Free online learning ‘opens doors’ for business women

Carmen Pracy

A new TAFE NSW study has revealed COVID-19 hasn’t dimmed the entrepreneurial spirit of the state’s businesswomen, with 46 per cent of them using the pandemic as a stepping stone to start a new business.

Carmen Pracy of Mangrove Mountain, who runs story times for children in a local library, is just one of them.

Pracy took advantage of lockdowns to complete two courses to take her business to the next level.

She completed the Marketing your Business: Essentials and Doing Business in Australia topics to gain the skills needed to launch her own business and follow her passion for early childhood learning and development.

“COVID-19 opened the door for me to slow down, think more, and reassess what was important to me,” she said.

“I completed the Women in Business topics as I wanted to do something different and start my own business.

“I’m now getting ready to launch Little People Learning next year, which will specialise in felt products with a learning focus that educators and families can use to connect with children.

“The fee-free program has helped me develop a business mind, along with practical skills in marketing, branding, and pricing – which have been crucial throughout the planning process.

“I’ve since registered my business and domain name, and I’m on my way to launching a website next year.

“The fact the training was online really appealed to me, as it gave me the flexibility to set my own timetable and juggle other priorities.

“It’s also driven me to develop my skills further with a Statement of Attainment in Small Business.”

TAFE Digital General Manager, Lyn Rickard, said more than 13,000 female business leaders had turned to the TAFE NSW Women in Business program since the start of the pandemic to learn how to get their business off the ground.

“With a third of Australian small businesses now headed up by women, the Women in Business program is designed to provide women in every corner of NSW with access to fee-free online training on how to start or build a business,” she said.

“The TAFE NSW research tells us that women starting a new business face a number of common challenges, such as not knowing how to get started, finding funding sources, and managing their work-life balance.

“Depending on what point women are at with their business, they can cherry pick topics from the Women in Business program to suit their needs – whether it be starting with business planning and sourcing grants, or growing sales with social media and putting wellbeing strategies in place.

“The perception businesswomen are somehow disadvantaged by operating in regional areas also no longer applies, with the TAFE NSW research confirming that 57 per cent of female business owners don’t believe a remote location is an issue.”

The Women in Business program is part of the NSW Government’s Women’s Strategy 2018-2022 and offers flexible online learning from anywhere, at any time.

Learn more at

Terry Collins