Emerging entrepreneurs in the Great Southern can now access practical support and advice to kickstart their business ideas with the opening of the Albany Innovation iHub.
The new collaborative workspace provides budding entrepreneurs of all ages from local school students through to business owners with access to space, technology, networks and support to progress their ideas to implementation.
BreakthruWA is delivering the Albany Innovation Project, backed by a $220,000 State government grant, in partnership with WorkLinkWA and the Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
BreakthruWA will deliver eight projects that include collaborative sessions, a program for senior secondary school students to take their ideas forward, digital business program, 'She codes' program for women, a hackathon, pitch night and a food innovation festival.
The centrally located Albany Innovation iHub can accommodate up to 60 people and features offices, computers and the technology needed for start-ups to grow.
Entrepreneurs can access support, be connected to mentors with practical and invaluable knowledge and skills, and access resources from across a wide range of industries.
"The Great Southern is home to innovative and creative local businesses, and through the Regional New Industries Fund we are helping business to grow," said Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan.
"The Albany Innovation Project will provide training, mentorship and collaboration to bring new business ideas to life in the region, and inspire our next generation of entrepreneurs.
"It is vital in our developing innovation ecosystem for people to create, connect and collaborate with businesses that want to adapt and learn new ways of working."
Comments attributed to Innovation and ICT Minister Don Punch:
"The McGowan Government is committed to diversifying our economy and building capacity amongst aspiring entrepreneurs across the State, including in the regions.
Innovation and ICT Minister Don Punch said the new iHub would provide the connection and support needed to help Great Southern innovators turn their ideas into new local job opportunities.
"Regional communities have such a strong innovative capacity, and I look forward to seeing the development of new ideas and businesses from the Great Southern region as it transforms into an ecosphere for entrepreneurs of all ages," Mr Punch said.