The Hunter is the perfect region to develop ‘futurepreneurs’ who will help the region’s economy and provide alternative employment options for young people. That is the message of the Hunter’s newly appointed Entrepreneurship Facilitator, Cheryl Royle.
Appointed by the Australian Government, Cheryl will connect young people (especially people aged 18-24 who are not in education, employment or training) with existing programs and services as well as facilitate one-on-one support to overcome barriers preventing them from starting their own business.
Cheryl is one of only three such facilitators in Australia. The Government has established the facilitators in regions where there is high youth unemployment and low uptake of self-employment. She said the latest ABS figures shows that the Hunter Valley’s youth unemployment rate (15-24 years) is around 20 per cent; Newcastle and Lake Macquarie’s is 15 per cent – both above the national average of 12 per cent.
Cheryl is holding the first of a number of regional information sessions at The Place, Charlestown Square from 10:30 to 11:30 am on April 4 to provide details of support available to young, would-be entrepreneurs. She said the information sessions were also for business people and other members of the community who wish to be mentors for young entrepreneurs.
“I want young people and their parents to know that entrepreneurship is a valid and exciting career path and there is support for them,” Cheryl said.
One support program is the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme, which can provide accredited small business training, income support and rental assistance. The scheme also provides personalised mentoring and support in the first year of the new business to help a job seeker put their business idea into practice.
She said there are already many entrepreneurs within the Hunter’s innovative ‘can-do’ region.
“I’m excited about working with young people to build up a new generation of ‘futurepreneurs’,”Cheryl said.
Bren Hammel is one such young entrepreneur who will be a guest speaker at the information session. Bren is a footballer. Instead of combining a ’regular job’ with football, he runs the search engine marketing business, Eureka SEM, as well as a manufacturing business and supplement business from his home in Newcastle. He started in digital marketing while at Hunter Sports High School and at the age of 17.
Cheryl has extensive experience as a facilitator working with young people. She is also the Managing Director of the business capability firm, The Finer Line, and Co-Founder of Lone Rangers, a new support network for sole business operators. She said the information night is the start of the connections she will make with schools, careers advisors, youth and small business organisations.
“While my role is to support young people, I will work with anyone in the region who requires assistance or support, and will connect with schools and other parts of the community to foster a culture of and a greater acceptance of entrepreneurship,” Cheryl said.
IMAGE | Cheryl Royle is the newly appointed Hunter Entrepreneurship Facilitator.