It can be difficult, lonely and financially stressful running a small business. Talking to an expert can help business owners by addressing issues, providing advice and sharing the valuable experience of someone who’s been there before. Yarra Council’s free business consultation and mentoring services are open to new or existing businesses.

If you’re thinking of starting a business or have fewer than 20 staff

Yarra City Council offers Yarra business owners a free business consultation session. This is provided in partnership with The Kangan Institute Business Enterprise Centre (BEC).

These sessions are suitable for people thinking of starting a business, home-based businesses, start-ups and businesses with less than 20 staff.

The session can give guidance or help established businesses analyse their current situation. BEC can advise on government services and programs that may help your business like the NEIS scheme. They can also provide a framework for ongoing business mentoring if you choose to pursue that path.

Issues covered in the consultation include:

  • Business feasibility testing
  • Business planning and advice on purchasing a new business
  • Assessing the success
  • Marketing analysis
  • Financial analysis

To apply, call 9205 5555 or email with the subject line ‘Business consultation and mentoring’.

If you have an existing small to mid-sized business

Yarra City Council will provide a free one-on-one, one hour mentoring session, valued at $100. The Small Business Mentoring Service (SBMS) offers a wide range of mentors with real-life small business experience. SBMS will work with you to select the right mentor for you and your business.

You may choose to continue seeing your mentor after your first free session at your own cost.

To apply, call 9205 5555 or email with the subject line ‘Business consultation and mentoring’.

If you are under 25

You may be eligible for our Young Entrepreneurs Programa free program designed to give young people support in the development of their business idea, through business workshops, mentoring, links to local business people and business opportunities.