Page 3388 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 19 August 2009

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Another Canberra success story is Aspen Medical. Aspen specialises in the delivery of healthcare services, health consulting and e-health to government and private organisations and has won the ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards services award category for two successive years.

I mentioned the Chief Minister’s Export Awards, which is a great initiative that this government provides to promote local businesses. But I would like to focus on a different government initiative for the moment, that being Canberra BusinessPoint. Canberra BusinessPoint is one of the ACT government’s key investments in, and partnerships with, local businesses and it provides a unique service to the business community.

Canberra BusinessPoint is currently being provided under contract through Deloitte Growth Solutions. It offers a comprehensive suite of activities, including business development resources, one-on-one mentoring, a range of online tools and services and a series of networking and training events. It aims to assist businesses at start-up phase and in the early stages of their development.

Canberra BusinessPoint conducts workshops to help business during these tough economic times and helps them stay one step ahead. Over the past 12 months I understand that Canberra BusinessPoint has had around 330 participants attend their monthly workshops, another 540 attend their networking events and, as well, conducted over 840 mentoring sessions.

I was honoured recently to attend the second annual Canberra BusinessPoint Gala Awards. It was a great night and a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Canberra’s dynamic small business sector. The winner of the enterprise award for the year 2009 was Viridis E3 Pty Ltd, which specialises in the delivery of cost-effective, environmentally sustainable development and property consultancy services for its broad range of public and private sector clients.

Other winners included the WISE Academy Pty Ltd, Lucy Media Pty Ltd, Formulate Information Design and mHITS Ltd. I mention mHITS because it was very pleasing recently when I bought a coffee from a local cafe in Tuggeranong to notice that this cafe was using the purchasing payment software system developed by mHITS. It is great to see local ACT companies turning to another local company for their business software rather than choosing one of the common overseas products. It really highlights the quality and innovation of our local business sector.

We are also seeing programs like the government supported Exporters Network grow each year as new companies connect to this vibrant support and mentoring community. In fact, the ACT business community benefits from a range of different business networks, and to continue my theme of ICT development, I would like to mention is an ICT network started by a range of industry stakeholders and supported by the ACT government, Microsoft and other local groups. Its aim is to bring together ACT software organisations to engage in cooperative activities, achieve collective competitiveness and develop new opportunities for the ACT software industry as a whole.

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