THE Committee for Echuca Moama (C4EM) and a representative from Campaspe Shire recently met the first confirmed participant for the upcoming business incubator hub pilot project.
The pilot project titled ‘Incubate 208’ is a collaboration between C4EM, Bendigo TAFE, Campaspe Shire and Murray River Council.
It will be located at Bendigo TAFE Echuca Campus and kick off on March 1. It will run for three months and will be open daily from 8am to 5pm.
The purpose of the hub is to create a co-working environment for start-ups, entrepreneurs and people who work from home for various reasons.
The aim is to generate a positive, progressive and stimulating space for people to conduct their business activities.
Paul Chinnock is a civil draftsman who works from home for a Melbourne-based firm after he and his fiancé, Echuca Regional Health speech pathologist Bryony Younghusband, decided they would call Echuca-Moama home.
‘‘We could either move to Melbourne or stay here, so we chose to stay because of lifestyle and opportunities,’’ Mr Chinnock said.
‘‘After unsuccessfully trying to secure local work, I negotiated to work remotely for my Melbourne employer.
‘‘I am really looking forward to joining a work space that will provide me with more interaction with people, both professionally and socially.
‘‘It is a great initiative and I’m looking forward to meeting others who are seeking to do the same.’’
C4EM chief executive Martin Szakal said with a month to go, now was the time for people who worked from home, the library, or another location to inquire about joining the pilot program.
‘‘Now that school is back and everybody is focused on work and business, we hope to get more inquiries from those who would like to give it a try,’’ he said.
‘‘If we are to create more jobs, often it is difficult for both partners to find the type of employment in their field of expertise due to varying demands in regional areas.
‘‘But if we can provide an avenue for self-employment, or provide a venue that allows professionals to continue working in an environment that is less isolating than working from home, we would be more likely to satisfy the needs of the individuals.
‘‘We will be running business seminars and forums, and social events across the three months so it will be active and engaging.’’
For information or to become involved in the business hub project, visit c4em.com and fill out the online form.