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iAccelerate regional program powering entrepreneur growth

NSW entrepreneurs across diverse sectors set to benefit from continuing UOW business incubator iAccelerate regional entrepreneur program.

The University of Wollongong’s (UOW) business incubator iAccelerate will continue its regional entrepreneur program with the delivery of five new regional education programs in 2024 to help improve the capability and competitiveness of regional businesses.

The focus on key industries comes as the program aims to support regional entrepreneurs addressing sustainability and tackling big challenges.

The key sectors include fisheries and aquaculture, advanced manufacturing, circularity, ecotourism, and high-quality food production, targeting entrepreneurs throughout NSW.

iAccelerate’s regional entrepreneurship manager Ainslie Tweedie said, “It is strongly linked to the NSW economic plan for regional business development. It is about helping people get really clear on where they want their business to go. Supporting them to work on the business, not in their business.”

“Each cohort is specialised, they will be able to deep dive into the specifics of that industry and learn from industry mentors,” said Tweedie

The iAccelerate RISE programs will bring together the expertise of pre-accelerator facilitators, UOW academics and industry experts to help regional entrepreneurs tackle big problems. iAccelerate are also partnering with the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation to support circularity in the fisheries and aquaculture industry.

Through an eight-week program, RISE provides regional entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools to pursue new innovations in their current business, or start-up, to develop the necessary skills to bring their ideas to life.

Southern Highlands-based entrepreneur Deborah McLaughlin, founder of The Honey Thief, completed the RISE program in 2022.

McLaughlin said, “RISE opened my eyes to things I had not considered before in my business. Understanding the information I needed, I was able to put together a successful pitch, being succinct and grab attention was a key element.”

RISE offers practical workshops, online learning and a network of regional and international experts to help businesses grow and scale. Businesses are invited to apply from anywhere in regional NSW to join a cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs and businesses interested in the program are encouraged to reach out to iAccelerate to discuss the opportunities available

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