WHILE drought has brought trying economic conditions, small business start-ups have still found a way to blossom in the dry.
The University of New England SMART Region Incubator (UNE SRI)has been able to expand in recent months bringing its start-up success stories along for the ride.
Shonelle Gleeson-Willey has been at the helm of her firm, Moss Environmental, and through the incubator and the business will soon put on a new part-time trainee.
After almost three years in the UNE SRI, Ms Gleeson-Willey said the one of the key benefits of joining the hub of entrepreneurs is that she's grown into the business as it has grown.
"As a start-up founder, you're constantly learning and pivoting and evolving," she said.
"The SRI has not only provided not only practical things like reliable internet and an actual office space -I didn't want to have my team working from my home with me - but more importantly, the framework to grow as an entrepreneur."
"The mentoring sessions, events and workshops provided through the SRI, as well as the opportunity to work alongside driven founders, have all played a huge role in the growth of Moss Environmental."
The business has had the impact she originally envisioned, with key government agencies seeking her expertise and the opportunity to work on International Aid projects emerging.
"I'm really proud of being able to build a regionally-based, dedicated environmental consulting firm," she said.
"Previously, local agencies and businesses needed to seek the expertise of large firms based in Sydney or Brisbane, who lacked local understanding and offered limited access.
"It's exciting to be delivering International best-practice environmental consulting and growing our team of regional consultants."
To celebrate the continued growth of the incubator and the Tamworth SRI office's recent move to a bigger and brighter office space, the UNE SRI will be hosting their Level 2 launch, in partnership with Tamworth Regional Council, on the evening of August 13th at the Tamworth UNE Centre, Level 2, 24 Fitzroy Street.
Guests can chat with founders as well as look around the co-working space that is home to the Tamworth cohort of start-up founders.