Media release | 29 August 2018
Working Spaces HQ in Wagga Wagga will share in $2.1 million to boost jobs, drive collaboration and help startup communities thrive across regional NSW under the Local Innovation Network Program.
The program is designed to connect regional entrepreneurs with national and international clients, mentors and investors to ensure regional startups and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are receiving the best possible support.
Minister for Trade and Industry, Niall Blair said the funding will help unlock the region’s enormous startup potential.
“Regional startups across the Riverina can now expect improved access to clients, mentoring and investment beyond the reach of their community, as well as opportunities to connect with other regional entrepreneurs,” Mr Blair said.
“A crucial element of the program is to support businesses in the Riverina by identifying and addressing the barriers to startup success.
“From their new ‘Hubb Hubb’ co-working space, Working Spaces HQ will offer training and networking events to local startups, in partnership with the City of Wagga Wagga and Charles Sturt University.
“Working Spaces HQ will assist the startup community to tackle local economic issues such as using vacant shop fronts to invigorate the region’s cultural life and nighttime economy.
“NSW’s startup sector has extended substantially beyond Sydney with more than 10% now based in regional centres.”
Wagga Wagga is one of seven locations in the network which also comprises Armidale, Coffs Harbour, Wollongong, Bathurst, Byron Bay and Newcastle.
The NSW Government will partner with each of the regional funding recipients, which includes councils, universities and training providers, to offer financial products, such as grants, interest free loans and loan guarantees to regional entrepreneurs.
Working Spaces HQ has already assisted more than 57 startups in the past 18 months. It will work with the City of Wagga Wagga to bring the existing business community together, including the Business Chamber, Business Enterprise Centre and the Committee for Wagga.