GIN WIN: At the launch of Brookies Gin at Habitat in Byron Bay
GIN WIN: At the launch of Brookies Gin at Habitat in Byron Bay Contributed

'Fantastic boost' for local entrepreneurs with $300K fund

BYRON Bay startup entrepreneurs will soon have the chance to share in nearly $300,000 of funding to support the implementation and growth of their projects.

Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW Ben Franklin announced on Tuesday that Byron Bay had been selected as one of seven locations across the state to join a $2.1 million Local Innovation Network to support local entrepreneurs to grow and create new jobs in the region.

Mr Franklin said funding of up to $300,000 would be provided by the NSW Government-backed Jobs for NSW to support projects in Byron Bay, as well as other areas such as Bathurst, Wagga Wagga, Armidale, Coffs Harbour, and the Newcastle and Wollongong regional areas.

"Byron Bay has demonstrated strong potential for startup or small business growth, and so we're backing that with funding to support projects that will help those businesses have the very best chance of success,” Mr Franklin said.

The Local Innovation Network invites applications from recognised leaders in the local startup and innovation community, including incubators, co-working spaces, startup networks, local universities and business groups.

"We want these local groups to work together on projects that could include refurbishment and technology upgrades for local startup spaces, and the delivery of events and workshops to support local startup growth,” Mr Franklin said.

"This is a fantastic boost for local entrepreneurs, startups, incubators and accelerators, providing them with funding for startup development programs, technology upgrades, and other work to expand local capacity and outreach.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said as an ex-small business owner himself, he knows the challenges that come with trying to set up and run a small business.

He said the new Local Innovation Network would help connect local businesses and entrepreneurs across the state, helping them to collaborate, and in turn benefit from the sharing of ideas and resources.

"When business people work together, bounce ideas off each other, they actually have a better chance of success and we want to make it easier for that to happen,” he said.

Expressions of Interest opened on Monday, May 14.

For more information, visit the Jobs for NSW website at www.jobsfornsw.com.au.



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