Casey Bootsma BACHELOR OF BUSINESS, CHARLES STURT UNIVERSITY
I’ve taken my passion for regional and rural business and moulded that around what I learned at SSE.
Casey Bootsma is putting into practice the skills she learned at the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship to explore the possibility of a regional innovation hub in the Murray region of south western New South Wales.
Among the first cohort of student entrepreneurs to be selected for the 12-week unit The Navigator, the Charles Sturt University (CSU) student began mapping her local entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Albury-Wodonga region after she graduated.
She discovered that the only dedicated startup service in Albury-Wodonga was expensive and inaccessible for many and is now investigating how an innovation hub could benefit entrepreneurs in the region.
Through the same program, she also sees Albury-Wodonga as an opportunity to connect nascent businesses with the nearby campuses of two universities – CSU and La Trobe, as well as TAFE NSW and TAFE Victoria. She hopes that will encourage innovation and turn research into business ideas.
Studying The Navigator online with blocks of face-to-face intensives at the SSE campus in Sydney fitted perfectly with her work and study timetable.
“The trips to Sydney were a beneficial part of the unit,” she says. “It was really important for me to see what was out there; to see the support startups have and how they get investors.”
Her favourite aspect of the experience was networking with other student entrepreneurs with similar aspirations.
“The others came from a huge range of degrees, like social work and mathematics, and we got to form all these connections with each other through the activities that we did.” She’s kept in touch with many of those she met during the course.