Brainstorming ideas: Co-founder of Meredith Sharing Shed Chris Ardrey facilitates a Nurturing Young Minds for their Future program session on site. Photo: FILE

Sharing Shed ready and set to grow

June 11, 2021 BY

MEREDITH Sharing Shed founder Linda Wong said her recent appointment as Runway’s managing director will boost opportunity at the community centre.

“Being local in Meredith, right in between Geelong and Ballarat, we always had the intention that we would be able to bridge the Runway aim,” she said.

“This is around helping businesses to build up strategies for how to change direction, or helping new businesses to connect with a market, through programs, and access to mentors and coaches.

“By having this new role at Runway, we’ll open a lot more doors to bring in guest speakers to the Meredith Sharing Shed.”

Currently, masterclasses have been delivered by the Shed online in livestream and on-demand capacities, reaching many regional people in enterprise.

But once restrictions ease, locals will be able to head into the former Meredith Interpretive Centre for in-person sessions with guest speakers.

“The Runway connection will mean a bigger pool of mentors and coaches that, potentially, local businesses could hook into,” Ms Wong said.

“They’ll be able to access the different programs that are offered through Runway, with respect to the Ready, Set, Grow program, which is a business growth program, or our Incubator program for start-ups.

“By having these new connections, people won’t have to go to Runway in Geelong or Ballarat to access mentors or coaches, they will be able to access them at the Meredith Sharing Shed.”

Once COVID-safe to do so, the space will be used as a pop-up shop by start-ups or existing businesses, so they can test their ideas on a small market.

“That’s always been the intention, and now I’ve got a further foothold, we will be able to expedite that thinking,” Ms Wong said.

“You’ll get more traffic through the town, and visiting cafes as well. We’re hoping it will generate more of a buzz in Meredith.

“Our approach is around working with a community…to help it to be much more economically sustainable, by helping people who have ideas to get started and get thinking about how they can get out to the market.”

A partnership with Meredith Primary School, the Nurturing Young Minds for their Future program is run from the Sharing Shed. The Meredith Community Garden is also on site.