Queanbeyan mumpreneur launches clothing start-up with the help of TAFE

A Queanbeyam mum is crediting TAFE NSW with giving her the impetus and confidence to launch her handmade clothing business despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Thoshi Samaraweera had always dreamed of starting a business selling her own traditional Sri Lankan handmade and handpainted batik clothing, but lacked the confidence in having the know-how to successfully launch a business until she enrolled in a Diploma of Business at TAFE NSW Queanbeyan.

As part of the course Samaraweera had to develop a mock business plan, so she decided to base than plan on her long-dreamed of clothing enterprise. Spurred on by TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Business Sharyn Hole, Samaraweera was so pleased with the business plan that she used it as the blueprint to actually start Moonrise Batiks last July, since when the business has achieved steady growth.

“I had no idea how to start a new business so the course was incredible,” Samaraweera said. “Having that business plan and learning about things like planning, budgeting, project management and risk assessment really helped me.

“The teachers were so supportive and had so much experience in business; they could answer any question you would ask,” she added.

The success of Moonrise Batiks backs up the findings of a TAFE NSW study that reveals that COVID-19 hasn’t blunted the ambition of aspiring businesswomen – the TAFE NSW Women in Business survey reveals that 46 per cent of small businesswomen have used the pandemic as a stepping stone to start their own new business.

Sharyn Hole said cited Moonrise Batiks as an example of how a TAFE NSW business qualification can provide its students with the real-world skills to succeed in small business.

“This course has given Thoshi the practical skills and knowledge to give her business the very best chance of success,” Hole said, adding that enrolments were now open for the Certificate I, II and IV in Business at TAFE NSW Queanbeyan in February 2022 and that the institution’s Diploma of Business will be delivered by virtual classroom staring in April 2022.