Business Advice & Mentoring Programs

Let our team guide you through the range of programs and services offered to small business owners in the greater Hunter Region.  Fully and partially subsidised services are available to suit your individual needs, based on your industry sector, stage of business growth and personal skillsets. Our Small Business Advisors and Mentors offer practical solutions, guidance and direction to support you in achieving business growth and sustainability.

Small Biz Solutions

Welcome to Small Biz Solutions, a range of business advisory and knowledge building workshops designed especially for small business owners throughout the Hunter Region.

Read more: Small Biz Solutions

Business Connect

Business Connect (formerly Small Biz Connect) is a quality, personalised business advisory service, funded by the NSW Government, that supports small-to-medium businesses start or grow their business successfully.

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Our services include practical and highly subsidised:

  • Mobile, face-to-face business advice with an accredited business advisor
  • Workshops and seminars
  • Business bus
  • Local business events
  • Business resources and fact sheet

Start, grow or innovate your business

With a network of local advisors available across NSW, Business Connect provides the advice, skills and information you need at any stage of your business. Our advisors have the experience and knowledge to tackle a range of business challenges including:

  • Business planning
  • How to startup
  • Marketing
  • How to access finance and legal advice
  • Strategic planning

Business Connect also supports:

  • Disrupted industries including the taxi and hire car industry
  • Businesses affected by the construction of Sydney Light Rail
  • Multicultural communities. Our Multicultural advisors are available for Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese and Korean speakers.
  • Specialist support

Digital specialists are available to provide expert advice on digital readiness and digital innovation, including growth hacking strategies, search optimisation, design thinking and project and automation management.

Creative specialists are available through Business Connect to provide expert advice and support tailored to startups and SMEs in the creative industries.

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Where to next?

Contact us to book an appointment with one of our Business Advisors who can help you successfully start or grow your business. 


Mentoring exists to strengthen your own entrepreneurial skills.  Your mentor will be a source of support and guidance, will ask you the tough questions and challenge you to exceed your goals.  Are you ready to be Mentored?

Read more: Mentoring

Newcastle - Open for Business

Supporting the development of the Night Time Economy

“Newcastle – Open for Business” is an innovative workshop, business advisory and collaboration series, tailored for new and existing small business operators in the Newcastle LGA. 

Read more: Newcastle - Open for Business

Business Connect Bus

The Business Connect Bus delivers highly subsidised face-to-face business advice to regional areas across NSW.

Our experienced Business Connect advisors are able to provide personalised support on how to start, grow or innovate your business in the comfort of our dedicated advisory bus.

Call 1300 134 359 to find out when the bus is in your area or book online to register your session.

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Looking for a Small Business Mentor, or a program that will analyse the areas of risk and opportunity in your business? 

NAB Microenterprise Loan Program

If you have a sound business idea yet are unable to get a normal business loan through a bank, you may be eligible for the NAB Microenterpise Loan! Loans are available to assist start up or existing businesses within the first 2 years of trading.

Read more: NAB Microenterprise Loan Program

Women in Business


Information for Applicants



Are you a woman in the start-up phase of business? Face challenges and need a mentor? 


Female entrepreneurs are the fastest growing segment in the small business sector but continue to face unique challenges and obstacles. This program is designed to help you become a successful business owner through the delivery of industry leading workshops and access to experienced mentors to help you achieve your goals. Join the Women In Business Mentoring Program for Start-ups commencing September 2017 and improve your business success.

Read more: Women in Business

Smart Arts

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Building business capacity for creative industries
in Newcastle and the Hunter region


Do you earn a living from your creativity, or would like to? Or do you work supporting others within the creative sector and would like to further your skills and networks? Take part in Smart Arts, including professional skills development, collaboration opportunities and networking to assist artists, creative practitioners, arts and cultural professionals to build sustainable creative businesses.

The Business of Being Creative

9:30am - 12:30pm Wednesday, 12 October

Hunter School of Design


This workshop is tailored exclusively to develop the business skills of anyone working in the creative industries. Filmmakers, writers, all designers (graphic, jewellery etc.), fashion creators, visual artists, musicians, composers, dancers, performers - all are welcome, the more the merrier. If you’re more than one of these professions, great!  In this workshop you’ll find out how to start and run your creative business. We address your legal rights and responsibilities including copyright and contracts. We’ll also look at what you should charge, how to pitch your ideas without being exploited, and the important personal side of things including your health.


Presenter: Christina Gerakiteys, Creative Industries Business Advisor, The Business Centre


Cost: $40  | REGISTER

Marketing for Creatives

9.30am - 12.30pm, Tuesday, 25 October

Pumphouse School of Design


A specialised workshop designed to build marketing and social media skills for those in the creative industries. Communicate the value of your product or service to your customer segment confidently and via effective distribution channels. We help you define and communicate your message so that your unique qualities position you in the marketplace. We’ll look at how you can leverage social media and other effective marketing strategies, but most importantly, refine your pitch. 


Presenter: Christina Gerakiteys, Creative Industries Business Advisor, The Business Centre


Cost: $40  | REGISTER

Creative Sector Consultation

6:00 - 7:30pm Friday, 2 December

Catapult Dance Studio


A conversation about building the capacity of our creative community and working together in an increasingly turbulent and uncertain environment for artists and arts organisations. Facilitated by Octapod.


Cost: No cost  | REGISTER

Creative Sector Get Together

7:30pm 'til late Friday, 2 December

Catapult Dance Studio


Let’s party! A chance to let your hair down or make some new connections.


Cost: By donation  |  REGISTER



For further information, phone 02 4925 7700 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Smart Arts is delivered by Octapod and The Business Centre. This project has been supported by the Australian Small Business Advisory Service (ASBAS) programme, an Australian Government initiative.

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Phone: 02 4925 7700

Fax: 02 4925 2570

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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"I'm so very grateful for the Mentoring I received from Brooke through the NEIS program!" -- Roz Ewart
"I love working with Brooke, I always leave the mentoring appointments feeling energised and ready for business" -- Antonia Gore
"The NEIS program – training and mentoring – really helped me with by confidence in business" -- Mandy-Lee Cluff
"Mentoring through The Business Centre helped me set realistic targets and strategies to grow my business" -- Peter Brown
"Mikes mentoring has guided our business from imminent collapse to a position of renewed survival with stronger market share and increased profitability" -- Lesley Lalor
"The service was beyond expectations, professional and informative." -- Ray Bylart – Connect
"Without the continuous assistance I would never of been able to start and grow my business." -- Alida de Laubadere –
"Not only did I learn a great deal I also was very engaged and entertained by the Advisers professional and experienced style of training." -- Phil Byrnes - Exce
"I learned so much in the one on one Advisory sessions and this was backed up with the availability of workshops and networking opportunities." -- Block Sign – Fonehub