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Renew Adelaide targets young entrepreneurs in new startups push

Business

The not-for-profit organisation which establishes rent-free retail tenancy deals for Adelaide businesses is now targeting under-25s, arguing startup business ownership is a key emerging career path in the new economy.

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Renew Adelaide has launched youth start-up support program “Own It”, calling on young entrepreneurs to send in their business ideas for a shot at one of five rent-free spaces in Adelaide, where they can be tested.

CEO Tim Boundy said the organisation had only seen a small number of applications from people under the age of 25 for its ongoing start-ups support program over the past six years, and it wanted to encourage young people to consider business ownership as a career option.

“It’s important for young people to know that being an entrepreneur, even from an early age in their working life, is a legitimate career path,” said Boundy.

“Renew Adelaide’s Own It initiative leverages start-ups with well-rounded support through access to rent-free property and communities of support.”

Dave Court is one of the under-25s that has taken up the opportunity to launch his business in a rent-free space through Renew Adelaide.

Court, now aged 24, launched his Created Range fashion business – selling clothing from independent brands, with a focus on Adelaide-based designers – in Adelaide Arcade in July 2014.

He was operating the business on Renew Adelaide’s rent-free short term tenancy model for about 11 months – a “sweet deal,” as he describes it – before the business graduated into a longer term arrangement, paying full rent.

Court is also the creative director of music, art and culture magazine YEWTH, which is considering making an application in the Own It program.

He said running his fashion start-up has been “very hard [work], much more than a full-time job” – but it has allowed him to do “what I want to do every day”.

“I don’t have to answer to a boss of any sort,” he said.

“Retail’s been tricky for everyone [but] it’s something that I enjoy. It’s something that [young people] should be doing.”

Earlier this year, Renew Adelaide announced it was expanding into the vacancy-plagued Adelaide commercial office market.

The organisation is supported by the Adelaide City Council and the State Government.

Own It applications close 11 December.

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