As a business owner in Cairns, there are benefits to building your network and meeting other entrepreneurs at different local events and workshops. In this post I wanted to give you a straightforward guide to some of the best business groups in the Cairns region.
I have personally visited each of these groups and have experienced some of the great workshops, events and mentoring they provide.
I encourage you to take your time to visit an event from each of these groups. You may just find your tribe of like-minded entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Y(E)P Entrepreneurship Project
The Y(E)P Entrepreneurship Project is a local program funded by the Australian federal government to help foster entrepreneurship and businesses in Far North Queensland. They offer a ton of great support from mentoring, workshops, networking events and online courses for aspiring business owners.
I’m lucky enough to be involved as the digital marketing mentoring for Y(E)P, meaning I get to help run workshops and offer mentoring sessions for local business owners. I highly recommend this program if you’re just starting and looking to get the assistance you need.
With over 10 other mentors on different topics, weekly workshops and online courses, you’ll have the right help and support to start your business. The connections you’ll make through the Y(E)P group are always positive, ambitious and supportive of your goals.
The Cairns Young Chamber is a special group in Cairns who help to offer the right opportunities for young business leaders to succeed in our region. With programs such as the Emerging Leaders, workshops and networking opportunities, and more, the CYC is a welcoming group for young professionals.
Whether you’re looking to start a business yourself or create a successful career in your industry, Cairns Young Chamber aims to help in multiple different ways. From putting you in touch with the right mentors, building strong friendships and connections with other young leaders, and opening doorways to greater success – this is a great group to be involved in as a young professional.
The Chamber of Commerce, much like the Young Chamber, aims to help support business owners and leaders in the Cairns and Far North region. If you’re a business owner moving to Cairns this is a great place to meet a range of high-level leaders and entrepreneurs.
By attending one of their monthly Lunches or attending one of their business related workshops, you’ll be able to build a strong network with business leaders making a mark on the region. Their lunches are regularly keynote by some high level industry speakers and workshops are centred around key skills to help you succeed in business.
Currently located at The Pier, the Cairns Chamber of Commerce should be one of your first stops if you’re serious about running a business in the region. Take the time to get involved, meet other members, and get your business out there.
The Trading Mates group is a fantastic group for local business owners. Mostly made up of small business owners across Far North Queensland, this is the perfect place if you’re looking for an easy place to network with other business owners who understand you and your situation.
They run monthly events that offer members to express what they offer to others, and make it stress-free to join in. From members who are solopreneurs to those that are more established with a handful of staff, you’ll find someone exactly like you that you will connect with instantly.
As a member you also will be listed on their business directory website and welcomed into their Facebook group. This is a great place to build deeper connections with other members and showcase your products and services.
TheSPACE is located at the Cairns TAFE Campus and runs quality workshops for personal and business development. Along with their co-working spaces, TheSPACE is a great spot to meet other budding entrepreneurs or business owners.
You’ll find ambitious individuals of all types here from startup founders to small business owners. Keep your eye out for one of their free co-working days where you can work from their office location in Cairns and meet other members for free. This is a great way to see if TheSPACE is the right group for you.
As a business woman you may want to find a group that is supportive and understands your situation. The Cairns Business Women’s Club is a local business group of hardworking women from all different industries who run exciting networking lunches and workshop opportunities.
Even as a man, I’ve built some great connections from attending their lunches (which are open to men so don’t be afraid). Women make up a large percentage of business owners and leaders in our region, and this is a great group to meet those women achieving big things.
Their annual awards are also a great way to recognise the various women who are making a difference in the local Cairns community.
BNI is a business networking association made up of different chapters of business owners. These are tight groups of hardworking local businesses, each specialising in their own industry with the goal of supporting one another.
In Cairns we have 6 BNI Chapters, meaning there are 6 different business groups for you to find your potential spot. They run some great free information sessions where attendees can go along to learn more about BNI and if it fits with your budget and schedule.
The benefit is that you have a close group of supportive members who are all on your team, as well as you being on theirs. Having this support network can be helpful for business owners at all stages so if BNI sounds like the right option for you, check it out.
The Cairns Forum 4 Business Growth is a close group of more mature business leaders in the region. This group has an extensive range of backgrounds and experience within the Cairns business region and hosts great events that are smaller, but offer opportunities to meet these more experienced leaders.
Their monthly networking events are a great introduction to meeting new Cairns leaders and worth checking out if you’ve never been. Their more formal lunches are also great if you’re looking to combine some networking with some business development. The speakers at these lunches are also quite high level presenters in terms of local talent and worth attending if you get the chance.