providing the space for this first group of start-ups. NICTA is all about bringing research and industry together and growing businesses, like we have done with our Canberra-led eGovernment Cluster”.

“These lucky start-ups will be surrounded by the large intellectual pool of NICTA researchers and PhD students to help them solve curly issues on the spot”.

Participants who are selected for stage two will continue in an additional period from October to December.

The GRIFFIN Accelerator program is currently seeking applicants with solutions in the Government Software, Government Services, Defence, Education and Health space. Applications close 23 May 2014.

To find out more visit the GRIFFIN Accelerator website External Link - opens in new window.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Does your business travel overseas?


Smartraveller website screenshot

Does your business travel overseas? Maybe it’s for a short-term conference. Maybe it’s to buy or sell goods for your business. Whatever the need and however routine the trip may be, it is important that your business has a thorough travel plan.

To help with this, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has launched a Smartraveller business travel webpage External Link - opens in new window to advise Australian businesses operating overseas.

The webpage has been created to raise awareness of the importance of travel planning and risk management as an integral element in managing overseas travel, even for short visits to locations considered low-risk.

The new web page emphasises the need for Australians and Australian businesses operating abroad to understand the local threat environment, adopt robust protective security measures and develop reliable evacuation options.

Travel is inherently risky, even short-term travel to familiar overseas locations for meetings and conferences carries risks. The advice encourages employers to consider a wide range of factors in their risk assessments, including transport safety, environmental and health factors.

A range of potential threats confronting businesses operating overseas are highlighted, including violent crime, cyber-crime, involvement in commercial disputes and fraud, extortion and bribery.

The advice does not replace the Smartraveller country-specific travel advisories External Link - opens in new window but provides general information tailored to the needs of the business community. Business travellers, like all Australian travellers, are encouraged to register their travel details with DFAT External Link - opens in new window, subscribe to the travel advice for the country they are visiting and obtain appropriate travel insurance.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Understanding your compliance obligations


You have visited the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) External Link - opens in new window and prepared your ABLIS package, but what exactly do the results mean?

As a business owner or operator, you are responsible for understanding what compliance obligations relate to your business circumstances so it’s important for you to do more than just get the results from ABLIS! You need to understand how the results apply to your business and what action you need to take.

If you are based in the ACT, all of the results that ABLIS provides are legal requirements. But there are some important differences between licences and codes of practice.

What is a licence?
A licence relates to the need to obtain recognition or certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity. Often licences are referred to as registrations, permits or approvals.

Do I need to obtain a licence?
If there are licences in your results, there is a legal requirement to apply to government before you undertake the related activity. There will be various eligibility criteria, fees to pay and you may need to demonstrate that you have various competencies.

If you require several licences and permits to conduct your business activity, you may find that you have to apply for them in a particular order. ABLIS helps you identify this by listing “prerequisites” in the information.

What is a code of practice and do I need to do anything about them?
A code of practice can be either a legal requirement or non-legal requirement. Legal codes of practice are defined as a result of legislation. These are the codes of practice that ABLIS will include in your results. Codes of practice offer practical examples of good practice and give advice on how to comply with the relevant law. You will need to incorporate good practice into your business operations to ensure you are meeting your obligations under the laws that apply to your business type.

Non-legal codes of practice are defined by industry regulators and bodies. These codes set minimum standards that businesses operating within a particular industry are expected to comply with. If you become a member of an industry body, you may be required to comply with the industry code of practice to maintain your membership. This information is not available through ABLIS and to find this information you would need to check with the industry regulator or body that relates to your business.

Need help?
If you’re based in the ACT, you can contact Canberra BusinessPoint, the ACT Government’s business mentoring and advisory service. They can offer support and tailored advice in the establishment, operation and development of your business. You can contact them on 1300 648 641 or visit www.canberrabusinesspoint.com.au External Link - opens in new window for more information.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

How to effectively promote your event among local audiences


By National Convention Centre Canberra External Link - opens in new window

Successful local community or niche-market events can be a powerful way for small businesses to connect face to face with potential customers and raise their public profile. However these events are only as effective as the audience they attract.

Here are some simple ways to efficiently reach out to the local public, with limited marketing resources, and get your next event the attention (and attendance) it deserves.

Make the most of what you’ve got, and start early

Many of your best tools for event promotion are already on hand.

Publish dedicated event pages on your own website or blog and send out advance invitations to your existing customer contact list. While this may only attract a small number of visitors, the people who view your website or blog regularly are the most likely to attend your event. With a little encouragement they might even extend the invite to others in their network.

Social media is a cost effective way to get your event in front of potential attendees. Use the social media channels you already have in place to promote the event and link back to the relevant pages of your website. Keep the content as interesting and engaging as you can and be sure to incorporate social media elements like hashtags.

Reach out to your local community through community bloggers, event listings and local free papers. It’s a no brainer that the earlier you start the more potential coverage you’ll get.

Get friendly and collaborate with influencers

Take the time to identify bloggers and other influencers in your area that cover local events, local news or tie into your niche in a relevant way.

You can offer interesting content, exclusive interviews and access to your blog for cross promotion in return for spreading the word and promoting attendance at your event. It’s a collaboration that should help both parties.

You don’t have to go it alone 

Putting on an event requires a big investment of time and resources. Consider forming a partnership with a company or business that is close to your audience target. Doing this could potentially double your audience as well as helping to increase the return on investment for your event.

Remember that the more involved you are in the community, the greater the opportunity for promotion. Check out local charities and consider becoming a sponsor, or including a fundraiser as part of your event. As well as positioning your business in a positive light this can help to generate some excellent local publicity.

Spread the word

Consider the regional (or free) newspapers, local radio and community TV organisations that service your area.  Local sources of advertisement are usually more accessible than larger media with much more reasonable pricing. Given enough lead-time, some of them even give free access to local event listings.

What you see is what you get

To maximise the local impact of your next event you want to be seen. Get some visibility by placing posters in strategic locations. Some event venues, such as National Convention Centre Canberra External Link - opens in new window, offer advertising solutions such as an external Electronic Billboard to advertise events up to six weeks in advance.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Are you meeting all your compliance obligations? ABLIS can help!


As a business owner, it is your responsibility to be aware of and understand all the regulations that apply to your business activities.

The Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) External Link - opens in new window is a searchable online tool that helps you find these and the government controls your business needs to comply with. For ACT businesses, ABLIS contains information about all the licences – sometimes referred to as permits or approvals – and codes of practice that you need to operate your business.

ABLIS saves you time by providing a single website to gather all the compliance information you need. ABLIS results include information summaries, links to forms and contact information for the relevant agency if you need more information.

While ABLIS is designed with starting a business in mind, established businesses can also use ABLIS, for example to check their compliance responsibilities, or to check for new requirements when you are growing or adding a new business activity.

The first step is found on the home page – you will need to enter a business type and a location to get started.

The business type matches to the ANZSIC classification system External Link - opens in new window, so if you’re not getting matches you can check what terms ANZSIC uses to describe your business. If you still don’t get a business type match or a list of business types to select from, try entering commas between each word or you can contact us for help.

The location field lets you search by State or Territory, or use a suburb or postcode. The more specific you are with location, the more tailored your search results can be. For ACT based businesses where there are no local government councils, this isn’t as important. If you are planning a base in NSW there may be local council requirements that apply to your business: to get the right council, you will need to use a more precise location.

Next, ABLIS will take you through a series of questions and answers. Once you’ve completed the questions and answers, ABLIS will generate a list of results containing regulation information that matches your business activity, location and the information you provided through the questions and answers.

If you are based in the ACT, all of the results that ABLIS provides are legal requirements. But there are some important differences between Licences and Codes of Practice. To find out more about the differences, visit our ABLIS page.

If you need help with understanding the regulations, your ABLIS results include contact details so that you can contact the relevant area of government.

If you’re based in the ACT, you can also contact Canberra BusinessPoint, the ACT Government’s business mentoring and advisory service. They can offer support and tailored advice in the establishment, operation and development of your business. You can contact them on 1300 648 641 or visit www.canberrabusinesspoint.com.au External Link - opens in new window for more information.

If you have found any regulations that affect or impede your ability to do business in the ACT, you can report it using Fix my Red Tape External Link - opens in new window – an online feedback tool designed for you to provide feedback or suggested reforms. You can also ask questions and lodge complaints through this form.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Does it have legs? 3 things to ask yourself before you quit your day job


By Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre External Link - opens in new window.

With many Australians considering launching a small business each year, it’s important that they give their business idea a once over before embarking on their entrepreneurial journey.

1. Does the business idea satisfy a compelling unserved need?

Finding an idea worth pursuing is about working out who wants what you’re offering so badly that they’ll buy it even if it’s an early version made by a start-up without a proven track record.

Identifying the intensity of the need and the inability of your potential market to solve the problem gives you an idea of the likely demand there will be for your offering. But before you print those business cards, you still need to consider how many people this is important to and work out whether there are enough of them to build a business around.

2. What is the risk of failure? 

Sometimes even with a compelling need, the risks outweigh the opportunities and an idea is best shelved until the market is more receptive to it. It’s important to look at things like changing trends, the impact of socio-economic and regulatory factors as well as dependence on outside resources before deciding to proceed. Very often these risks can be managed, but it’s better to understand what they are from the outset rather than hit an iceberg a couple of months in.

3. How will the business make money?

Having a business model that makes sense often takes a lot of thought and planning. You need to have a good understanding of the resources you will need to operate the business as well as the profitability of your products and services. Many companies have to re-visit their business model a few times before getting it right.

When you launch a new business you’re putting a lot on the line – your money, your time, your reputation and very often your relationships, so it’s important to give yourself the best chance of success. Investing the time upfront to refine your idea and improve areas of weakness can save you a lot of heartache down the track.

If you need some help evaluating your business idea, Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre External Link - opens in new window has developed an online tool that draws on extensive research and input from business facilitators, researchers and subject experts as well as the hundreds of start-ups who work with Lighthouse to commercialise their ideas. You can view the tool at www.bizlabtool.com.au External Link - opens in new window.

Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre is a joint initiative between the ACT Government and Epicorp Limited. Lighthouse can provide you with advice, education and training, mentorship and networking opportunities to help commercialise your idea and grow your business.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Protect your premises


Whilst your business may be getting ready to shutdown over the Christmas and New Year period, the burglary business isn't!

Help protect your business premises by following some simple tips from the Australia Federal Police (AFP):
  • Maintain the landscaping around your premises, including trimming trees and scrubs away from doors and windows. This limits concealment and increases natural surveillance of your property.
  • Most burglaries occur at the side or rear of the building, so make sure these doors, windows and frames are secure and of solid construction.
  • Reinforce glass windows and doors. You can do this by installing a shatter resistant film on existing glass, replacing existing glass with laminated glass or installing quality metal security grilles or shutters.
  • Install external night lighting which will enable police, security guards or passing people to monitor activities around the premises. The lighting should be directed towards the building. A limited amount of internal lighting should also be left on at night. 
  • Restrict unauthorised access and tampering with the power supply by housing the switch board within a metal cabinet secured by a durable lock.
  • Record descriptions, models and serial numbers of your business’ property and keep this record in a safe place on and off site.  Serial numbers are essential in identifying property.
  • Think about marking your property, such as engraving your ABN number onto items. Property which can’t be marked should be photographed.

You should also register your details on the ACT Keyholder Register. The ACT Keyholder register is a list of the names and after hours contact details of business owners or others who have access to your business premises.

This information is stored on the AFP’s confidential computer system and is not given out to anyone other than an authorised AFP staff member. The register is only accessed in the event police need the owner, or another nominated person to attend the premises, such as if there has been damage from fire, burglary or other incidents that may happen after business hours.

You can update the register by using the AFP’s ACT Keyholder Register online or PDF form External Link - opens in new window.

Find more burglary prevention tips in the AFP’s Preventing Burglary factsheet (PDF 122kb) External Link - opens in new window.

To find out more crime prevention tips from the AFP, including information on fraud, bag checking and searching, and workplace security on the AFP’s Bizsafe program website External Link - opens in new window.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Are you falling into these common traps?


By Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre External Link - opens in new window

As an entrepreneur just starting your business without the support of a larger team, you need to perform a variety of different roles. You might already be quite good at some of these, but some are going to be tougher and may not come naturally. Many entrepreneurs in this situation can fall into these common traps, but learning to recognise them can help you deal with them and build your business.

Expecting too much too soon

If you are constantly finding yourself surprised and discouraged by how long it takes to build a product or pay yourself a salary, then maybe your expectations need a reality check. While it’s good to be optimistic, you need to work to realistic timeframes or risk being disappointed.

Letting fear hold you back

 While running a start-up, you will probably find yourself faced with many tasks that you have never completed before and no one to hand them off to. So you put them aside to do later, or even not at all.   Maybe that idea you were afraid to execute would have taken your business to the next level, so don’t let fear be the reason for missed opportunities. If you’re feeling out of your depth consider finding a mentor or even ask a fellow start-up that you know has faced and overcome similar issues.

Worrying about what other people think

Being a start-up is all about being innovative, having new ideas, trying new things and taking risks. In 1977, Ken Olson famously said, “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” We now know this not to be true. Worrying what people think can hold you back from pursuing a truly great idea.

Being a perfectionist

It’s time to accept that “good enough” is good enough. Eric Reis’s Lean Startup method is quickly growing in popularity and proposes that you get your product out there as soon as you can. This way you can get fast, accurate information on what the market wants from the market itself. Being a perfectionist can just delay progress and decrease productivity.

Focusing on the wrong thing

All these fears and concerns might prevent you from seeing what’s really there.  One way to identify what you need to work on is with a business diagnostic tool like www.bizlabtool.com.au External Link - opens in new window. A business diagnostic tool can highlight these strengths and weaknesses in a graphic form and provide a bit of a wake-up call for areas that need attention.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Business ideas that don't cost the earth


ACTSmart Business Sustainability Expo
10am – 4pm
Thursday 14 November 2013
Rydges Lakeside

Looking to make your business more sustainable? Head along to the free ACTSmart Business Sustainability Expo this November and learn about the latest energy and water efficiency products and services, better waste management, as well as advice on creating a healthier work environment.  At the Expo you will also be able to discuss you needs with the ACTSmart team and find the right sustainable solutions for your business.

Businesses that attend the expo and are signed up to an ACTSmart Business program (including those who sign up on the day) have the chance to win $1,000 in prizes*.

Find out more about the ACTSmart Business programs External Link - opens in new window.

This year’s ACTSmart Business Sustainability Expo also includes a range of free seminars on key industry topics and the latest industry trends. View the seminar program External Link - opens in new window. Bookings are required as seats are limited at each seminar. To book, complete the online registration form available on the ACTSmart website External Link - opens in new window.

Following the Expo, from 4pm -6pm a free networking function will be held. Attendance at the networking function is limited. To book email ACTSmartBusiness@act.gov.au.

To find out more about the ACTSmart Business Sustainability Expo including the seminars and networking event visit the ACTSmart website External Link - opens in new window.

*Terms and conditions available at www.actsmart.act.gov.au External Link - opens in new window.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

How healthy is your workplace?


How healthy is your workplace? Is your business fostering healthy workplace policies and a supportive environment for your employees?



Australia, like many other developed nations, is currently seeing an increase in the burden of chronic disease. A 2010 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare study External Link - opens in new window found that 96% of working-age Australians had at least one chronic disease risk factor and 72% had multiple risk factors. Many of these risk factors are preventable and small changes to our lifestyle can make a big difference.

The ACT is no exception to this! A 2011 ACT Health study External Link - opens in new window reveals that there is plenty of work that Canberra workers can do to become healthier:
  • 20% of ACT workers reported as being smokers
  • 46% of ACT workers have inadequate fruit and vegetable intake
  • 23% of ACT workers consume harmful levels of alcohol
  • 65% of ACT workers do not undertake in sufficient levels of physical activity
  • 56% of ACT workers are overweight

Do you or your employees fit into any of these categories? 

Why not introduce a Health and Wellbeing program in your business. Programs can range from simple activities that only involve a small investment to a comprehensive program with a more substantial investment for large numbers of employees. 

Examples of what other local businesses have done include Belconnen Physiotherapy Clinic who arrange for fresh boxes of fruit to be available for staff free of charge in the kitchen area; Manteena Pty Ltd allow their staff to have 3 half hour physical activity sessions per week during their paid work time; and ActewAGL provide yearly health and fitness assessments for their staff.

Read more about theirs and other local businesses healthier workplace stories External Link - opens in new window

Benefits for your business could include increased staff morale which leads to better productivity, reduced sick leave/absenteeism, reduced long-term health problems, increased ability to attract and retain new staff and reduced risk of accidents and health-related litigation. 

You can get help with developing and implementing programs, policies and practices into you business through the ACT Government’s Healthier Work service. The service offers a range of free resources and supports including:
  • free phone, email and onsite support
  • a step-by-step guide to promoting health and wellbeing in the workplace
  • resources to support the implementation of healthy lifestyle programs and policies
  • free tools, including an online employee health survey and an organisational audit tool
  • links to workplace health and wellbeing providers
  • training and support mechanisms for workplaces

To find out more about the service, including accessing a range of resources, tools and templates to assist you in successfully developing and implementing a workplace health and wellbeing program visit the Healthier Work website External Link - opens in new window.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Think you know your employees rights? Make sure it’s not just a common workplace myth!


You don't need to pay employees for time spent opening or closing your store or attending training outside of normal work hours.

You can send your employees home without pay if there isn't enough work on.

Employees must work for you for 12 months before they can take leave.

What do all three of these scenarios have in common? They’re all common workplace myths!

The reality is you must pay your employees for all the time they are required to work, you must pay employees their normal working hours, even if there isn't any work, and all leave starts to accrue as soon as employees commence work!

In terms of rights and obligations, there’s a lot you need to know about when employing staff. As an employer though, it’s your responsibility to make sure you are aware of these - a breach in your employee's rights can mean potential penalties for your business!

To help you out business.gov.au External Link - opens in new window in partnership with the Fair Work Obudsman External Link - opens in new window have put together some common workplace myths and busted them for you.

View the list of common workplace myths External Link - opens in new window.

You can also sign up for the Fair Work Obudsman’s eNewsletter External Link - opens in new window to receive regular updates on workplace laws.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

How do you fix your business when you don’t even know what the problem is – free video resources for your business!


Einstein is quoted as having said that if he had an hour to save the world he would spend 55 minutes defining the problem and 5 minutes solving it. The same can be said for business, after all how do you fix your business when pin pointing the problem is difficult.

Those who were able to attend the series of free business master classes which we featured on our blog earlier in the year External Link - opens in new window know all about this! And now you can too!

The master class series, run jointly by the Canberra BusinessPoint External Link - opens in new window and Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre External Link - opens in new window, included 6 sessions covering a variety of advanced business themes.

The master classes centred on a fictitious case study, the story of Davange Pty Ltd and its two directors, David and Angela O'Dell. The case study aimed to challenge participants to rephrase a problem from different viewpoints, looking at the quality of their problem descriptions and the impact on the solutions.

You can listen to the case study below or read the case study here External Link - opens in new window. Don’t place too much weight on the particular facts of the case study as it is unlikely that these circumstances will be the same as your own!



At each master class an experienced local business advisor and subject matter expert was bought in to explore particular themes including business management and performance, financial, people, legal, business expansion and investment.

The sessions were recorded and these videos are now available on the Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre website as a free online educational resource for you and your business!

View the Master Class Video Series External Link - opens in new window. 

Thursday, 15 August 2013

ACT Government wants to hear from your small business!


Man in suit at laptop

The ACT Government, in partnership with Canberra Business Council, will soon begin running a series of Listening to Small Business Forums.

Commencing in August and running through to October, the Listening to Small Business Forums aim to create a conversation between the ACT Government and Canberra small and micro businesses. There will be 10 forums in total, each one focusing on a different industry area.

These forums, which are an initiative of Growth, Diversification and Jobs: A Business Development Strategy for the ACT, will help us to better understand the issues and opportunities each industry sector is dealing with in 2013. Where there is a role for the ACT Government to address these matters, we will strive to do that directly and quickly.

PDF View the Listening to Small Business Forums schedule: PDF 175kB
MS Word View the Listening to Small Business Forums schedule: Word 932kB

Registering for the Listening to Small Business Forum is essential as palces will be limited to approximately 15 participants at each session.

If you are a small business owner or operator and you would like to participate in your industry discussion please register with Dean Seeley, Manager - Canberra BusinessPoint by emailing dean.seeley@canberrabusinesscouncil.com.au or phoning (02) 6247 4199.