THE WIRE PROGRAM AIMS TO HELP RURAL, REGIONAL AND REMOTE WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS CREATE AMAZING BUSINESSES AROUND A LIFE THEY LIVE AND LOVE
WiRE Index Survey
Let’s plan a support hub for Women in Rural, Regional and Remote Enterprises – What would work for you?
We’re currently in the development phase and we want to make sure this exciting WiRE Program meets your needs and those of other women in rural, regional and remote enterprises.
To help us understand your needs and make sure we build the right program for and with you, we need to understand what your entrepreneurial attitudes, influences, behaviours, identity, motivations, barriers, intentions and learning needs are. Furthermore, this survey represents an innovation in itself because it is the first and most comprehensive large scale survey examining the entrepreneurial behaviour and needs of women in rural, regional and remote (RRR) Queensland. So please help us to create something quite extraordinary by filling out the survey that will be available on this site from middle February 2017! Subscribe to the program here to make sure you don't miss out on any invitations and opportunities to participate in the program, including participating in this survey.
WiRE Show Case Series
During the first phase of the program, we will also develop a show case series to recognise and show case rural, regional and remote entrepreneurial women who have achieved significant success.
Regional Innovation Popups throughout RRR venues in QLD (the schedule will be published shortly)
(March - April 2017)
The Regional Innovation Popups are designed to form the basis for further capacity-building components of the program and will provide a rounded introduction into the benefits of adopting entrepreneurship and innovation as a valuable approach to enhancing individual and wider economic benefits for regional business and development.
The WiRE Roadshow event will visit major centres in Queensland to deliver Entrepreneurship and Innovation lunches (as participants need travel time to get to the regional centre), which will act as forums to introduce the WiRE program, and for women to raise issues affecting regional entrepreneurship and behaviour which will be used to inform the development of the WiRE program.
Short workshops informing participants on various contemporary entrepreneurship topics will also be held.
Major regional capital and a secondary regional centres are targeted. The locations we will be visiting during March and April 2017 are:
8. Charters Towers
Registrations for these regional pop-ups will open middle February 2017. Subscribe to the program here to make sure you don't miss out on any invitations and opportunities to participate in the program, including these regional innovation pop-ups.
the Wire Webinar Series
(April 17 – March 18)
The aim of the webinar series is to introduce women in RRR to the value and accessibility of potential entrepreneurship outcomes. Webinars provide the ideal way for women entrepreneurs to gain information quickly, easily and without major disruption to their business day.
For the WiRE program, webinars will serve several purposes:
(1) to act as a gateway into the online workshops and hub program providing women with core information relating to the key topics of entrepreneurship and innovation; and
(2) to act as a tactical communications tool, updating women across a range of subjects linked to the WiRE program. For example, in the event of a change to a particular aspect potentially impacting women entrepreneurs, a tactical webinar would be scheduled.
(3) It will also be utilised as a tool for interaction and gain valuable insights from participants and help them come to valuable insights of their own.
Content will reflect the needs of RRR women as expressed during the initial needs analysis phase of the program.
Following the completion of each webinar all participants and registrants will receive:
• a copy of webinar information;
• links to webinar video and content;
• additional support/program documentation as required.
INTERNATIONAL/RURAL/URBAN CONNECTIONS FORUM IN TOOWOOMBA
This one day forum will give WiRE participants in the program the opportunity to connect, network and share learnings with women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial leaders from Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka as well as urban Australian women entrepreneurs. The international women are in a positions in their industries, to foster potential collaborations across border with the WiRE participants. The international cohort of women entrepreneurs will be in Toowoomba on this day as part of a three week capacity building program delivered by USQ on “empowering women through entrepreneurship and digital business innovation” in May 2017.
TWO RESIDENTIAL START-UP STYLE WEEKENDS (IN TOOWOOMBA AND SPRINGFIELD)
(MAY – JULY 17)
The two Start-up style weekends are intensive events designed to provide superior experiential education for RRR women entrepreneurs. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, the Start-up Weekends will culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations.
Participants create working start-ups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurs.
The two weekends are centred around action, innovation, and education. Whether the participants are looking for feedback on an idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help them execute, Start-up Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test ideas and take the first steps towards launching their own start-up.
Digital WiRE MENTORING AND PEER LEARNING Circles/HUBS
(July 2017 - March 2018)
The WiRE Learning Circle activity is open to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to develop a business idea into a business plan; women-led established enterprises experiencing growing pains and looking for guidance about a specific issue; women (in agriculture, but not exclusive to) who have started a venture or are currently part of a venture and wishing to scale up; and women intrapreneurs who are working in a venture/organisation and want to progress to a leadership position in their organisation by employing entrepreneurial behaviour and entrepreneurial leadership skills. There are limited place available to participate in a learning circle. Learning Circle participants are expected to have a business idea and attend a fortnightly online workshop/mentoring session to develop their business idea, model and business plan, learn new skills and strategise for venture development. Topics and meeting times are unique to each learning circle. This unique program (of 6 weeks duration), developed around various themes, offers an interactive and conversational way for participants to learn and work through various topics depending on the stage of business and operation in which they find themselves. The learning circles foster positive relationships and networking which is essential for entrepreneurs. A selection of top class mentors and experts will feed into the learning circle program. Upon completion, participants will leave with an externally-critiqued business model, plan and strategy, practical skills in a variety of entrepreneurship topics, an outline for community impact, and an understanding of what their next steps should be.
PLEASE NOTE: The final format and content of the learning circle activity will be based upon the initial needs analysis and feedback from RRR women in the initial phase of the WiRE program.
The WiRE Online Workshops
(June 17 – 31 March 18)
A comprehensive e-workshop program, designed to build on the high level content delivered through initial program roadshows and webinars will take participants through the application of knowledge, process and tools to enable them to foster and start their venture, scale their venture up and in turn create a profitable/value-added venture.
These workshops will utilise content developed by USQ and the project team and will be facilitated by the project team entrepreneurship experts, successful entrepreneurs (in particular successful RRR women entrepreneurs), and industry-led practitioners/experts. The final format and content of the online workshops will be based upon the initial needs analysis and feedback from RRR women in the initial phase of the WiRE program.
The WiRE coaching program
(May 17 – March 18)
Participants will have the opportunity to participate in an intensive one-on-one online coaching session to embed practical learnings derived from the webinars, workshops, start-up weekend and digital hubs. Places are limited. Often in other entrepreneurship programs participants ask: “What’s next?” The coaching sessions will help participants to move forward with what they have learnt in various aspects of the program. Owing to the large demographic region, one-on-one online video instead of in-person coaching sessions will be offered to participants and coordinated by USQ.
The one-on-one coaching (face-to-face via video) sessions are a unique and very valuable opportunity for participants to receive specialised advice on the entrepreneurial process and identify and discuss opportunities for improvements. Participants will spend 60 minutes one-on-one time with an entrepreneurship coach.
The coach will generally review current practices and assist the participant progressing their ventures. A report of the discussions and recommendations will be sent to the participant within a week of the coaching session.
The WiRE on-line coaching sessions are unique to the WiRE program since no other programs currently use this model of advice/support in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
These session allow the coach to have a deeper understanding of the participants and can tailor recommendations and specific entrepreneurial tools to assist them in their entrepreneurial journey.
The WiRE scenario planning workshop
( Jan 18 – 31 March 18)
A scenario planning workshop will be conducted with partners and key stakeholders to create future strategies for sustainability of the program. The project leader will conduct this workshop in view of her experience with conducting scenario planning workshops.
During this workshop the following issues will be workshopped:
• the central issue, focal question or problem that needs to be addressed to create strategies that are sustainable for the progression of women entrepreneurship;
• the main trends and identification drivers of change in the future for the context of RRR entrepreneurship;
• Develop three scenarios for the future of RRR women entrepreneurship;
• What are the most effective strategies to further progress for RRR women entrepreneurs?
• What impact would these strategies have on funding for entrepreneurship for RRR women?
How could these strategies be optimally implemented?
During this phase a thorough post-program evaluation, to determine the effectiveness of the program and how the program can be sustainable will be undertaken, including a survey of program participants and interviews. Participants who progressed their entrepreneurial journeys during the program will be show cased. A Road Map to guide women through their entrepreneurial journeys will be developed and disseminated. Strategies will be developed to ensure sustainability of the program.