Share Your Story




Calling all Canberra entrepreneurs - we want to hear from you!


Share your startup story and experience with other Canberra startups - the successes and failures,
the highs and the lows, the challenges you've faced and overcome. 

If you're interested in having your story published on the Canberra Business News website, send your submission to us.

We need 500 words and 3 images - one of the images needs to be landscape (730 X 267 pixels).


 Click here to view the Editorial Guidelines for Canberra Business News.




kristen labI am the owner/operator of "Canberra's Friendly Petsitter", a live-in petsitting service that started in 2014, to serve the pet-loving customers of Canberra and Queanbeyan.

Like many, a crisis was what drove me to start my own business. I qualified as a social worker in 2001 and spent several stress-fuelled years working in various positions before I began exhibiting symptoms of trauma. In 2006, I became suddenly and seriously unwell and it wasn't until several years later that I managed to pull myself back to health. My symptoms mimicked those of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and, I would later find, prevent me from re-engaging with the traditional workforce.

about rachel zivYour poised – ready to begin (or accelerate) your entrepreneurial or small business journey.

You may have a website, business cards, a strong product or service offering and even a couple of clients to get you started.

You may have years of experience in your chosen industry. Or you may have none at all (my first business was to import novelty items from overseas – something I knew absolutely nothing about at the time!).

But the main thing is, you know what you want. You want to step out of your comfort zone. Steer clear of working for the man. Make up your own rules.

Canberra WISE WOMEN Creator Lisa LaMaitreI’ve been in business in Canberra now for over 20 years. During this time I’ve started four businesses. Each one in a different industry and with different requirements. I’ve been involved with an IT consultancy, health practice, rental/retail business and a talent event.

For me being in business has allowed me to stretch myself and grow. It’s often monotonous and repetitive, terribly challenging at times, and also highly rewarding, creatively fulfilling and life affirming.

GPrasadMy name is Georgina Prasad or George for short. I’ve recently launched (three days ago) a marketplace called Homegrown Me. I am an avid gardener and grow produce in my garden and community garden. Like most gardeners I suffer from gluts and I usually bottle, preserve, give away produce to friends/family/co workers. But there are times where I may have a glut of tomatoes but really need a lettuce or zucchinis.

So I thought, wouldn’t it be great to create a marketplace where people can sell, exchange or put out wanted ads for produce. There’s a few other sites and Facebook pages that do this but not many offer the ability to conduct the sale transaction electronically nor can you offer feedback on the producer or grower.

andychris rollercoasterdigitalToday's Federal Government Innovation Statement has taken major steps in moving Australia towards the clever country for the 21st Century. However, it misses a vital perspective of the innovation landscape.

The start-up sector is alive and well in Australia. The opportunities for those start-ups though are far greater, in terms of markets, manufacturing, ability to grow, and reward, in other countries in the Asia Pacific region, such as New Zealand and Singapore.

dion ipledgDo you have an idea, project or cause that needs money to get it off the ground?

Has your not-for-profit organisation had its funding reduced due to government cutbacks? Are you unsure of what options to pursue to 'keep the dream alive'? Crowdfunding may be your solution!

Crowdfunding has been around since the mid-2000s; it gained more traction with successful publicised campaigns launched on US-based Indiegogo and Kickstarter platforms and Australian-based Pozible and iPledg.

Today there are over 1000 crowdfunding platforms and the industry is set to raise $34.4 billion in 2015.

beanstalk1As a business owner, what have been your biggest successes and failures?

My biggest successes to date have come from recognising that the only constant in life is change. Learning to embrace this change has allowed Beanstalk Accountants to offer tailored accounting solutions to our clients utilising the newest and most efficient accounting software available. This has involved taking the time to investigate, research, learn and master the new environment of cloud based accounting software and add-on business applications.

Having mastered this environment, Beanstalk Accountants are now tailoring this software for our clients as a solution to many of the challenges they face on a daily basis. We offer our clients a fully integrated cloud based accounting solution.

Baldwin CompanyLogo1Baldwin Distilling had a vision 5 years ago to create an Australian Premium Bourbon to:

  1. Provide a quality product not currently available in Australia;
  2. Get our unfair share of a $500 million, American monopoly;
  3. To create a legacy for our Family, City and Country.

In 2015, it was decided to progress this vision formally and seek investors to kick start our unique Australian product and business. We started with preparing a comprehensive business plan and financials investing in Australian Market Statistics to essentially verify things we already we aware of.

Having approached Lighthouse in February to access and present to the Capital Angels, this process concluded with a Dinner Presentation in May.

Unfortunately, while our proposal was received very well, it became very apparent we had some more work to do.

Qinnie Wang 1Is Canberra a great place to start an online business? Qinnie Wang from Oz Fair Trade believes so.

Her journey started from a trip to Southeast Asia in late 2012, where she witnessed extreme poverty and amazing handicraft skills. Once back in Canberra, Qinnie had an idea for a not-for-profit e-commerce focused on fair trade handicrafts from developing countries.

She thought it would help the people especially women who live in extreme poverty, and while fair trade has been around since 1940s, the Australian ethical consumption market is still relatively small compared to US and UK.

pups with numbers1

Do you think app development is a piece of cake? It seems that there's an app for everything these days, so it must be easy, right?

Maybe it is for simple apps like 'Yo', but if you're making a high-quality original kids game app—and you have no idea how to code—it's hard to see your idea become reality.

Why is it so hard? Firstly, finding a talented developer, with excellent communication skills and professionalism costs time to find, then thousands to employ.

This is just one of many challenges that Canberra self-funded start-up Flame Learning encountered when bringing to life their 'Preschool Kids Math' game over the span of two years.


Being self-employed is not all beer and skittles, but there are definitely upsides. Here's my top three:Smaller version Copyright Beth Jennings Photography 2563 Web 2

1. Doing my own thing

I have to say, I am a phenomenal boss. I know exactly how I work best, when to get involved and when to just step aside and let myself get on with the job.

When you work for a large organization, you have to bend and adapt to their way of doing things. And that's how it should be. A public service full of unique snowflakes who all work in their own special way would be impossible to manage.

Back in the public service, I used to think that I was too stubborn, or had too much ego. And maybe there was a bit of that going on. How I think about it now is has changed.

Now I see that I place a very high value on autonomy, and I'm prepared to trade off other things, like security, to get it. Because it makes me happy.



Did you hear the one about Steve Jobs trying to get God to invest in the iCloud?

Thousands of people did when they downloaded APositive's augmented reality app and ran their mobile device over E.L.K's Archibald entry, Augmented Wilarity. It's one way they're using their digital skills to enhance the artistic world.

Jim Thalassoudis's work Little Audrey: the skipping girl also received the special APositive treatment for the recent 2014 Melbourne Art Fair.

But if you think augmented reality is limited to art, read APositive's AR 101 page to see its many (often surprising) applications.