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Micro-credit to support big ideas in the Bega Valley

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Micro-credit to support big ideas in the Bega Valley

Thursday 23 March 2017 Anna Pino, Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre, Colin Dunn and Phil Smith, Bendigo Bank and Bega Valley Mayor, Cr Kristy McBain.

A new micro-credit program for emerging Bega Valley businesses is looking to make its first investments.

Mayor, Kristy McBain believes this is a great opportunity to see local business ideas become a reality and flourish.

“This is a three-way partnership between Bega Valley Shire Council, Bendigo Bank and the Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre in Canberra,” Cr McBain said.

Announced at Council’s 2016 Economic Development Summit the program provides small low-cost loans of up to $3000 to new and developing businesses in the Bega Valley.

Anna Pino, Chief Executive Officer, Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre said, “This works towards creating a level playing field through financial inclusion and brings together communities and people to create real impact not just in the Bega Valley, but the broader region."

“And we have seen this sort of scheme work,” Ms Pino said.

“In Canberra a similar program has been operating since 2011 and has to date supported over 70 enterprises, many of which have founders under the age of 30.

“Businesses have covered a broad range of industries including fashion, marketing, hospitality, health and fitness,” Ms Pino said.

As well as financial support, the micro-credit program also provides people with training, individual mentoring, peer support and access to networking events.

“Our region has a great history of innovation through the dairy and tourism industries; this scheme broadens our economy and strengthens those natural links we have with the ACT,” Cr McBain said.

“Thank you to Bendigo Bank and the Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre for their collaborative spirit and for recognising the potential of our people.”

For more information on the Bega Valley Micro-credit Program go to Council’s website or speak Anna Pino of 02 6163 8300 or enquiries@regionalmicrocredit.com.au

Photograph: Anna Pino, Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre, Colin Dunn and Phil Smith, Bendigo Bank and Bega Valley Mayor, Cr Kristy McBain.

END


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