With the highest percentage of workers running their own business and the lowest start-up failure rate in the country, Tasmania is the place to be an entrepreneur, and a new program has been launched to help tradespeople do just that.
The AtoB (Apprentice to Business Owner) Program, run in Tasmania jointly by Business Advice Tasmania and darylconnelly.com as part of a Federal Government initiative, arms tradespeople with essential business skills.
Starting in June, the free program comprises workshops and one-on-one mentoring. Participants complete a business plan for their own business and graduate with a Certificate IV in Small Business and a host of skills to start them off on the right business track.
Business adviser and trainer Daryl Connelly understands the commitment it takes to translate vocational skills into running a business. Long before commencing a successful career as a consultant, he completed an apprenticeship as a chef and ran a popular Devonport café.
“I worked at some of Hobart’s top restaurants, like Prossers on the Beach and Wrest Point, but I thought having my own café would give me greater options, allowing me to expand into more businesses in the future,” Daryl explained.
“I enrolled in a Certificate IV in Small Business, much like the AtoB Program, that combined skills training with developing your own business plan, so I felt ready when the opportunity to take over the lease on the café was presented to me,” he added.
Less than a year later one of Daryl’s regular customers suggested he try hospitality training and human resource management, which was a further opportunity for him to combine his trade with the business skills gained through study and running his own operation.
“Although I’ve gained lots of experience since then, including a Master of Business, and various management roles, I still look back and see that program as a catalyst because it opened the door to opportunities and rewards that, without the program, I probably would not have thought about.”
“Having had my ‘hands on the tools’, I can see things from a different perspective. I can help recently qualified apprentices overcome the doubts that come when considering starting their own business because going from a tradie to running your own business is not necessarily easier, but it has the opportunity to be more flexible and a lot more rewarding,” he said.
There are currently 20 places available across the state in this round of the AtoB program.
To find out more about the AtoB Program, or to apply for one of the places, visit www.apprenticetobusinessowner.com.au.