What is your business/what do you do?
We are a Not-for Profit organisation committed to delivering effective, empathetic and ethical Allied Health services.
Where did you get your idea?
I have 25 years experience as a physiotherapist, but the vision behind Participate Tasmania came from realising I needed to make a change in my working life and then taking the time to speak to a number of people and consolidate what I felt was actually important about delivering health care. Participate Tasmania is established very much as a values based organisation and hopefully our business structure reflects that.
Tell us of your biggest challenge in starting up?
Finding a suitable location was always going to dictate how we delivered services to some degree and ultimately I am really happy how this has worked out. But like any first time start-up, navigating the regulatory and compliance landscape has been most challenging.
Where do you want to be in 10 years?
Starting Participate Tasmania has reinforced that change is personally possible and refreshing, so I’m reluctant to commit to a 10 year vision. That said, I think I’d be really happy if Participate Tasmania was known throughout the community for the effectiveness and ethics of our allied health service delivery and that we were managing to impact positively on pockets of the community that otherwise lack service access.
What advice would you give to other businesses starting out?
Have as many open conversations as you can and treat each of these conversations as a learning opportunity to reappraise your vision and match it with a viable start-up business model.
Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur?
I think the model of establishing an Incorporated Association as the business structure for essentially an allied health private practice, and then using this as a base for greater community engagement is relatively unique, so perhaps there’s a degree of innovation in establishing Participate Tasmania that I feel positive about.
Would you look to begin another business/project in the future?
I’m certainly not deterred by my experience so far, but it’s early days!
Tell us about your biggest win/achievement?
Every conversation I have had with other health professionals about being involved with Participate Tasmania has been drawn towards a discussion of values and ethical service delivery. The satisfaction is knowing there are others out there who want to work in the same way and that we can do it collectively in a way that I hope will be economically and personally sustainable for the business and those who work here.
Would you be willing to mentor another startup?
If the business sat comfortably with my values and was at a scale I understood.
What’s your pet peeve/most hated part of running a business?
So far, so good!