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Alpaca fleece farmers Cheryl Harrington [left] and Kym Billingsley at the Launceston Small Business Fair

Alpaca fleece farmers Cheryl Harrington [left] and Kym Billingsley at the Launceston Small Business Fair

Big ideas on show at the Small Business Fairs

This story was first published on 9 April 2019. If you wish to use this content, please contact to confirm that the information is still current.

One thing was clear from the very first Small Business Fair held in Perth on 5 February: Australians are agile innovators, driven to put their great ideas to work.

Throughout February and March 2019 the Department of Jobs and Small Business took the Small Business Fairs across Australia, showcasing the Government’s services, incentives and benefits geared towards small business growth.

Traveling to 23 locations in eight weeks, 37 partners and 18 business coaches provided invaluable support, guidance and resources to about 2700 attendees.

Attracting a variety of businesses — including artists, dentists, tradies, wine-makers, scientists, chocolatiers and musicians — to talk business set-up, taxation, subsidies, digitisation, export, entrepreneurship and much more, the fairs proved a vital resource for experienced business owners and those new to private enterprise. 

In Western Australia’s Swan Valley, Chamber of Commerce and Community CEO, Peter McLean, said the Small Business Fairs helped owners navigate vital information.

“The Small Business Fair is a fantastic idea as you can access everything in one place,” Peter said.

“The idea of the fair also recognises that small business is fairly solitary and the voices are disparate, yet it is the backbone of the Australian economy.”

Other attendees were inspired to create their own jobs through a lifestyle change.

Retirees Kym Billingsley and Cheryl Harrington moved from Adelaide to Georgetown in Tasmania where they created their dream job as alpaca fleece farmers, while Paul Law made the switch from 34 years in banking to photography, snapping Melbourne’s live music scene in clubs and pubs.

By attending their local fair, people like Kym, Cheryl and Paul were able to access information to help them on their way to growing their business, while learning more about the importance of wellbeing in a rapidly changing business world.

Business coach, Roland Hanekroot, who helps small business owners manage their wellbeing while juggling commitments, had an important message for all entrepreneurs.

“There are always so many important activities to carry out, but there are three things that are even more important,” said Roland.

“Remember that your time is the most valuable asset to your business, learn to say no and learn to be kind to yourself.” 

The Small Business Fairs were held in seven states and territories from 5 February to 29 March.

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Last modified on Wednesday 17 April 2019 [9881|114621]