A networking and professional development group aimed at the under 40’s hopes to continue to challenge misconceptions and offer support to young professionals with a series of events planned for 2018.
Young Business Edge (YBE) is a sub-committee of both Albury Northside Chamber of Commerce and Business Wodonga. The group has already organised an impressive line-up of local talent for the first of its Professional Development Series on 22 February.
Chair Jenny Bevis says the first event will feature four local business owners/start-ups who will share their insights.
“Each panellist has a different story to tell and are in different industries and at different stages within their business,” Jenny said.
“You often see people underestimate the capabilities of a young professional – this grinds my gears”
“We have Meiken Barnes who won the Most Outstanding Business Award (Intouch Finance) at the Albury Wodonga Business Awards and is as humble as ever, to Nelson Macintosh (NelMac Construction Company) who has more than 50 years of experience in business and signed his first official contract for works at the age of 14.
“The objective of these events is for our audience to soak up the information and apply it in their career.
“It could be a success principle, a new method or information that might help them to acquire a new skill – there will always be a take home message for our audience.”
Young Business Edge was established to help serve a vital role in the professional development needs specific to professionals under 40.
“Our research suggests that young professionals are facing a couple of main challenges: a) they don’t know where to find the professional development support b) There are misconceptions that networking is only for the established business partner or wealthy business owner i.e. ‘they feel it’s out of their league,’ Jenny said.
“YBE’s purpose is to really smash down these barriers and provide an accessible platform for young professionals to leverage off.
“We want young professionals to play in this space and build the resilience required in their careers so they can bounce forward when these inevitable challenges arise daily.”
Jenny runs an events management business and joined Young Business Edge two years ago, becoming Chair last year.
“I joined for a couple of reasons, firstly being frustrated with challenges as a young professional in the workforce,’ Jenny said.
“I wanted a platform where I could meet people of a similar age and similar aspirations as me. I had a handful of experiences where I was continuously fighting to prove myself.
“You often see people underestimate the capabilities of a young professional – this grinds my gears.
“Secondly, for social and economic impact. YBE’s potential is huge. It’s exciting to witness the impact it’s creating on people.
“People feel like they belong, can let their hair down and aren’t going to be judged if they feel a little awkward to walk up to someone they don’t know. Long term economic impact is knowing that there is a vibrant professional ecosystem of young guns that are connected through YBE.”
In an era where technology is often a focus in young people’s lives, Jenny believes connecting face to face with local entrepreneurs via programs such as the Professional Development Series is valuable.
“Entrepreneurship isn’t an easy feat,” Jenny said.
“The highlight reel of success on social media looks like an Instagram post with people finding their calling who are now ‘Insta-Famous’ with 156k followers.
“We need to keep things real. When you get caught up in the lights, you forget the daily elbow grease you need to put in just to get things up and running.
“It’s best if these insights come from a face to face chat with the people that live and breathe it.”
For more on Young Business Edge and the Professional Development Series: http://www.youngbusinessedge.com.au/
For more on Albury Northside Chamber of Commerce: https://alburynorthside.com.au/
For more on Business Wodonga: http://businesswodonga.com.au/