In this section of the web site you will find summaries of current and completed projects involving SES. The projects are organised by our areas of expertise.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
In 2009 SES was commissioned by the ACCC to do research into small business attitudes to unconscionable conduct and scams. This worked included focus groups and a survey.
SES and CREEDA Projects were commissioned by Workcover Australia to do a 3 year longitudinal study of small business attitudes to Occupational Health and Safety. The study follows on from a previous project Workcover NSW: Effective Intervention Strategies for Small Business. This project was completed in 2009.
Springboard South Australia
More information to come
National Springboard Project
SES and joint venture partner, CREEDA Projects were funded under AusIndustry's 'Building Entrepreneurship in Small Business Program' to run the Springboard Business Growth Program in five regions across Australia. Around 120 businesses participated in this project and it was completed in mid 2007.
Home-based Business Growth Program: Lake Macquarie
The Program had a very high retention rate, with most participants attending most of the sessions.
All participants who completed the program rated it very highly, and agreed it was good value for money.
The program, though short, did meet the needs of participants and helped resolve a range of immediate issues – in some cases fostering a wholesale review of operations. Participants and facilitators enjoyed and valued the peer process – sharing and generating practical new ideas for participants’ businesses.
Feedback from participants indicates that the program led to plans for more sustainable growth paths, adoption of new ideas, especially in marketing, and narrowed information and support needs.
Home-based Business Accelerator Project Melbourne
In September 2002 a partnership was formed between the Melbourne Development Board and the cities of Melbourne, Stonnington and Monash to establish the Melbourne Regional Home Based Business Development Program, with funding from the RAP project of the Department of Transport and Regional Services. SES and CREEDA projects were commissioned to run the Springboard Business Growth Program.
The program commenced in March 2003 with fifty-one participants and ran over eight weeks to the end of April.
The participants were split into five groups by geographical council location and seminars were held on topics including marketing, financial performance, information and communication technology, employment and growing your business.
There were a number of significant outcomes of the program for both participants and the councils involved. Participants developed key business skills, expanded their networks, reflected on the their growth expectations and established ongoing peer support mechanisms.
For the councils involved they achieved a greater understanding of the size of the home based business sector in their region, the types of issues these businesses face and possible areas of support.
In order to access the longer term outcomes of the program, a mail out to the 57 people who participated in the 2003 Accelerator program was undertaken in April 2005. In total fifteen responses (25%) were received compared with forty-four returned questionnaires (78% of those completing the 2003 program).
The news on the employment front was good in that ten more people are employed in these businesses compared to two years ago (3 full time and 7 part time) and it is expected that 9 more part time people will be employed in the next 12 months. Extrapolating these results would indicate that the program achieved its goal of 17 new positions created. Other positives to emerge were that 90% of businesses had increased or maintained turnover since 2003, 75% increasing and 15% remaining the same.
Two years later, 80% rated the accelerator program as effective in meeting their development needs. Half of the respondents keep in contact with other participants in the program and 60% are involved with some networking activity. Home Base Inc in the City of Stonnington is an example of a network that was created as a result of demand by local home based businesses after the Accelerator program.
Home-based Business Advice
Springboard Business Growth Program: Parramatta
Springboard Business Growth Program: ACT and Adelaide
The ACT Government and the Marion and Onkaparinga City Councils wanted to develop active programs of support for home-based businesses. In both regions funding was provided by the Federal Government’s Regional Assistance Program, complemented by funding from local sources. SES partnered with CREEDA Projects to undertake skills needs assessments and develop a growth acceleration program specifically for home-based businesses. The projects began with surveys of home-based businesses in the two regions, followed by series of free seminars on low-cost marketing and financial management. The surveys and seminars helped identify sizeable pools of home-based businesses in each region interested in participating in a growth program.
Over 50 home-based businesses were selected to take part in the six week Springboard Growth Program. The program draws on reviews of the characteristics of micro-business entrepreneurs and sound understanding of the types of learning environments most suitable for this challenging group. These projects were completed in 2001.
Home based business support groups
SES Director, Kim Houghton was a founding member and Committee Member of the Australian Capital Region Home Based Business Association in 2000. The organisation has since had several different structures and is now known as the MHBA. Kim has helped establish home-based business associations in other areas, and knows the potential and pitfalls with these endeavours!
Back-yarders and Front Runners
There has been little quantitative research on Australia’s fast-growing home-based businesses. For this ground-breaking project, three separate agencies shared a need to identify key characteristics, impediments to growth and training needs of home-based businesses: the Department of Workplace Relations and Small Business, the ACT Government and the three Sunshine Coast Councils. The project’s public report, Back-yarders and Front Runners, Home-Based Business in Two Australian Regions, was launched by Minister Mal Brough on 7 April 2000.
SES played the major role in this project, Australia’s first large-scale examination of home-based businesses. The project was managed by the Canberra Region Enterprise and Employment Development Association in conjunction with the Home-Based Business Association of the Australian Capital Region, with funding from all three levels of government – the Commonwealth, the ACT and three councils. The project covered the Australian Capital Region and the Sunshine Coast.