Thursday 06, Jul 2023

Geelong Small Business Festival returns next month bigger than ever

The program for this year’s Geelong Small Business Festival is now live with more than 70 low-cost and free events on offer for community members looking to start, grow or improve their small business.

The City of Greater Geelong, in partnership with the Geelong Chamber of Commerce, is thrilled to host the 13th edition of our region’s largest dedicated business festival from 1-31 August.

The Geelong Small Business Festival 2023 covers every stage in the small business world for existing business owners, budding entrepreneurs or those unsure about how to get started, from learning business essentials, accounting and finance, and leading and managing your team, to health & wellbeing, social media marketing, digital technology, and sustainability & social responsibility.

Secure your spot at workshops, presentations and networking opportunities designed to support and empower small businesses at

Mayor Trent Sullivan said the Geelong Small Business Festival 2023 is all about celebrating our local small business community which makes up around 97 per cent of all businesses in the region.

“Small businesses are a huge driver of Greater Geelong’s economy, and their success is critical to our vision for a Clever and Creative future,” Mayor Sullivan said.

“Whether you’re experienced or just starting out in business, the festival offers plenty of valuable opportunities to hear from industry experts, make new connections and learn new skills.”

“Council is pleased to see the Chamber take the lead in delivering this popular event through our collaborative partnership, that will no doubt lead to exciting opportunities for our business community in the future.”

The Geelong Small Business Festival 2023 will be launched at a special Gala Dinner proudly sponsored by The Gordon on Thursday 3 August from 6-10pm at GMHBA Stadium.

Keynote speaker Cherie Clonan, Founder & CEO of Australia’s leading social media training agency The Digital Picnic will share her insights on best-practice social media marketing, increasing engagement, community growth and transforming social accounts.

Discover a vibrant atmosphere filled with local businesses showcasing their products, tastings and experiences through the immersive ‘Judo Bank Laneway Experience’ in the foyer.

Tickets are $75 per person for a three-course dinner and drinks. With limited seating available, community members are encouraged to book early at to avoid disappointment.

Deputy Mayor Anthony Aitken said the Gala Dinner was sure to be a wonderful evening of connection and inspiration.

“Cherie Clonan’s extensive knowledge and experience helping businesses navigate the ever-changing digital landscape, build strong online presences and achieve success is set to provide inspiration and guidance,” Deputy Mayor Aitken said.

“Take advantage of the learning and growth opportunities the festival offers as we build a stronger, more resilient Geelong business community.”

Geelong Chamber of Commerce CEO, Jeremy Crawford said the Geelong Small Business Festival was highly regarded as an annual calendar highlight.

“This is a chance for businesses and individuals to be inspired, grow, and showcase their products and services,” Mr Crawford said.

“The launch event gala dinner this year will be a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in unique experiences, hear from Cherie Clonan, a widely successful small business leader, and have a huge amount of fun!”

Last year’s festival saw more than 1,500 participants in over 50 events, workshops and presentations. Documentary-maker and television presenter Todd Sampson spoke at the sold-out launch event.

Find out more, explore the 2023 program and book tickets at