Work has begun to create a unique centre that will provide crucial support services to start-up small businesses in Melbourne's east and south east.
Monash Mayor Geoff Lake and the Federal Member for Chisholm Anna Burke turned the first sod for the Eastern Innovation Business Centre in Mulgrave earlier today. The centre is expected to open in the middle of 2015.
Monash Council is building the centre using $4.75 million of Federal Government funding from the Regional Development Australia Fund. The State Government also provided $245,000 towards the project from its $50 million Living Victoria Fund."
Monash Mayor Geoff Lake said the centre would help small businesses develop their products and grow their businesses. He said the centre is expected to create 100 extra jobs in small businesses within the first 16 months of operation. More than 100 jobs will be generated during the construction phase of the project.
"Start-up and micro businesses will be offered ongoing support through expert mentoring, training and education, and there will be the opportunity for collaborative projects," Cr Lake said.
"These businesses will benefit from being in the heart of Melbourne's hi-tech scientific zone, near CSIRO, Monash University and the National Synchrotron, to name a few local organisations," he said.
"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy but research shows that 59% of small businesses fail in their first three years. That's why this centre will be of so much benefit to the businesses themselves and the local economy."
The centre will be open 24/7 with different types of working environments to suit all small businesses. Laboratories, 25 hot desks, collaborative areas and private office spaces, as well as meeting spaces and printing & reception facilities, will be available.
The centre will feature many environmentally sustainable features including an outdoor space with a vertical plant wall, grey water recycling, rain water harvesting and bio-filtration ponds.
The Eastern Innovation Business Centre is being built on land in Hartnett Close, Mulgrave, next door to the Tom Morrissey Building (Monash Business Incubator).
Monash Council expects the centre to build on the success of the Monash Business Incubator, with business at that centre recording an average growth in jobs of about 250% in its first three years of operation.