Charles Sturt University Dubbo is set to become a start-up hub for aspiring businesses in the region. The university will partner with local co-working space The Exchange to build a community for new and growing businesses within Dubbo and the surrounding regions.
Created by Agrifutures Rural Woman of the Year Jillian Kilby, The Exchange aims to connect local business people with other great minds from around the country, as well as provide a communal working space to gather and collaborate. It’s a space that nurtures the potential of those in regional Australia with big dreams for a small business.
The Exchange: a co-working community built on collaboration
Jillian launched The Exchange with seed funding from her company The Infrastructure Collaborative. It’s part of her commitment to “help people who have been sitting on that idea for too long or slowly chipping away from home and want to take their venture to the next level.”
“The Exchange is where space to think meets room to grow. Where co-working meets community. Where ideas meet their make,” she said.
Charles Sturt University has pledged to support The Exchange’s goal to improve the confidence, capacity and capability of future business founders, business owners and remote workers.
Cathy Maginnis, Head of Campus at Dubbo, said there had already been a fast response from start-up businesses keen to work from the university.
“We’ve already had a pleasingly fast response from start-ups keen to work here. The community will use allocated space at the university in Dubbo free of charge. Plus, The Exchange will coordinate with existing service providers in Dubbo to ensure regular events will be hosted at the campus to bring this community and others together.
“Members who join the community will have the opportunity to focus and collaborate; have pride of place; get inspired by ideas and education; feel safe starting companies; and be surrounded by peers and mentors.”
Members of The Exchange will have access to a range of Charles Sturt University facilities during business hours. These include meeting rooms, video link-ups and the campus café, as well as free wi-fi.
Helping inspire confidence
But more important than the space is the people, Jillian said.
“We have the most incredible people reach out to us. And they all say ‘I’ve been sitting on this idea for so long’. They say ‘I don’t love my job, I’m just trying to work out if now is the right time to do it’. A lot of the time it’s about the confidence to be brave with your life and take the first step.”
“The other thing new business owners will say after three months is ‘it was so difficult to navigate at the start but once you’re in the space it all becomes so clear’. So how do you get those people who have been in the space for three months or a year to help those people who are on day one?”
Are you ready to take your start-up business venture to the next level?
Charles Sturt University has a range of business degrees that will prepare you for the real world. Depending on your level of study, you can undertake our Bachelor of Business (Industry Professional Practice) or our Master of Management (Innovation and Entrepreneurship). Both degrees will allow you to develop advanced knowledge and skills to make complex business decisions in an ever-changing world.