ECONOMIC GARDENING An example of one style of Economic Gardening from ‘Down Under’ Illawarra R D A
Where do we come from? The Illawarra region: 50 miles South of Sydney Beautiful coastal region – but with heavy industrial and coal mining heritage 3 main population centres: Wollongong City - 195,000 people Shellharbour City - 62,000 people Kiama Municipality - 20,000 people
An ideal platform to launch Economic Gardening was created by Shellharbour Council in 2004.
The Shellharbour Small Business Network, meets every month, with between 70 and 120 business owners attending each meeting.
IACC also operates the Wollongong Small Business Club .
These large networks have provided excellent opportunities to plant the seeds of the Economic Gardening idea, and to encourage business owners to actively participate.
EG Shellharbour (continued) 2. The BOOT CAMP - an intensive, full-day business workshop. Activities are closely observed to help the team identify business operators who will benefit from the program.
EG Shellharbour (continued) 3. Business HEALTH CHECK offered to identified businesses. Advice provided by the financial consultant to the EG team from about the financial strength of businesses.
Business owners participating in the full EG program are
offered subsidised rental of direct marketing lists, and
assistance with preparing campaigns.
Council team members provide assistance with the
interpretation of market data, which includes the use of a
GIS based system ( Informed Decisions ).
Lack of readily available
data in Australia to use
with GIS (mostly 2006 Census)
The Team Jane & John – Project management and design Bob Ashford – Coordinating consultant Juliet Scrine - Marketing Dick Bradley – Business planning, benchmarking and finance Andrew Thornberry – e - business and IT
In April 2008 we began production of our own series of
business training videos.
In response to an identified need for ‘best practice’
learning resources for business owners and their staff.
There isn’t much Aussie training material available (most
business training videos comes from Britain or USA).
Thank you We are grateful to many people for persevering with us as we tried to implement a strategy that was very different to traditional economic development practices in Australia. (In particular Shellharbour City Council who dared to go where other Councils couldn’t be bothered to tread) Our special thanks to Chris Gibbons who inspired us to try Economic Gardening in ‘our patch’! Illawarra R D A