Back in Business: how WA small businesses are adapting to a COVID-19 world

WhereRiver View Rooms 4 and 5, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
WhenFriday 5 February 2021, 7.15am (7.30am start) - 9.00am

The Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre invites you to the launch of Back in Business: how WA small businesses are adapting to a COVID-19 world, the fourteenth report in the Focus on WA report series.

The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the global economy has introduced an important new context to WA’s diversification and regional economic development strategies, and importantly, the role that small businesses can play as an engine of growth for the state’s economy.

In this report launch, new findings from the BCEC Small Business Survey will reveal how WA’s small business community has adapted to the COVID-19 environment, highlighting the cost, workforce and other pressures they may be experiencing and their expectations for the year ahead.

Four headshots in a row of Sinead Taylor, Commissioner David Eaton, Rachael Ferguson and Prof Alan Duncan

Join us for breakfast with our esteemed panel, Sinead Taylor, Bankwest Executive General Manager; David Eaton, Small Business Commissioner, Western Australia; Rachael Ferguson, SynxBody Founder and Chief Executive Officer and Business News 40under40 First Amongst Equals winner; and Professor Alan Duncan, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Director, in a facilitated discussion with Jessica Strutt, Journalist and Presenter.

Date Friday 5 February, 2021

Time 7.15am (7.30am start) – 9.00am

Location River View Room 4 and 5, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre

Cost: $59 per person


About our panellists

Sinead Taylor, Executive General Manager, Bankwest

Sinead is an experienced and highly regarded banking executive, bringing a rich international perspective from more than two decades of commercial banking experience. She was appointed Executive General Manager of Bankwest in October 2019, having joined Bankwest in 2013 as the Executive General Manager Business Banking, before being appointed in 2017 to also lead Retail Banking as Executive General Manager Personal & Business Banking.

Prior to Bankwest, Sinead held a variety of Executive roles at Commonwealth Bank in Global Markets, Strategy, Marketing, Business and Corporate Banking. She has also managed strategy and marketing teams for a number of top tier professional service firms in the UK and Australia, as well as working in senior roles in publishing, radio production and broadcasting.

David Eaton, Small Business Commissioner, Small Business Development Corporation

David Eaton is Western Australia’s Small Business Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC).  In this dual role, he is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the SBDC including its dispute resolution service.

The Commissioner also provides advice on policy and regulatory matters impacting on the small business sector, to all tiers of government.

David has extensive business management experience, both as a small business owner and in senior executive positions in Western Australia and Victoria.

Rachael Ferguson, Synxbody Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Business News 40under40 First Among Equals winner

Rachael Ferguson is an award-winning entrepreneur, podiatrist, author and CEO of Australian footcare company SynxBody.

After landing a deal with Andrew Banks on the TV show Shark Tank in 2015, Rachael has grown the company rapidly, creating a wide range of footcare products available nationally in Chemist Warehouse and selected pharmacies.

Rachael regularly speaks at seminars and in the media about common podiatry topics, general health and entrepreneurship. She has also published a wide range of blogs and videos on common podiatry complaints and is also an ambassador for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) which is a non-profit organisation to empower, support and celebrate women in business.

Alan Duncan, Director, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre

Professor Alan Duncan is Director of the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre and Bankwest Professor of Economic Policy at Curtin University. Prior to taking up this position in 2012, Alan was Director of the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) at the University of Canberra. He was previously Head of School and a Professor of Economics at Nottingham School of Economics, University of Nottingham and has also held positions at the University of York and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

Alan’s research is motivated by a passion to influence public debates on economic and social issues through rigorous, evidence-based research.