As a sole trader or small business owner it can often feel like you have to do it all on your own - or spend a lot of money to hire help.
However there are a lot of free resources available for small business out there - from government and council services to online forums where you can connect to your peers. Please note, some of these resources are Victoria and Darebin specific but there may be similar options available in other areas.
Small business help is just around the corner!
Small Business Support Services
Grants, events, free online training courses, advice around the financial and legal aspects of small business and COVID information. They have also recently announced a free mentoring program.
The Darebin Enterprise Centre is a non-profit organisation that can help with the start up and growth of your small business. Offering grants for local business and advice that would be useful for all small businesses.
Small business owners Australia
Online forums for small business owners and sole traders - great for emotional support and solidarity, answers to quick questions and a way to connect with the professionals who can you in more in depth ways.
For Creative Business and Artists
Grants, advice and online events for creative businesses and artists.
Melbourne Creative Collective
A community and support network dedicated to the creatives of Melbourne and wider Victoria. An online networking collective for freelancers, businesses, and aspiring in the industry. A place to post and create conversations about collaborations, jobs, tips & tricks and share your own work for some constructive feedback.
The Business of Making
The Business of Making is your weekly dose of reality for handmade business owners. On the podcast, we talk about making as a business, the making of a business, and what it REALLY takes to succeed as a maker and a business owner.
Active Spaces in Darebin
For social enterprises, not for profit and creative businesses. Active Spaces in Darebin help negotiate reasonable rent in commercial spaces as well as Business mentoring and business setup, marketing, promotion, networking opportunities, and support dealing with the legal and logistical aspects of starting your project including a small one-off grant.
There are a lot of free resources available for small business out there where you can connect to your peers
For Aboriginal Owned Businesses
Support for established and emerging First Nations Businesses. Offering grants and one on one advice and mentoring to start or grow your business.
Collective of Aboriginal business owners working to reclaim the Aboriginal business space. They have various initiatives to promote and support Aboriginal business, as well as educating allys on important issues.
First Nations Fashion Design
Home of First Nations Fashion Design. Building a National voice to grow this community and celebrating the work of individual creators.⠀
WLID - Women Leaders in Darebin
A group to support and grow ideas for women and by women in the Darebin area. Women who currently hold leadership roles personally or professionally may find this group helpful to test or share new ideas. Aspiring leaders may find support and/or mentoring here.
Like-minded woman who are not bitches drinking wine
Like-minded bitches drinking wine
Small Business Women Australia Community
Online forums for female small business owners and sole traders - great for emotional support and solidarity, answers to quick questions and a way to connect with the professionals who can you in more in depth ways. Each group has it’s own vibe and regulations, so check the pinned post before sharing.
The Welcome Here Project
The Welcome Here Project supports businesses and services throughout Australia to create and promote environments that are visibly welcoming and inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) communities.
Victorian Commissioner for LGBTIQ+ Communities Facebook page
Events, grants, and networking opportunities for the Rainbow business community.
Facebook group for GLOBE Networking - an event for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex & Queer professionals and business owners.
Leadership Victoria LGBTIQ+ Program
The Victorian LGBTIQ Leadership Program 2020 is a leadership development program that grows and develops participant’s leadership skills in a safe and supported environment. Participants will explore how to develop and apply leadership in LGBTIQ community organisations to achieve better outcomes and drive change in the community.
Thanks to Aleisha Leonard for Rainbow Resource assistance.
Applying for Grants
We've made a detailed video and article to assist you with your grant applications - Read Grant Writing Tips and Strategies