Victoria’s Small Business Festival kicks off in August

Are you a small business operator? Here’s a series of August events you do not want to miss.

Let’s face it: running a small business can be a steep learning curve. Ask any business owner and chances are they’ll have first-hand experience of the struggles of finding the time and skills to realise their business growth dreams.

That’s why the annual Small Business Festival – now in its 13th year – always draws big crowds (attracting some 27,000 attendees in 2017).

On from 1-31 August and promoted by Small Business Victoria, it’s a brilliant forum for bouncing ideas with experts, building industry connections and tapping the latest business trends. And it’s specifically tailored to help the 576,000-plus small businesses currently operating in Victoria, whether they’re solo entrepreneurs, new start-ups or businesses that have been around for years.

An A-list speaker line-up has been locked in for this year’s event including media personalities Ita Buttrose and Tracey Spicer; paralympic wheelchair tennis world champion Dylan Alcott; former Lonely Planet executive director Gus Balbontin; and Endota Spa founder Melanie Gleeson.

From Left: Ita Buttrose, Tracey Spicer, Dylan Alcott, Gus Balbontin, Melanie Gleeson.

The 2018 themes focus on businesses from culturally-diverse backgrounds, export and trade, digital and technology and women in business. Plus there’s a social media boot camp, a seminar for ‘mumpreneurs’ working from home, and events touching on everything from e-commerce to globalisation.

Another point worth noting: given many small business owners are time poor, for those who can’t attend in person there’s a series of webinars, online presentations and podcasts.

So, come along, pick up some new skills, and make some valuable new contacts. Outcomes from previous events show two-thirds of participants changed their business practices after attending.

Top metro events from the Small Business Festival

  • Women in Front Networking Lunch: Tracey Spicer AM, 2 Aug, Campellfield
  • Entrepreneurs With Disability: A Secret To Business Success with Dylan Alcott, 2 Aug, Melbourne
  • Commbank Innovation Garage, 1 – 28 Aug, Carlton
  • Retail Therapy, Social Media Boot Camp, Reed Gift Fair, 5 Aug, South Wharf
  • Mumpreneurs Work from Home Hustle: Making A Profit from Your Passion, Wed 8 Aug, Frankston
  • Casey Cardinia Women’s Business Lunch: Live Your Best Life with Melanie Gleeson, 10 Aug, Pakenham
  • 9 to Thrive, presented by Business Chicks, 24 Aug, Ascot Vale
  • Flying Solo Live, 27 Aug, South Wharf
  • 3 Ways Tech Can Grow Your Business, presented by Square, Xero and BigCommerce, 31 Aug, Melbourne

Top regional events from the Small Business Festival

  • Resilience: Why It’s Crucial For Business Success with Ita Buttrose, 1 Aug, Geelong
  • Adapt For The Competitive Edge With Gus Balbontin, 7 – 9 Aug, across Gippsland
  • Getting Into Business For Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander People, 9 – 24 Aug, all across Victoria
  • Growing Global, Presented by Australia Post, across regional Victoria throughout August

Book today

Browse the full program and book tickets via the Small Business Festival website.