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Great South Coast Small Business Festival on now

News Article Date: 
Tuesday, 31 July 2018

The Great South Coast Small Business Festival has kicked off for 2018, with placemaking expert Gilbert Rochecouste launching the event at Beers and Big Ideas on Wednesday August 1.

The annual festival will see 16 free or low-cost events held throughout August aimed at sharpening the skills of business operators, professionals and budding entrepreneurs.

Mr Rochecouste, a former general manager at Chadstone shopping centre, has spent the past 30 years creating vibrant places, and was a key driver behind the Melbourne laneway renaissance.

Through his business, Village Well, he has worked with more than 5000 small businesses, and he said the most important thing for all successful businesses was to embrace new ideas.

“Businesses can get into what I call “tunnel vision” and they get stuck in their own boxes,” he said.

“They need to expand their skill sets, they need to be aware of what’s going on in the world and they need to understand the trends.

“It’s very important for businesses… to be continually innovating and improving themselves.

“Businesses run on creativity and innovation and it doesn’t cost big money.

“When people improve their own businesses, the DNA of the city improves.”

Mr Rochecouste’s advice for new businesses, or businesses looking to expand, was to get started with simple, small steps.

“It’s about starting and starting small. Rome wasn’t built in a day,” he said.

“It’s like the laneways in Melbourne. We started small. We started back in the mid ‘80s and it just kept going.

“It was a fine grain that built up and became a really powerful story and destination for surprise, delight, wonder and discovery that Melbourne is known for.”

For more information and a full calendar of events, visit

The Great South Coast Small Business Festival is part of the State Government’s Victorian Small Business Festival and is supported by the Warrnambool City and Moyne Shire Councils, The Standard and Coast FM/3YB.

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