Business

Unley ‘Fish Tank’ program seeks future entrepreneurs

two young women with notebook and coffee

A ‘Fish Tank’ program has been created for young people aged 12 to 25 who see themselves as future entrepreneurs.

A successful business program for young people is offering opportunities which support the launch of enterprises that could be lifelong and life-changing.

‘Fish Tank’ is an initiative by the City of Unley that responds to research which shows one in four young Australians will be self-employed at some point during their working lives.

The City of Unley developed Fish Tank for young people aged 12 to 25 who live, work, study or play in the City of Unley and who see themselves as future entrepreneurs.

This is the third year that the program has been offered, and Council is encouraging young people who have a viable business idea to apply for Fish Tank before Monday 19 April.

There is also a free ‘how-to’ workshop being offered to assist interested parties to develop their ideas. In this workshop young people learn from business leaders and other young entrepreneurs to help shape and present their concepts.

A notable success story from Unley’s Fish Tank initiative is that of Isobel Marshall and Eloise Hall, who, in 2016 as students of Walford College, were announced winners of the competition for their business ‘Taboo’. Their social enterprise sells and distributes organic sanitary products nationally and uses the profits to provide sustainable sanitary care to women in Third World countries in a bid to end ‘period poverty’. Isobel Marshall, now training to become a health professional, was recently recognised for
her work in this initiative, receiving the Young Australian of the Year Award 2021.

Fish Tank program coordinator and Community Development Project Officer for Youth, Laura de Bono, says business support for entrepreneurship can have far-reaching effects for young participants.

‘We’ve seen so many great ideas come out of this program. Past projects include a 15-year old launching his own media company, a 12-year old growing fresh herbs and selling to consumers, and a collaborative project to help smaller fashion brands find new markets – you never know what the next winning concept from young people might be’ Laura said.

The Fish Tank competition has two categories, firstly for the 12-17-year old individuals, or for groups of up to four who are all working on the same idea. Those wanting to enter the 18 – 25 years age category do so as single applicants.

All applications are assessed by a judging panel. One young judge will be Matthew D’Onofrio, a finalist in 2016’s Fish Tank competition, along with businessperson Jenny Briggs, Executive Director of Employer Solutions and Programs with Business SA.

Finalists progress to Fish Tank’s ‘Pitch Night’ in May, where winners will be announced.

Go to unley.sa.gov.au/fish-tank for all workshop and competition details and complete an online application by Monday 19 April 2021.

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