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Business-building pilot program a success

Business-building pilot program a success

MJ Goods is one of many South West businesses which benefited from a pilot program trialled in the region this year for the purpose of equipping participants with the ability and know-how to grow their enterprises.

The Australind-based packaging, cleaning and catering supplies store expanded with the support of the skills and knowledge gained through the Join the Dots program.

Julie Marchese, who co-owns MJ Goods with husband Matt Marchese, said she had reaped the rewards of taking part in workshops that aimed to develop the entrepreneurial mindset of participants.

“We were so busy in our day-to-day lives that we just made decisions and hadn’t done any formal business plans,” Mrs Marchese said.

“The program has allowed us to look at our business foundations, which has flowed on to planning and brought to our attention that we had room to expand into two other product ranges that are complementary for our existing customers.”

MJ Goods branched into baking and cleaning supplies, with renovations carried out to create displays for the new product lines.

Join the Dots was trialled in the South West as a partnership between the South West Development Commission and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

SWDC chief executive officer Mellisa Teede said the program complemented the State Government’s Local Content Adviser Network, which is geared at maximising local supplier, contractor and job opportunities in the regions.

“I am delighted to hear the success stories that have come out of this pilot program,” Ms Teede said.

“We have received fantastic feedback relating to how Join the Dots has helped to build the skills and knowledge of local entrepreneurs.

“At the South West Development Commission, we aim to be a catalyst for economic development and this means supporting local businesses so they are equipped to take advantage of opportunities and tackle challenges.

“We also assist business through local content, trade and investment platforms as part of our efforts to support local jobs.”

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