Good Shepherd’s LaunchMe success stories meet in Wodonga to discuss future of program
11 April 2022
Participants of Good Shepherd’s LaunchMe program met with the Federal Department of Recovery today in Wodonga to tell their success stories and discuss the future of a program that could be used as a model for recovery across Australia.
Co-funded by the Victorian and Federal Governments, the LaunchMe program has provided free business coaching that has helped individuals and families in the region build or rebuild their businesses in the wake of bushfires and the impacts of COVID.
The program has been particularly successful in assisting the creation and recovery of women-led businesses that are underrepresented among small business owners.
LaunchMe caters to women who are based remotely or are looking for greater work-life balance and have the skills to provide valuable services. The coaching has assisted them to start and build their own businesses, offering a choice to chase a dream that gives them financial freedom and independence in a volatile job market.
Kellie Rorison from Little Ice Creamery, and Rachel Newman from Dysfunctional Crafts met with the department to explain the benefits they’ve received from the LaunchMe program and their local coach, Millie Wall.
Good Shepherd’s National Program Manager of Microenterprises Gunjan Pagare says that the pilot program in North East Victoria has been a huge success.
“Today we met two women who have businesses with a bright future because of the help of the Good Shepherd LaunchMe program. Whether they are new businesses that give women the opportunity to generate their own income, or ones that have been revived after bushfire and covid threatened their existence, the program is proven to work and could be deployed in disaster-affected or economically struggling areas throughout regional Australia. We’re looking forward to discussing the future of the program with the Minister both here in North East Victoria and beyond.”
LaunchMe coach Millie Wall says the growth in participants has been substantial.
“The women I’ve been working with over the last six months all had great ideas, but many, quite naturally found the idea of starting a business or reshaping an existing one as very scary in a climate of uncertainty. We’ve been that helping hand taking them through the administrative and marketing sides of running a business that then allows their ideas to flourish.”
LaunchMe success stories in North East Victoria
Kellie Rorison – Little Ice Creamery
Kellie attended the launch of the program in 2021. At this point, Kellie and her partner had started operating the Little Ice Creamery with uncertainty of what their business future looked like. Since engaging with LaunchMe, they have expanded to weddings and other large events, which are always sell outs and profitable for the business. Their wholesale clients have also increased with consistent sales around the Mansfield region. Kellie has attended many of our small business workshops to learn about social media and marketing. They are now looking to expand into the retail café space, employing staff and expanding their menu items. This growth not only provides employment opportunities for the regional area, but they also source their produce locally, supporting small farms.
“Millie has opened our minds to so many avenues for our business. She’s made suggestions and linked us with the events industry which has proven to be a winner and given us the confidence to now look at expanding into retail and wholesale spaces.”
Rachel Newman – Dysfunctional Crafts
Rachel launched Dysfunctional Crafts at the end of 2021 and shortly after, joined LaunchMe. Since then, Rachel has attended markets, grown her social media presence, and is making sales, along with an expanded product range. Rachel’s confidence in her business has grown significantly after assistance from LaunchMe. Rachel has recently been successful in her acceptance to participate in the Wodonga Council Technology Innovation workshops for small businesses. Rachel has attended many LaunchMe workshops to date, most notably our ongoing weekly bookkeeping course, giving her a sound understanding of the accounting basics of running a business as a sole trader.
The LaunchMe program is being piloted in North East Victoria. You can join for free by visiting the LaunchMe website: https://goodshep.org.au/services/launchmevic/
This program funding is scheduled to finish in June 2022.
For more information or for media comment please contact Shannon Gill on 0418 162 761.