Businesses get a boost from free USC program - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Businesses get a boost from free USC program

2 Nov 2021

A free USC course has helped 120 business owners and managers from the Sunshine Coast, Caboolture and Fraser Coast regions learn new skills to strengthen their businesses.

The Business Planning Course, which was run over the past two months, outlined the key factors that underpin business success and enable long-term survival.

Course presenter USC Senior Lecturer in Management Dr Wayne Graham said participants learned new skills, gained awareness of business support measures, enjoyed mutual support, and experienced pitching their business ideas to a panel of business experts.

Dr Graham said he enjoyed watching the participants develop confidence in making decisions, changing the direction of their businesses, and seeking new markets.

“Although most were experienced and successful operators, many had been unsure how to organise information into a business plan, which is vital when seeking loans and investment or applying for government grants,” he said.

“Of particular interest to them was how to develop a digital marketing and promotion plan, and knowing what support, such as grants, is available to small businesses.”

Dr Graham said participants enjoyed meeting like-minded small business owners and really appreciated the feedback they received after delivering their business pitches to the expert panel.

“Many are considering further study at USC given that they will receive a course credit toward a Graduate Certificate of Business Administration,” he said.

One participant, Sunshine Coast Allied Health manager Michelle Broadfoot, said the course had given her plenty of new ideas and made her aware of opportunities, such as government assistance.

Mrs Broadfoot said she had since secured a grant using skills and knowledge gained from the course.

“I now know to keep my eyes open, and I know where to look,” she said. “The course has given me the confidence, and the knowledge of processes, to go ahead with new projects.

“I’ve now got strategies that will be a way forward for the business.”

Another participant, Kease International founder Sarah Yip, said feedback from the expert panel had helped confirm that she was on the right track with a new business idea.

“We shaped our existing services based on the pitch and planning we learned in the course,” she said.

The course was offered in weekly two-hour sessions over six weeks at USC’s Caboolture, Sunshine Coast, Gympie and Fraser Coast campuses, and at Tiaro.

The course will be offered again in 2022. See usc.edu.au/bpc

USC Senior Lecturer in Management Dr Wayne Graham

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