A program that's helped Orana region entrepreneurs start and scale microbusinesses is back "better and more accessible than ever" this year and women are embracing it in uncertain times.
The Exchange's flagship initiative, The Change, has switched to an online model and will offer a free six-week workshop series from March 31 to develop female regional talent.
A 2019 pilot of the program run face-to-face in five communities led to multiple participants making the jump to start or scale their businesses, The Exchange program manager Malaika Mfula said.
With physical gatherings of people off the cards as Australia attempts to stem the coronavirus outbreak, the Dubbo-based organisation "flipped to an online program", and has found it's being embraced.
There were almost 30 sign-ups in the first day of the launch of registrations this week, Ms Mfula said.
"We launched it 24 hours ago and we've had so much engagement with it, via our social media as well as online..." she said.
"The need is there."
- READ ALSO: Your piece of positivity for the day
Ms Mfula said in 2019 The Change had been run at Narromine, Wellington, Trangie, Coonamble and Warren.
She had anticipated registrations for this year's program, funded by Women NSW, would come from a similar area, but the switch to online had "opened it up".
"Now we're seeing people registering for these livestreams from all over regional NSW, not just necessarily the Orana region," Ms Mfula said.
"So that's been a really nice benefit... now we can ensure that women anywhere can still have the capability to attend the program."
Ms Mfula said the economic outlook made the program more important than ever.
"I think with everything being so uncertain these days, people are really starting to try to hone in to getting that diversified income, and not necessarily relying on a sole source of household income," she said.
"We've been so blown away by the amount of registrations we've seen in the past 24 hours, so that trend has definitely been reflected back to us."