Innovation Masterclass drives business

Embracing innovation and how it can create new business opportunities will be the focus of the second annual Innovation Masterclass for SMEs.

Businesspeople in the Noosa region are encouraged to nominate for the development program to help take their business to the next level. Spaces are limited.

The program comprises four half-day workshops from March 27 to May 8, with a final showcase session on May 15.

International businessman and innovation expert Colin Graham, of Causeway Innovation, and innovation catalyst Sandra Arico from Innovate Noosa and aerospace company HeliMods, will lead the program.

Council’s Economic Development Manager Anthony Dow said council had invested in the program to make it affordable and drive innovation in small to medium size businesses.

“Council has a strong commitment to building a resilient, diverse and innovative business community and these workshops aim to identify ways to increase profitability,” he said.

“We have provided some funding to keep the costs down for participants, but places are limited to 12, “he said.

Colin Graham has advised more than 50 of the world’s leading companies including PwC and Marriott Hotels. He was the founding CEO of the Innovation Centre at University of the Sunshine Coast and International Product Manager for Dulux in London.

Sandra Arico has extensive experience leading and catalysing innovation at renowned organisations such as Deloitte, CSIRO, RMIT and Swisse Wellness, where she was Global Head of Innovation.

She has also spent many years mentoring and advising start-ups, social enterprises and small businesses.

Ms Arico said the Innovation Masterclass series would have something for everyone.

“We have designed the workshop series to be as interactive and practical as possible, with a balance of sharing real-world examples along with tangible tools, frameworks and exercises to apply learnings to participants’ own unique businesses,” she said.

Ms Arico said that often businesses can be cautious about focusing time on innovation, as it can be perceived as something big and audacious, rather than something practical and impactful.

“In its simplest form, innovation is really about thinking through challenges and opportunities in a different way and being able to execute on new ideas – both big and small – to create growth opportunities.

“Setting time aside to do this can be challenging, especially for SMEs, but we believe it’s strategically important for any business to have one foot in the future and one foot in the now, “she said.

“Colin and I are very passionate about supporting small business and want to make a positive impact on the region. We are confident that business operators will walk away from this series with a clearer understanding of what innovation is and how it can tangibly help their business,” Ms Arico predicted.

Cost is $495 per person plus GST for the full series, with Early Bird rates of $395 plus GST for bookings before 5pm, Friday 8 March.

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