AFTER 38 years in the industry, Springfield Lakes small business owner Mandi Wilson knows a thing or two about travel, but learning to be her own boss was another matter.
The Viva Travel Club owner started her own agency after being made redundant a few years ago and is already taking steps to expand her reach throughout the region.
As one of three recent Queensland Government Small Business Entrepreneur Grants Ipswich recipients, Ms Wilson will use the funds to free-up time to focus on becoming a better manager.
"After so many years in the travel industry it just seemed like the logical step to start my own business and from the travel perspective it was easy, but learning to manage the business side of things has been a challenge," Ms Wilson said.
"I need a solid plan to create sustainable brand awareness and digital marketing engagement and I'm now able to do this because of the Small Business Entrepreneur Grant."
The Palaszczuk Government announced last week its first round of recipients for the new Small Business Entrepreneur Grants Program and Small Business Minister Leeanne Enoch said 148 businesses would share in more than $559,000 in matched grant funding.
The Palaszczuk Government has made these grants available to newly started small businesses to enable them to access professional advice and support in the critical early stages of establishing a business Ms Enoch said.
The grants provide up to $5000 in matched funding to eligible businesses to engage a business consultant, advisor or coach.
Ms Enoch said the Small Business Entrepreneur Grants Program was also about encouraging entrepreneurship and increasing business capability and skills.
"With good skills comes business confidence which leads to sustainability, meaning more small businesses can survive, grow and employ more Queenslanders," she said.
"Starting a business not only takes courage but also solid planning.
"Getting professional advice to help you prepare a business plan is the best way to make sure your business can meet its goals, sales targets and operational milestones."
Eligible businesses must have registered a business name in the last four years and have fewer than 20 employees.
For more information on the next round of grants visit www.business.qld.gov.au.