What is Economic Gardening?
Economic Gardening Illawarra is a structured business support program available to businesses located in the Illawarra region. Adopted by Shellharbour, Kiama and Wollongong Councils, this program focuses on the development of the regional economy by supporting and assisting existing businesses to develop and grow sustainably - much like gardeners provide the support required for their plants to grow!
The primary aim of the initiative is to invest resources in businesses that have the potential for fast growth and therefore the potential to generate local employment. It also aims to encourage businesses to seek markets beyond the local region to attract wealth to our area.
Beginning in 2006, the success of the program is evident through the significant results that some of those businesses have achieved. This includes:
- growing their markets (some internationally)
- creating new businesses
- attracting Government support to assist further growth
- generating local jobs, and
- winning industry and business awards
Business professionals deliver a structured program designed to harness the knowledge, abilities and enthusiasm of local business owners. The program is normally delivered over a 3 month period and includes:
- Business Improvement Boot Camp - A full-day workshop that focuses on addressing the specific challenges of participating businesses and the creation of strategies to deal with those challenges
- Four evening workshops - Each workshop focuses on a specific area of business operations including Financial Management, Customer Relationship Management, Online Marketing and Social Media, and Advanced Marketing Techniques
- Networking and business-to-business development opportunities
- Possibility of receiving one-on-one coaching by a business specialist at their premises