$15M investment for women in business

Shonalia Paikea (left) is transitioning to full-time business

Women in small business will have access to free TAFE courses and professional advice thanks to $15M over the next four years in the 2022-23 NSW Budget.

It will be women just like Shonalia Paikea of Killarney Vale who will benefit from the State Government’s backing for women in business.

She started her cleaning business, Clean Pristine Services, in 2014 while she was working full-time in another job.

With her cleaning business slowly growing, she turned to the TAFE NSW Women in Business program to learn how to start running her business full-time.

“Taking part in the program gave me a better understanding of how to run a business, find a niche market and build practical skills to turn my side hustle into a full-time job and one day employ others,” she said.

“It built my knowledge of business insurance, staffing, pricing and how to charge customers as well as the importance of work, health and safety in the workplace.

“I learnt about everything involved in running a business, from what insurances I need through to pricing and staffing.

“The skills I gained from the Women in Business program empowered, supported and pushed me out of my comfort zone so I could grow my business to the point that it’s now my full-time job.

“I also gained a lot from learning how to find my niche in business and the importance of going after the thing I love rather than just chasing the money.”

Paikea said she developed skills in dealing directly with other businesses and cutting out the middle man where possible.

“It has given me more control of my business,” she said.

According to Treasurer, Matt Kean, more than 95 per cent of businesses in NSW were small businesses but only a third of them were run by women.

“Many people dream of owning their own business and we know that cultural and structural barriers like access to professional networks and capital can hold women back from taking the leap,” he said.

“The NSW Budget is focused on giving women more opportunities for their future – that’s why we’re investing $15M to help women translate their business ideas into reality.”

The 2022-23 NSW Budget will invest in the following programs over four years:

$3.5M to provide fee-free TAFE NSW Women in Business courses;

$2M in grants to industry associations and chambers of commerce to run professional networking programs for women in small business;

$5M to expand the Business Connect program to provide dedicated services to women-led small business; and

$4.5M for the Service NSW for Business program to provide targeted support for women-led small businesses.

Minister for Women, Bronnie Taylor, said this

package would empower women to start and grow their businesses, because when women succeed, NSW succeeds.

Minister for Skills and Training, Alister Henskens, said that more than 15,000 women had already benefitted from the Women in Business TAFE program.

“This investment will help support a pipeline of female-led start-ups to boost their budget and grow the economy,” he said.

Sue Murray

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