This year it's showcasing a number of engaging events all over Gippsland, and even features a Gippsland 'Champion' for the festival - Mirboo North's, Jacican.
For 13 years, the Victorian Government initiative has given hundreds of thousands of small business owners and managers the opportunity to exchange ideas, access free or low-cost information and support, and establish valuable professional networks.
Local small business owners and entrepreneurs alike are signing up to learn about the top tips and tricks that will help them take their businesses to the next level.
Mirboo North locals, Jaci Hicken and Ernst Lenselink, champions of this year’s Small Business Festival, and owners of local food studio and cooking school, Jacican, say it’s a great opportunity for small businesses to get ahead and get inspired.
“We’ve attended the Festival every year since 2009. We make an effort to get along to something every year and have learnt valuable skills, which we still apply to our business today, Jaci says.
“We attended an event presented by Dan Gregory in 2016, which has heavily influenced the way we conduct our employee and employer relationships. Dan’s advice has enabled our business to grow while being able to mentor young locals.”
Since launching in 2009, Jacican has rapidly expanded to offer cooking classes and a range of light meals. Jaci also sells homemade preserves, made with fruit and vegetables grown in her garden.
“We do dinner by appointment for groups on Fridays and Saturday nights. We cater for special events and have a wild game dinner coming up where we’ll cook six courses of local wild game meat,” she says.
Jaci is urging other small business owners and anyone thinking of starting a small business to get along to an event in this year’s calendar.
“It’s a great way to meet people in your local community, share knowledge, and a great introduction to so many of the lessons you need to learn as a business owner.”
“I’m someone who loves to be involved in my local community and the Small Business Festival has provided a fantastic opportunity for me to meet with my local council members and other local business owners.
The Small Business Festival kicks off in Gippsland with Taking your business online: What you need to know in Sale on Wednesday 1 August and continues with many more events throughout the month including feature event roadshow, Adapt for the Competitive Edge with Gus Balbontin, former Lonely Planet Executive Director.
Explore the festival further here.