The tops of burnt trees in bushland are seen against a bright blue sky. Photo: Paul Jones

iAccelerate to present regional entrepreneur program for First Nations Australians on NSW North Coast

iAccelerate to present regional entrepreneur program for First Nations Australians on NSW North Coast

Initiative to boost economic resilience, create jobs in bushfire-affect regions

First Nations Australians in the Tweed and Byron regions have been invited to participate in a one-day workshop designed by iAccelerate to bring their business or entrepreneurial ideas to life.

The RISE First Nations workshop, to be held in Byron Bay next week (Friday 9 December), will increase economic resilience on the NSW North Coast and boost employment and business opportunities for First Nations Australians in the region.

The University of Wollongong’s (UOW) business incubator and accelerator, iAccelerate, was last year awarded $999,570 from the Federal and NSW Governments’ combined Business Local Economic Recovery Fund (BLER) to bring the program to 10-bushfire-affected regions, including four Local Aboriginal Land Council areas of Tweed/Bryon, Tamworth, Eurobodalla Shire, and Bega Valley.

The initiative will deliver education programs to support 90 of the most promising entrepreneurs and business owners in bushfire-affected areas to create 300 new jobs.

Chris Petersilge, Business Development and Initiatives Manager at iAccelerate, said the RISE First Nations program was the ideal opportunity for anyone in the region with an idea to get the tools needed to bring it to fruition. 

“We look forward to welcome entrepreneurs, artists, cultural tourism, trades and anyone with a business idea. This workshop will also suit business owners who may way to step back and look at their business, or community entrepreneurs and government agencies with a project to develop.”

“RISE First Nations is being delivered in partnership with Ngurra Advisory and is fully funded.”

The Tweed and Byron RISE First Nations workshop day will include:

  • Customer Discovery and Validation
  • Business Modelling
  • Marketing
  • Networking with other First Nations entrepreneurs in the region

Mr Petersilge said RISE is not a typical business program and the aim is to vitalise and realise the idea, business potential or project.

“iAccelerate has consulted widely on the development of this program and has created a unique workshop day to enhance both the idea acceleration framework and peer group mentoring.”

The RISE First Nations workshop follows on from RISE workshops held earlier in the year in the Eurobodalla and the Southern Highlands.

iAccelerate is one of 195 local community projects supporting economic or social recovery, strengthening resilience and delivering ongoing community benefit to bushfire-affected communities in NSW to receive Stage 2 BLER funding.


About the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Package

The Bushfire Local Economic Recovery (BLER) Package is part of the $4.5 billion bushfire support program co-funded by the Australian and NSW governments for bushfire recovery, response and preparedness in NSW.


About iAccelerate

iAccelerate is a unique business accelerator and incubator program at UOW, where start-ups, scaleups, social enterprises and businesses thrive. Businesses are supported by a robust model of education, mentoring, seed funding and unparalleled access to one of the world’s most innovative young research universities.