Two new business programs and mentors ready to help

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Press Release #1
Date of Release: Tuesday, May 8, 2012.

May sees the launch of two new business support programs in the Nambucca – Bellingen local government areas.

• Start Up Business Development Program, sees new business owners mentored by more experienced business people.
• Key Business Development Program provides assistance to existing business managers/owners.

Both programs use mentors that come with a wide diversity of business and industry experiences, not necessarily from the same industry or sector, but experienced in business in general.

The programs are operated through the Edmund Barton Centre, a not-for-profit organisation sponsored by the NSW Business Chamber with funding support from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

The initiative which has been successfully piloted in Port Macquarie for 3 years has helped over 180 businesses and generated 140 sustainable jobs.

The initiative is now being extended to the Nambucca – Bellingen and is coordinated by Client Manager, Rod Leane.

“Too often new and existing businesses fail, not so much because of financial circumstances, but by poor management decisions” said Mr Leane. “The idea here is to use the knowledge and experience of the mentors to guide the business owners, and further improve our business communities” he added.

The initial mentors for the program are Alan Rudge – Alan Rudge Architects; Wayne Lowe - Nambucca Shire Council; Adrienne Smith - Mid Coast Trucks; Mark Scott - PC Advice; Bob Hawkins, retired economist; Chris Townsend - Retravision, and Wayne Hickey, Hickeys Group. “The quality and business experience of our mentors is exceptional” said Mr Leane.

Under these unique Programs the mentors do not advise as such, but simply ask questions and have discussions with the business owners so that they can come to their own realisation, conclusions and make better decisions.

“It’s quite a simple concept and in reality most of us have had a mentor at some stage in our lives without perhaps realising it – whether it was in our business or personal lives.”

Members of the community interested in becoming mentors and new or existing businesses interested in the benefits of this programs can view our website at or contact Rod Leane on m: 0400 984 025 or at e: