The future of the Lake Macquarie Business Growth Centre (BGC) and small business incubator has been secured, with the Central Coast Community College officially taking over the management of the centre.
Located in Gateshead, the BGC was established in 1998 operating as a not for profit organisation to support and grow small and micro businesses in Lake Macquarie City.
Chair of the BGC Board Peter Hesse said he is proud of what the Business Growth Centre has achieved in the last 23 years, nurturing many local startups into successful enterprises and contributing to the local economy.
“We’re proud of our many achievements and all the small businesses we’ve supported over the years. Bringing the Central Coast Community College on board ensures that the incubator is positioned to prosper and be sustainable long term and means that the BGC will be able to support even more local businesses in the future,” Mr Hesse said.
An adult community education provider and registered training organisation, the College aims to continue the objectives of Business Growth Centre and deliver specialised training and advisory support to local small businesses.
Central Coast Community College CEO and Lake Macquarie resident, Joanne Martin said there are many synergies between the two organisations with lots of potential to grow the current training and support services.
“The BGC has done some amazing work with many local small businesses in the community and we’d like to continue with its current operations. We’re also really excited by the opportunity to grow and re-establish a training delivery footprint within the Lake Macquarie community to offer a range of pathways, training, advice and support for people,” said Ms Martin.
Some of the training services the Central Coast Community College is planning to provide include:
- Delivering NSW Government accredited small business training and advisory services
- Providing support for local indigenous small businesses
- Offering traineeships and apprenticeships in a variety of industries
- Creating pathways to further education or employability non-accredited and accredited training programs for local unemployed youth
- Increasing digital participation and connectivity for seniors
- Offering subsidised life skills and wellbeing programs for disadvantaged members of the community.
Lake Macquarie City is home to some 13,000 businesses – 98 per cent of which are classed as small businesses. Results from Lake Macquarie City Council’s recent business survey showed that local business owners are looking for more opportunities for networking and training, similar to the service Business Growth Centre offers.
Lake Macquarie Mayor Cr Kay Fraser said it’s important that services the Business Growth Centre provides continue for the benefit of businesses and the local economy.
“We have an amazing business community that achieves many incredible things each year. This is a great outcome for Lake Macquarie businesses and our community. It ensures that the great work of the Business Growth Centre in nurturing and mentoring new businesses will continue.
“I believe the Central Coast Community College provides a platform to grow and diversify the BGC, which is exciting for our City. I look forward to seeing the range of training and skills development they can offer locally for both individuals and businesses,” Cr Fraser said.