Say ‘YEP’ to becoming an entrepreneur

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Anne-Marie Walton is no stranger to the world of entrepreneurship. Developing an app titled ‘KidsWantu’ that encourages family fun away from the screen, she knows firsthand that developing your own brand – particularly as a ‘middle aged’ mother – can be scary, confusing and overwhelming.
As an Ipswich local, Anne-Marie knows that the region is facing unprecedented changes within the jobs sector, with unemployment in traditional jobs set to rise.
“The Ipswich region is a fast growing region but it also has a number of challenges,” she said. “With changing industry sectors there is higher unemployment in more traditional type jobs and there’s also potential for increasing redundancies in some industry sectors.
“The Federal Government identified that it could be a challenge moving forward so they want to provide people with skills so that they can use their lived experience and their passions and what they’ve already been doing to potentially turn them into businesses so they can be self employed.”
Now working for Y(E)P Ipswich, an entrepreneurship facilitator initiative by the Australian Government, Anne-Marie is keen to help people much like herself, who may be over 45 and worked for somebody else for the entirety of their career. The best part? It’s free of charge, and provides people with practical information and resources to transform their idea into self employment.
The app developer said many people have a hobby that could be turned into a viable business, but just need a push in the right direction to go from ‘side hustle’ to a full time job.
“My focus is on those over 45 and that’s because they’re more at risk of unemployment due to these structural changes happening in the economy at the moment,” she said.
“There’s going to be jobs around in the next 5 to 10 years that we don’t even know what they are yet and people over 45 are not necessarily prepared to develop new skill sets.”
Offering free business mentoring either face to face or over the phone, coupled with small group workshops with local experts, budding entrepreneurs can expect to receive personalised advice when accessing mentoring through Anne-Marie.
Harnessing mentorees soft skills and lived experiences, Anne-Marie has helped over 60 people develop ideas into businesses like coffee carts, tech startups, life coaching, marketing businesses andmore.
You can organise a free business mentoring session or find out about free workshops through the YEP Ipswich website and Facebook pages: yepipswich.com or facebook.com/YEPIpswich.