As part of a royal initiative, transitioning Australian Defence Force members will attend RMIT in Melbourne for an intensive week of business studies to equip them for civilian life as entrepreneurs.
Developed by The Prince’s Charities Australia (PCA) in partnership with RMIT, The Prince’s Lead Your Own Business program is a nationally accredited 18-month business training initiative designed exclusively for transitioning or recently transitioned Defence Force members who aspire to run their own business.
Next week, 20 participants will receive hands-on training and mentoring from established business leaders, after beginning their online studies earlier this year.
RMIT Pro-Vice Chancellor Business and Vice-President, Professor Ian Palmer, looks forward to hosting this year’s participants.
“Creating and sustaining a business requires thorough planning and careful execution. RMIT University is privileged to support transitioning Defence members in building and sustaining their small businesses, and is proud to deliver this Australian-first initiative in partnership with PCA,” Palmer said.
“The residential week is a highlight of the program. Participants will be immersed in a simulated business setting, involving business-related classes, networking and mentoring opportunities, and guest speakers.”
Upon completion of the program, participants will obtain a Certificate IV in Small Business Management.
Last year’s pilot program received outstanding feedback – 100 per cent of participants said the program met or exceeded their expectations. Seventeen participant businesses are now established and on track for success.
PCA Chief Executive, Janine Kirk AM, said the success of last year’s participants is a testament to the strength of the program.
“I am so pleased to see that many past participants have not only started their own businesses, but they’ve been meeting or exceeding their projected targets,” Kirk said.
Jason Dolan, a participant in the program last year, has seen his business grow exponentially since completing the course.
“The program has given me a different perspective on business development and networking opportunities, and valuable resources that I would never have had access to without the program,” Dolan said.
The program is generously supported by a range of organisations and philanthropic individuals, including principal sponsor The Pratt Foundation, and corporate partners Defence Housing Australia, Commonwealth Bank, and EY.
For interviews: Thanh Lam, PCA, (03) 9682 0259 or 0421 363 196.
For media enquiries: Rita Truong, RMIT, (03) 9925 1307.