How council’s suburban business hubs are opening doors for entrepreneurs

Brisbane City Council’s Business Hub fosters the city’s entrepreneurial spirit by supporting local businesses, says Fleur Madden, Chief Executive of Freelancing Gems, a female-led digital jobs platform.

Jun 29, 2021, updated Jun 29, 2021
The Suburban Business Hub located in Nundah (Image: Brisbane City Council)

The Suburban Business Hub located in Nundah (Image: Brisbane City Council)

To expand this support, the first Suburban Business Hub opened its doors on the northside in May. The number of small businesses registered in Brisbane in 2020 increased by three per cent over 2019, highlighting the need for Council-led initiatives like the Suburban Business Hub, which provides small to medium-sized Brisbane businesses with a new, free, bookable space to kick-start their business.

The space offers access to support services and business experts, with free events and initiatives upcoming to support business owners and entrepreneurs from all industries to start, run or grow their business.

Freelancing Gems is a digital jobs platform for women who freelance across a range of industries and are keen to network with like-minded business people and meet potential clients.

Chief Executive Fleur Madden uses the meeting spaces  in the Brisbane Business Hub on Queen Street and has taken up a recent event speaking opportunity at the Suburban Business Hub in Nundah.

“I’ve got a team of people who I work with so when we need to come together we use Council’s Brisbane Business Hub. We also use it to hold external meetings and meet clients so it is an invaluable resource.

“If you need a space to come in and have a meeting they can provide them free of charge. Council are really supporting people to get back to work.

“What we’ve got to remember is that Australia is built off the back of small business. We are entrepreneurs by nature and the numbers of small business owners in Brisbane are growing every month.”

Fleur Madden, Chief Executive of Freelancing Gems (Image: Supplied)

Madden, formerly a PR whiz, started the business during the height of Covid-19 when she realised there were no networking platforms for freelancing women.

“Our whole business is based around helping women get back to work and helping connect Australian employers with rare gems of female talent out there.

“Part of that journey is connecting with other business people. It can be a very isolating experience running a business independently and facing some of the challenges without support from others,” said Madden.

“On some freelance job sites, women on these platforms were charging 50 per cent less than their male counterparts because securing some freelance work can be a race to the bottom in terms of price. It’s not about talents, it’s not about getting paid what you’re worth, it’s literally about the cheapest person for the job.

“We want to ensure that women are charging what they’re worth for the jobs they do.”

Freelancing Gems is a digital business which relies on the networking and crowdsourcing information and resources, so initiatives like the Brisbane Business Hub and Suburban Business Hub are the perfect spaces to support their growth.

The Suburban Business Hub is located at 16 Aspinall Street, Nundah and is bookable Monday through Friday 7am to 6pm, with free Wi-Fi, office furnishings, a kitchenette, whiteboards and AV input to get the ball rolling for many small businesses.

For support with your business, visit Brisbane City Council’s website for more information about Council’s business hubs as well as a range of events and workshops.

Space at the Suburban Business Hub, Nundah must be booked online before you attend. Drop-ins are welcome at the Brisbane Business Hub in Queen Street Mall in the city, however bookings are recommended to avoid disappointment.



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