Rural City of Murray Bridge supporting new enterprise

Young people in Murray Bridge who have the entrepreneurial spirit to launch their own small businesses are being encouraged to apply to be part of a new program, thanks to an initiative created by The Rural City of Murray Bridge's youth council, Impact Youth.

A new kickstart: Rural City of Murray Bridge Impact Youth members Cheska Nacario, Mayor Sallee Shepherd and Morgan Klemm with the Rural City of Murray Bridge's Michelle Chambers.

A new kickstart: Rural City of Murray Bridge Impact Youth members Cheska Nacario, Mayor Sallee Shepherd and Morgan Klemm with the Rural City of Murray Bridge's Michelle Chambers.

The Impact Youth Kickstart Loans program has been designed to support budding entrepreneurs aged 12 to 25 years with the skills and confidence to start or expand a small business.

Successful program applicants will receive a $2000 loan and professional mentoring support.

Murray Bridge Impact Youth Mayor Sallee Shepherd said the initiative aimed to support young people to stay and work locally in Murray Bridge.

"It started based on a school project about unemployment and to help address that with a vision of keeping people in Murray Bridge," Sallee said.

She said Kickstart Loans offered a range of mechanisms to help young people who live, work, or study, in the Rural City of Murray Bridge area to create or grow their small business vision.

"A lot of people don't know where to start ... the Kickstart Loans will equip these young entrepreneurs with a stepping-stone to reach their goal of running a local business," she said.

"We know there are a lot of young people in the district who are unemployed, under-employed, or not sure of whether they can achieve their dreams while still living here.

"Young people can apply for an interest-free loan of up to $2000 to help them set up an office, attend regional market fairs, develop new products, increase their marketing efforts and so much more."

"We want the loans to provide direct support to their business outcomes, and eventually help grow their business to become successful and sustainable."

Mayor Brenton Lewis said the goal of the program was to create more employment opportunities while engaging local youth and said the value of the program to young, successful applicants was far more than just the $2000 loan.

Mayor Lewis said the people accepted into the program would undertake three workshops with local industry experts supporting a foundational knowledge base for young start-ups.

"They'll be exposed to sessions on finance management presented by Julie Humphreys, of Humphreys Consulting; communications and branding by Courtney Blacker, of Commshake Media and Engagement; and business foundations by Steven Walker of Kookaburra Homes," Mayor Lewis said.

Once the workshops are complete, participants will thepresent their business proposal to a panel of mentors and youth councilors, and if successful, they will be awarded with the loan.

Impact Youth is a Rural City of Murray Bridge initiative, providing opportunities for youth leadership and a voice on decision-making.

- Details: For more information on the project, including how to apply and program timelines, visit murraybridge.sa.gov.au.