Businesses directly affected by the Queensland floods can gain one-on-one assistance to develop strategies to help rebuild at special sessions in Brisbane on Friday.
Brisbane business Furniture Concepts is one of those fighting for recovery post-floods.
The Mentoring for Recovery (M4R) sessions being staged at the Archerfield Airport Corporation Terminal Building on Friday, May 20, may help to get many businesses back on track.
M4R is a mentoring program specifically aimed at assisting enterprises that have been significantly affected by the recent floods by providing access to private sector business mentors who can help in addressing business challenges and issues as a result of water inundation or supply chain interruptions.
M4R may be a great first step for business owners and managers looking for a sounding board or for those wishing to test new ideas for recovery on a select group of business professionals.
M4R is a free fully subsidised service provided by the Queensland Government Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) Brisbane Southside Service Centre and is run in partnership the Brisbane Metro Business Enterprise Centre (BEC) and South West Chamber of Commerce in addition to industry professional advisors.
The session will run from 9am to 5pm and participants must register first through the Brisbane Metro BEC.
Franchising, and the small business sector more broadly, needs policies to stimulate investment and promote growth, not saddle it with more regulation, according to the Franchising Council of Australia (FCA), which represents the $130billion franchising sector.
Steve Wright, FCA.
Stability and uniform national laws should be a focus of consideration of business needs as political negotiations to form the Australian Government over the next three years are thrashed out among Liberal, Labor, Independent and the Greens candiates.
FCA executive director Steve Wright said the FCA would be asking the Greens and the Independents to give serious thought to small business issues in their deliberations.
"We need stability - we have just had a long review of franchising rules and the government implemented what it called sweeping reform on July 1," Mr Wright said. "We don't need the regulatory debate reopened.
"And we certainly do not want different rules applying in different States, as is currently being proposed by Labor in South Australia," Mr Wright said.
The South Australian (SA) franchise sector is being threatened by a proposed new set of state-based franchising rules which have drawn strong opposition from leaders in the SA and national franchising sector.
An FCA member survey found 95 percent opposition to the proposed changes and franchisor, franchisee and supplier members of the FCA have petitioned the SA Government against it.
Mr Wright said franchising had been regulated nationally for its entire 30-year history in Australia.
"To suggest different rules for SA was a ‘Back to the Future' move which harked back to the days when South Australia had a narrow-gauge railway system, at odds with the rest of the country," Mr Wright said.
"Obviously this is not good for economic efficiency or business investment in SA. And this is precisely what our survey found -- 84 percent of respondents told us they believed the proposed rules would detract from the value of franchise systems in SA. Close to 80 percent indicated that if implemented, the legislation would influence their attitudes towards investment in the state."
The FCA objected to the SA Franchising Bill when it was introduced by SA MP Tony Piccolo in the last SA Parliament, before the last state election.
"There is no upside to this legislation - it would be disastrous for franchisors, franchisees and damaging to the South Australian economy broadly," Mr Wright said.
Women in Technology (WiT), a not-for-profit organisation based in Brisbane, has received the exciting news that one of its flagship programs, WiT Board Readiness, has been named among 109 global 'best practice' programs by the EU-funded project PRActising Gender Equality in Science (PRA.G.E.S).
The Women in Technology (pictured) Board Readiness program has won global accolades.
WiT president, Anne-Marie Birkill, said of the accomplishment, "We are very pleased that Board Readiness has been included among such a prestigious cohort of similar programs. This is a great outcome for a volunteer-lead organization, and a credit to the wonderful team of women who developed and contributed to the program over the past few years.
"While the Board Readiness has been singled out in this way, this is the standard to which we aspire for all our programs and events."
WiT's Board Readiness program focuses on the need to promote board diversity including a focus on the inclusion of technology capability. The Board Readiness program was developed by WiT in 2002 and is designed for women who have the desire to apply their skills as executive and non-executive directors.
The program has generated an enormous amount of interest from government, industry, other associations and executive members.
Ms Birkill said, "Women are dramatically under-represented in the Board Rooms of Australia, the WiT Board Readiness Program seeks to contribute to turning this situation around by equipping women with the skills to take on board roles, and the tools to navigate their way into the Board Room."
The PRA.G.E.S project consists of a coordinated set of actions, lasting 21 months. The main objective has been to take stock of programs and initiatives found in specific institutional settings (such as universities, institutes, faculties and departments, but also networks, associations and science and technology-related enterprises) aimed at promoting gender equality in scienceand technology.
To achieve this objective, a necessarily complex path was followed. A preliminary survey of programs implemented in Europe, North America and Australia was carried out and then over 1,100 representatives of institutions, organisations and networks which had promoted these programs were contacted.
First-hand and web-based information on a set of programs was collected. Finally, by adopting a benchmarking approach, a database was created providing a description and short assessment of 109 selected programs, including the WiT Board Readiness program.
"Along with the wonderful feedback we receive from our members, this sort of recognition makes it all very worthwhile", said Ms Birkill, who is chief executive officer of i,lab and has led WiT as a volunteer for many years.
With over 400 members and 1600 subscribers throughout Queensland, WiT is one of the leading technology industry associations for women in Queensland. Since its inception in 1997 WiT has been a pioneer in the development of industry development programs such as:
- Board Readiness
- ICT & Biotech Awards
- Getting Back to IT
- Biotech Research Grants
- CIO Pathways
- Professional Development workshops
WiT is also the first technology industry association to bring together members from diverse technology disciplines. The introduction of its Women in Biotech Chapter in 2005 has highlighted the common ground shared by women in all areas of emerging technology. WiT membership ranges from students through to senior executives and is not limited to women only. This means catering our services for multiple targets audiences.
WiT prides itself on delivering innovative ways of developing skills including:
- High profile speaker inspirational events
- Major networking events