Free and low-cost events for small businesses

From workshops to networking opportunities and expert panels, there’s something for everyone at this year’s Geelong Small Business Festival.

Those starting or growing a business are being encouraged to take advantage of a range of free and low-cost events on offer at this year’s festival, which runs from 1 – 31 August.

The festival will help to upskill prospective and current business owners, while creating networking opportunities to support our local business community.

Now in its 12th year, the festival helps to connect, grow, and upskill hundreds of local businesses.

The festival will be launched with at a packed event at The Pier with adventurer, award-winning documentary-maker, television presenter, and businessman, Todd Sampson titled Boost your brain power.

Guests will also hear from a panel of Geelong’s leading business experts as they share insights and tips on the current business environment and adaptations to COVID-19.

Co-Founder and Director of the Natural Supply Co, Celeste Robertson, will speak about her experiences successfully running a small business.

Mayor Peter Murrihy

The festival brings together some of our region’s best business experts, small business owners and managers, and leading industry organisations to share their knowledge and experiences. This is a great opportunity to learn new skills, gain knowledge, be inspired by innovative ideas, and discover new ways of doing business.

Economic Development Deputy Chair, Councillor Bruce Harwood

The skills, resilience and ambition of Greater Geelong’s small businesses are vital to our economy and our communities. Small businesses have been tested like never before with COVID-19 restrictions, inflation and staff shortages. They’ve made enormous sacrifices to keep Geelong going and we want to acknowledge their hard work, effort and resilience.

Celeste Robertson

We’d run a successful business online for six years before we opened our store in Newtown in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. While business conditions have been uncertain, we’re still reaching new customers and we love connecting with our local supporters face-to-face. Every business needs a point of difference and ours is known for its high-quality products, friendly atmosphere and personalised service.

Free events at the festival include:

Business Networking Masterclass

Geelong Chamber of Commerce

10:00 – 11:30am Tuesday 2 August

I’ve got a Great Idea

Ascend Accounting and Advisory

10.00am – 11.00am Tuesday 9 August

Seniorpreneurs: Valuable insights for aspiring entrepreneurs over 50

Pointnorth Consulting & People Empowered

10:00am – Midday Saturday 13 August

Get Ready, Get Set, GROW – Refugee & Migrant program

Runway HQ

10am to 5pm Monday 15 August

Starting a Home-Based Food Business

City of Greater Geelong

2.00pm – 3.30pm Tuesday 16 August

Legal tips for starting a business

Coulter Legal

11.00am -12:00pm Thursday 18 August

Start-up Business Support and Open Day

Runway HQ

10.00am – 5.00pm Thursday 25 August

Using Water Wisely, reducing costs and operating sustainably

Barwon Water HQ, 55-67 Ryrie St, Geelong

11:00am – 1:00pm Monday 29 August

Todd Sampson

During the opening event on Wednesday 3 August, the business, advertising and marketing guru will reveal the practical tools and techniques you can use to improve your brain and meet the challenges and stresses of modern life. Tickets are $65 and include a three-course dinner and drinks.

For the full program visit Geelong Small Business Festival.

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