Family brings Syrian flavours to Brunswick

Family brings Syrian flavours to Brunswick

AFTER fleeing civil war in Syria, this family is bringing a traditional taste of their home country to Melbourne through a new food truck. Find out what has foodies’ tastebuds salivating.

 

A taste of Syria has come to Brunswick thanks to a shawarma food truck.

 

Husband and wife, Sami Mansour and Roaa Ilia, run Harmony and Symphony — named after the pair’s two daughters — seven days a week.

 

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Their Sarina Russo Entrepreneurs mentor, Maisa Koukach, said they specialise in shawarma, a Syrian favourite traditionally made up of meat, garlic sauce and pickles in a wrap.

 

Maisa said the couple, who now live in Bundoora, fled their home country when the civil war began, and arrived in Australia in 2015.

 

Mr Mansour was a chef in Syria and thanks to support from Christ Church Brunswick, which owns the land the truck sits on, the couple decided to begin a small business.

 

“The customers love the food and especially the falafel because there are many vegan people here,” Roaa said.

 

Roaa said she was hoping to move away from the truck and into primary-school teaching when she finishes her diploma at RMIT University.

 

“We didn’t prepare to move and we missed home at the start but we are lucky to come here,” she said.

 

“Now we have jobs and normal lives, it’s better and we feel we are part of Australia.”

 

*Source: Moreland Leader: Josh Barnes.  Photo: Hamish Blair

 

For more information please visit Harmony and Symphony Syrian Food Facebook Page.

 

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Charlotte’s Bees are Buzzing Across Australia

Charlotte’s Bees are Buzzing Across Australia

Charlotte launched Bee-Utiful Honey Hervey Bay in November last year when her previous role as a TAB operator was made redundant and she was left stranded with no income and no job.

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After completing the New Business Assistance with NEIS program under the mentoring of Sarina Russo Entrepreneurs Hervey Bay Business Solutions Coach Malcom Connolly, Charlotte’s business grew wings.

“Charlotte has now bought a food nan to sell her honey at the markets and her daughter Megan is running the van while Charlotte runs the business,” Malcolm said.

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“Now, not only does she sell her honey to the local tourist resorts and the major cities she is also selling through markets and she is also in negotiations to sell her honey through FoodWorks supermarkets across the country.”

And as Bee-Utiful Honey Hervey Bay approaches its first anniversary, Charlotte lavished praise on the New Business Assistance with NEIS program.

“NEIS opened up so many opportunities, more time to grow my business, do what I enjoy with being hands on, being creative, marketing and promoting, learning new skills, learning more about business and meeting like-minded people.”

“I used to play around with the bees as a hobby because one of my friends and his wife had some hives and now we produce between 35 and 50kg per fortnight,” she said.

For more information please visit Bee-utiful Honey Hervey Bay Facebook Page.

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Dr Paul practices what he preaches at RMIT

Dr Paul practices what he preaches at RMIT

WHEN Sarina Russo Entrepreneur’s “Entrepreneurship Facilitator” Dr Paul Miller speaks, people listen – and learn.

 

As was the case on August 28 when Paul was a special guest at the 2019 RMIT University Hackathon where he delivered a presentation and sat on a five-member panel judging the finalists’ responses to the theme “The creation of opportunities for employment in rural areas”.     

 

Held during RMIT’s Entrepreneurship Week, the Hackathon aimed to educate, inspire and motivate students as they enter the world of entrepreneurship and the five finalists were required to deliver a three-minute pitch.

 

“Across the board, in Ballarat, unemployment rates for youth, those aged between 15-24 years old has decreased from 25% to 20% in the past three years,” Paul said.

 

“Conversely, unemployment rates for people aged above 50 have increased from 25%-29%.  Some people at the Hackathon had been involved in the New Business Assistance with NEIS program and I also spoke about my current role as Entrepreneurship Facilitator in which I encourage and assist people aged over 45 to consider becoming their own boss.

 

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“The judging criteria was centred around desirability, viability and feasibility and implantation of the solution and the winning team Fivinity demonstrated real solutions to the criteria.”

 

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Sandra Gartner Proves To Be ‘Master Mentor’…Again

Sandra Gartner Proves To Be 'Master Mentor'...Again

Sandra’s done it again . . . our brilliant Business Solutions Coach proved herself to be the mentoring guru when her client Beacon Dog Training won the 2019 BizCover NEIS-Change Award.

The NEIS Awards acknowledged new business owners, Australia-wide, who have completed the New Business Assistance with NEIS program in the past two years.

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Owned and operated by Maddie and Tom Ross at Robina on the Gold Coast, Beacon Dog Training is a story of true courage, grit and determination.  The business started after Tom suffered a severe spinal injury whilst on holidays and then his pooch Toby became a problem child.

As a T12 paraplegic, Tom realised that not all disabled people could work with their dogs the same way, so they approached Sarina Russo Entrepreneurs and graduated from the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) program.

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The win makes it two victories from the past four years for Sandra after her clients Larrikin Puppets won in 2015.  This is on top of wins by Chris Raine from Hello Sunday Morning (2011) and Graeme Caplen from Union Lane (2012) – both mentored by fellow Business Solutions Coach, India Suter.

“I am so thrilled for Maddie and Tom.  The NEIS Award is a testament to the courage and passion they both have displayed since they started the NEIS journey in 2017,” Sandra said.

“Maddie and Tom worked tirelessly to build a business that now employs two staff and runs 19 classes every week for over 100 dogs.

“Using Maddie’s digital skills, they launched “That Dog Geek” – an online educational channel watched by thousands weekly and this, along with savvy marketing and key collaboration partners saw Beacon Dog Training take off.”

 

For more information please visit Beacon Dog Training’s Official Website.

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Frances Brushes Role to Paint a New Future

Frances Brushes Role to Paint a New Future

SOME call it a sea change and others term it a tree change – but former finance officer Frances Duggan it was most definitely a me change.

“It was more to do with getting away from the sedentary lifestyle I had been leading after working in an office for 25 years,” Frances said.

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“I wanted to look for a career path where I could be creative as well as physically disciplined and working for myself meant I could lead a fitter and more balanced lifestyle.

“One of my first painting and decorating contracts went so well that the home owners recommended me to their local real estate agent and I soon learned that working in a trade was all about word of mouth and recommendation.” 

 It was then one of Victoria’s Heritage painters John “Tubbsy” Tubbs took Frances under his wing and taught her the painting and decorating trade.

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 “The first advice he gave me was ‘never be afraid to paint a straight line’ meaning, approach your work with confidence and always respect the tools of the trade’.” 

 The next advice Frances benefitted from was when she met Sarina Russo Entrepreneurs South Ballarat Entrepreneurship Facilitator Dr Paul Miller and commenced the New Business Assistance with NEIS program last year and recently launched her business Frances Painting.

 “I had worked in an office environment all my life but it’s vastly different working for yourself,” Frances said.

 “Little things like getting business cards printed, marketing, creating social media and the finance side of things were initially a horror story, but Paul’s guidance was reassuring.

 “He had an amazing ability to find a common ground and a level of understanding that worked well for me and he could explain things six different ways for six different people so that eventually everybody had the level of knowledge required to run a business.

 “I love working for myself and have worked hard to be in a position to have three weeks advanced bookings.

 “I recently painted an Indian restaurant and function centre in Carrum Downs and I am also gaining skills in plaster, render and concrete repairs.”

 Five DIY tips:

1: Preparation is key

2: Protect every surface

3: Carry a rag and sand paper

4: Don’t rush it

5: Check your work

For more information please visit Frances Painting on Facebook!

 

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Poetry helps produce Nathan’s al dente pasta

Poetry helps produce Nathan’s al dente pasta

A LESSON in poetry and some calming advice may not sound like vital ingredients for a booming restaurant but good luck convincing Hervey Bay chef Nathan Crowd otherwise.

Unemployed and anxious about his future this time last year, Nathan went to Sarina Russo Entrepreneurs at Hervey Bay and met star Business Solutions Coach Malcolm Connolly.

“Nathan was freaking out and concerned about how much he had to do to start the business. I calmed him down, read him my poem and told him to relax,” Malcolm said.[Listen to Malcolm’s poem – ‘I’m Missing’]

“You could see he was thinking ‘where is this bloke going’ but the more I read the more he listened and when I finished he said “Malcolm, I get what you’re saying’.

“He then signed with the New Business Assistance with NEIS program on September 15 last year and that month he opened Fraser Coast Artisan Pasta Wholesale, now supplying the restaurants between Hervey Bay, Maryborough and Bundaberg.”

“And today, he opens his Artisan Pasta Bar.

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“It’s a real Italian look, serving the best handmade pasta direct to the public. The customer orders what ingredients they want and Nathan makes it in front of them.

“He makes all his pasta and sauce by hand daily and he has now amalgamated his wholesale business and his retail businesses.”

Sarina Russo, Managing Director and Founder of Sarina Russo Group, said there’s never been a better time to start a business under her mentorship through the New Business Assistance with NEIS program.

“We have put well over 9000 people into their own businesses since the NEIS program started and we instill in them the skills to survive,” Ms Russo said.

“NEIS gives people an opportunity to have a real crack at being self-employed. It’s a really low-risk program and I teach them to run their business on the smell of an oily rag.”

For more information please visit Fraser Coast Pasta on Facebook

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Sacha’s Vew Daycare is a Doggone Delight​

Sacha’s Vew Daycare is a Doggone Delight

EVERY dog has its day – and in the case of the pampered pooches at My Dogs Daycare at Wilston in Brisbane, that day is nigh.

 

The brainchild of internationally qualified veterinary nurse and passionate pooch lover Sacha Beatson, My Dogs Daycare will open for business on August 24 after months of meticulous planning and preparation.

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“We are a team of absolute dog lovers and professionals and our motto is ‘play, learn, relax, repeat’,” Sacha said.

 

“We have an amazing indoor daycare centre in Wilston, where safety is our first priority.

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“I have been working with dogs on a professional level most of my life, starting in the UK as a vet nurse, running puppy school and advising clients on Dog behaviour problems.”

 

As the holder of a Companion Animal Behaviour Certificate from the British Veterinary Nursing Association, Sacha’s hands-on skill set were indisputably impressive but, by her own admission, her business acumen needed some fine tuning.

That’s when she commenced the New Business Assistance with NEIS program under Sarina Russo Entrepreneurs Brisbane under the guidance of Business Solutions Coach Patrick Comerford and next week all the hard work will pay off.

 

“Sacha has invested thousands of dollars in her new doggy day care at Wilston and plans to open shortly,” Patrick said.

 

“I visited the centre last week and was extremely impressed by the efforts she has gone to and I have no doubt her business will be a success.

 

“She is very passionate about what she does and that will set her apart from her competitors.”

For more information please visit www.mydogsdaycare.com.au

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VIVRA – Belt-free fashion pouches

VIVRA. Belt-free fashion pouches.

Former NEIS client and Brisbane entrepreneur Emily Bitkow has totally reinvented the must-have fashion staple of the 80s, the bum bag! A regular festival-goer, Emily was frustrated at having to lug her stuff around in a cumbersome bag and yearned for the freedom of a small, hands-free tote for her credit cards, keys and phone so she could move and dance unrestricted!

Being at the very beginning of a new endeavour was daunting but Emily undertook the NEIS program with Sarina Russo in Brisbane and picked up tailored business advice, financial support and guidance while she worked on the pouch design and navigated fabric sourcing and manufacturing.

“I just absolutely love the NEIS program. The best thing for me was the ongoing help from my mentor. It is such a great initiative. The fact that the Government supports start-ups not only with mentorship but also financially, is amazing.”

With passion and fierce determination, VIVRA was born in 2016. Emily’s innovative take on the bum bag has a patented bi-fold design, which attaches to any garment with extra-strong magnets, instead of being strapped around your waist. The result is a fashionable, water-resistant pouch capable of carrying all your essentials – whilst doing yoga or pilates, heading out for a run, shopping or dancing.

 

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The pouches were a hit at local markets, and soon after Sarah Hua joined forces with Emily to invest in and help grow VIVRA to the commercial business success it is today. The brand has experienced rapid expansion, with 46% year-on-year growth.

 

VIVRA have received a lot of publicity, including features in The Courier Mail, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Brisbane Times locally; and Daily Mail and Daily Star in the UK. For marketing, they’ve harnessed the power of Instagram, where they cultivate brand loyalty and enthusiasm among their 16,700+ fans. Emily and Sarah encourage and celebrate UGC (user-generated content), through their custom branded hashtag #vivralifestyle. The girls also regularly share styling tips and photos of themselves using the pouches, making the brand relatable and approachable. Other posts featuring styled images and flatlays maintain the aspirational appeal. The pouches are often paired with complimentary active apparel and streetwear brands to help customers shop a cohesive look.

 

VIVRA pouches are sold Internationally through selected stockists and from their online store, with Australia and New Zealand being their two key markets. VIVRA were early adopters of Instagram’s Shopping tag functionality and they have recently negotiated distribution via Amazon in the US.

 

Emily and Sarah continually innovate. In December 2017 they launched Mummy and Me matching bags for mothers and children, and they recently introduced RFID (radio-frequency identification) functionality to protect their customers from ‘electronic pickpocketing’. A new sustainable range is about to be launched and Vivra has just been shortlisted for the Telstra Business Awards 2018 – a prestigious acknowledgment recognising excellence, innovation and best practice in Australia.

 

With a continued commitment to design, functionality and innovation, there is no stopping Sarah and Emily’s drive to change the way people move.

Do you have a great business idea? Would you like to access free business training with the NEIS program? Use the postcode finder to get started, and contact your local NEIS provider.

 

Source: NEISNow.com.au

 

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Hervey Bay Author’s Actions Speak Louder Than Her Words

Hervey Bay Author’s Actions Speak Louder Than Her Words

HERVEY Bay author Shae Millward always dreamed of having a book published, but when she signed her first contract she realised she lacked the business knowledge necessary to be professional, and ultimately successful.


However, that all changed when she commenced the New Business Assistance with NEIS program under the mentorship of Sarina Russo Entrepreneurs and learnt the practical side of running a small business.

 

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“I had the creative side of being an author covered but I was excited to join Sarina Russo Entrepreneurs to learn the business skills required to run a successful small business,” Shae said. 

“Not having an agent limited the number of publishers it was possible to submit to, with opportunities narrowed to those who would accept unsolicited manuscripts, I am very grateful to have had my stories chosen from the slush pile.”

 

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Shae’s first book, A Boy and a Dog, tells a classic story of a lonely boy and a lonesome dog who find each other and discover true friendship. It is a touching insight into the special bond between children and animals with the universal themes of joy, compassion, trust and belonging. But at its very essence, it is a story about LOVE.


“My business promotes literacy and a love of reading by creating fun, engaging stories for children,” Shae said. “I continue to work on many new creative writing projects, now backed by the business skills acquired from the NEIS program.”


Sarina Russo, Managing Director of Sarina Russo Group, said there’s never been a better time to start a business under her mentorship through the New Business Assistance with NEIS.

 

On the eve of her 40th year in business on September 17, Ms Russo said her record in putting people on the fast track to business success had stood the test of time.

 

“We helped start over 9000 new businesses under the NEIS program and we instil in them the skills to survive,” Ms Russo said.

 

For more information please visit www.shaemillward.com

 

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Bundy Bikini Designer Bound for the Big Time

Bundy Bikini Designer Bound for the Big Time

DRESSING celebrities for red carpet events might seem a long stretch for a Bundaberg fashion designer, but Kiara-Bella Moore’s couture illustrations and custom designs are a cut above the rest.

 

A self-confessed designer since she could hold a pencil and self-taught seamstress, Kiara’s stunning bikini designs have recently caught the eye of Maxim, the bible of beach wear, for their National Swimwear model of the year calendar.

 

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And she’s now got her sights set on the big time with her clothing label Kiara-Bella Designs.

 

“I have been drawing and illustrating for as long as I can remember, and I was always playing on the sewing machine with my mum Cianna,” the 18-year-old said.

 

“Mum taught me how to sew and it sort of blossomed from there. Now I cut my own patterns and hand make all my designs from home.

 

“I am designing and creating all day, every day, from couture illustrations to swimwear, ready to wear sets and now dresses.

 

“My ultimate dream would be to showcase at international fashion weeks like New York, Paris, Milan and dress celebrities for The Met Gala.”

 

A graduate of the New Business Assistance with NEIS, Kiara was mentored by Sarina Russo Entrepreneurs and her designs will appear across a two-page spread in the next edition of Designer Q Magazine.

 

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“It’s exciting. I’ve always done everything for my label including styling and modelling myself, so it will be an amazing experience to see a whole team including professional photographers, stylists and fashion models creating the content for my designs.” Kiara said.

 

In addition to preparing for upcoming photo shoots and events, Kiara’s loyal clientele continue to lap her designs.

 

“It normally takes a maximum of about two weeks from the time a client contacts me or goes online and buys the garment for me to hand make it and have it delivered to them.”

 

In the words of her mentor, Sarina Russo Entrepreneurs Business Coach Cameron Ford, Kiara was always destined for big things.

 

“Kiara came to see me when she was 17-years-old, and her determination and passion was evident from the day I met her,” he said. “Being 17 she was too young, so I advised her to go away, keep working on her dream and come back when she was 18.”

 

For more information please visit www.kiarabelladesigns.com

 

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