Niche Young Entrepreneurs’ Program receives funding support

A StGiles initiative helping young Tasmanians improve their employability has received a pledge for support for the next three years.

The Niche Young Entrepreneurs’ Program is targeted towards young Tasmanians, aged 14 to 18, facing employment challenges, who have practical skills to make a commercially desirable product.

The program will receive $30,000 from the Commonwealth Bank Staff Community Fund during the next three years.

Niche manager Victoria Bayes said the funding would help StGiles provide training for at least eight young people.

“This is big sky thinking for us and we couldn’t have done it without the CBA staff support,” Ms Bayes said.

“The bank’s donation will be put to work to grow young Tasmanians and give them a chance.”

The program guided and tutored participants as they became involved in StGiles-organised Niche Makers Market to create and sell quality Tasmanian-made and designed products.

Participants will be connected with experienced and successful Niche makers, receive advertising and marketing advice and have a pathway to Nichemas, the largest market of the year.

The market is a fundraising enterprise, which has contributed close to $200,000 towards StGiles early intervention and therapy equipment for children living with disability since 2009.

Niche makers are obliged to donate 20 per cent of their profit.

However, Ms Bayes said program participants would not be expected to make a donation.

StGiles general manager profile and engagement Danielle Blewett said the Niche market had been running for close to a decade, which had taught St Giles, Niche makers and managers about commercialisation, business management, innovation and collaboration.

Through the entrepreneurs program, this knowledge would be shared with young Tasmanians, Ms Blewett said.

The market attracts between 3000 to 5000 visitors each market, which are held in Launceston’s Albert Hall and at the Burnie Arts and Function Centre.