Community Information Update - Visit from marketing expert inspires region:

Budding entrepreneurs, business owners and school students are buzzing following a visit from one of Australia’s leading marketing experts last week.

Mellissah Smith, from specialist marketing firm Marketing Eye, visited the Fraser Coast to share her personal story about running a business on a global scale and recently establishing the not-for-profit World Incubator.

The business incubator was founded by Mellissah in February this year to help local people in the Charters Towers region grow their startup businesses – something which she is extremely passionate about.

“You don’t need to be located in a capital city to be hugely successful,” she says.

“If startup businesses are supported by their local community, they can grow into significant businesses that stimulate employment and create job opportunities.

“They need the right environment to foster new and innovative ideas, backed by mentors and business idea development, to reach the end of an incubation cycle.”

This was also the theme of her presentation to a packed University of Sunshine Coast lecture room last Thursday, where she spoke about the potential of the Council’s Innovation Hub.

“I’m excited about the ideas that will be brought to the Innovation Hub and transformed into successful business ventures,” she said.

“What the Fraser Coast has is the foundation of innovation already here – but people don’t know what to do with it.

“Many find that their ideas don’t actually go anywhere, because there is no place to help them reach their full potential.”

Mayor Chris Loft wholeheartedly agreed.

“We have so much untapped potential in our region.

“The Innovation Hub will encourage local entrepreneurs and other likeminded individuals to create and do business on the Fraser Coast.”

During her visit, Mellissah also met with more than 200 local students both in Maryborough and Hervey Bay schools and was impressed with their passion and innovation.

“I’ve already had eight students contact me with dreams of being robotics experts, fashion designers and inventors.

“They have the seeds for business ideas that have not yet been thought of, and their excitement by the prospect of being an entrepreneur highlights the need for an Innovation Hub.”

“We need to support their ideas - these kids are our future.”
Council has recently advertised for an Innovation Hub Manager and is planning to commence operations in October this year.

Will Charters Towers become the most entrepreneurial rural town in Australia? Well, it certainly looks like that is possible.

Having spent the week hanging out with locals, talking to local business leaders and schools, I have realised one thing - that this town is ready to choose entrepreneurship to sit along their traditional industries of tourism, agriculture and mining.


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