Encouraging business to be more entrepreneurial is no walk in the park – they do not want to change something that isn’t broken. But, change is constant: anyone who is ahead of the curve is likely to capture the market and do better. Some of the most innovative businesses in the world work on incremental change in both product and process: constant striving to do better.
Research tells us that there are a number of reasons businesses are not entrepreneurial. One is access to finance, another is cultural – afraid of being knocked or turned against as a tall poppy if you are uber-successful.
We say that everyone has a right to be successful and at RDA we try to connect business owners with the resources, expertise and opportunity to do that. Support finance for business, for example government grants, is hard to come by for single businesses and borrowing for early stage business is often difficult. We think there is an opportunity to assist business with a great case to connect with locals who might like to invest – equity or debt - depending on the needs of both parties.
We don’t need to be involved in any transaction, just help parties prepare to pitch and to find each other. And we are currently looking to connect with people who may be interested. Governments do offer a range of programs and grants – the State Government offers grants to clusters or groups of businesses through the Regional Growth Fund.
The Australian Government offers grants to local government and NFP organisations (or a consortium led by a NFP) for Infrastructure and Community Investments Grants. The Community Grant invites applications for support of community initiatives including events.
A few years ago we at RDA, on behalf of a consortium, commissioned a Report and Events Strategy. The report included information on significant events, direct and secondary, to flow to regions that hold major events. Events can bring community together, put the town or district on the map, fill up beds, create business opportunities, showcase talent and leave a warm glow.
Check out Building Better Regions Fund for your community project and think about being a pitcher or a pitchee to create new business opportunities in your region.
Anne Moroney, chief executive
Regional Development Australia Barossa Gawler Light Adelaide Plains