Business ideas

Take your business ideas to the next level, says Aymee

A new small business incubator initiative is giving 15 Novocastrians the chance to take their ideas to the next level.

Delivered as part of the City of Newcastle’s NewSkills training programme, the intensive 12-week Side Hustle Bootcamp will offer budding entrepreneurs the opportunity to acquire and develop their concepts into a viable business.

Many well-known companies started out as side hustles, including Cocoa Nib, Savant Apothecary, and Eat Your Water, which have become popular brands locally and nationally.

Deputy Mayor Declan Clausen said investing in people was central to the City of Newcastle’s economic development strategy and was key to economic growth.

“Newcastle’s future will be built on the talent, skill and ingenuity of our people,” he said.

“The City of Newcastle sees the value of investing in micro start-ups as a key part of our city’s economic development, with over 40% of jobs in our economy generated by micro and small businesses.

“Investing in training through our NewSkills program will bring tangible benefits to the wider Newcastle community, encouraging residents to turn their business ideas into fledgling startups, while encouraging economic diversification.”

The Side Hustle Bootcamp initiative offered by the City of Newcastle was designed by experts.

It includes six online and face-to-face group workshop sessions to bring ideas to life.

Small business training expert Giovanna Lever said the goal was for participants to complete the program with the skills, tools and confidence to successfully market their concepts.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and thousands of Australian small businesses started as small businesses,” she explained.

“Supporting these workshops will be a hands-on webinar, access to a national curated community of fellow scammers, tools to apply to your business idea, and ongoing support throughout the program.”

Cocoa Nib owner and entrepreneur Aymee Slaviero says her successful artisanal chocolate brand started as a simple passion for all things chocolate.

“I am a pastry chef by training and have worked for some of Australia’s most renowned restaurants,” she added.

“But, as a cult chocolate lover, I knew chocolate was my calling.

“Now I own and operate two artisan chocolate retail stores in Newcastle and The Hunter.

“Anyone with an idea big or small should show interest in this program to gain the skills and confidence to take their idea to the next level.”

Expressions of Interest are now open, visit the City of Newcastle website to apply.

The Council launched a similar initiative under NewSkills in 2021.

The highly successful Product Development Mentorship Program has provided Newcastle businesses with training and mentorship to develop new tourism products, to help support and grow the city’s visitor economy.

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