An Australian Government Initiative

Regional Development Australia

RDA Riverina's first Regional SME Accelerator

18 July 2017

Supported by the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet's Office of Regional Development and delivered by RDA Riverina between March and June 2017, the Accelerator program was received enthusiastically from the businesses taking part.

RDA Riverina's Regional SME Accelerator combined leading edge online tools with mentoring support, two group workshops, and a graduation ‘pitch’ where participants showcased all they had learned during the program.

Analysis of growth proposals for the businesses participating in the Accelerator forecasted strong sales and job growth over the next two years. The business growth propositions included two enterprises commercialising new technologies, one seeking to consolidate its current operations, two moving to succession management and four businesses planning on steady expansion.

As one business representative stated, “I have loved the time I spent to better understand my weaknesses in business, the need for help, the solutions and setting goals. I have also appreciated my time with my mentor.”

Summing up the success of the Accelerator, RDA Riverina Chair Diana Gibbs said, “Growth of Riverina businesses creates jobs and opportunities for further growth and development in the region.”

“We were very impressed with the quality of businesses that applied for our Accelerator program and the results they forecast are impressive.”

“We expect that over two years, participating businesses will add approximately 45 new jobs in our region, which is a fantastic outcome for these businesses and our region.”

The Accelerator was facilitated by Voyager Strategy's Director John Hemphill, who was assisted by Temora-based mentor Michael Harper. “I've run 30 odd events of this type and Riverina Showcase participants were among the most enthusiastic and professional I've seen. Regional entrepreneurialism is alive and well in the Riverina!” Mr Hemphill said.

Businesses will be monitored over the next 12 months with regular checks to assess their progress. RDA Riverina is now seeking partners to offer the SME Accelerator again in 2018.

For more information, visit RDA Riverina.

To arrange interviews with participating businesses, contact RDA Riverina Executive Officer Rachel Whiting on 0429 444 213.

Andrew Stockman, Wagga Wagga City Council; John Hemphill, Voyager Strategies; Rachel Whiting, EO RDA Riverina and Diana Gibbs, Chair RDA Riverina.

Photo: Andrew Stockman, Wagga Wagga City Council; John Hemphill, Voyager Strategies; Rachel Whiting, EO RDA Riverina and Diana Gibbs, Chair RDA Riverina.

James McNaughton from Knights Meats, Wagga Wagga

Photo: James McNaughton from Knights Meats, Wagga Wagga.

Laura Fraumeni from Nest Café, Tumbarumba

Photo: Laura Fraumeni from Nest Café, Tumbarumba.