Serving Our 

Business People

and Community

Contact us now for more information

About Bayside BEC

Our Purpose, Partners and People

The Bayside BEC is focused on guidance, education and connection and is regarded as one of the most reputable community advisory agencies in Australia.  The Bayside BEC, formally Botany BEC is one of 40 Business Enterprise Centres across Australia which are not-for-profit, community-based organisations whose entire purpose is to serve the needs of business and community.

Our partnerships with industry and government have enabled us to provide essential business services to our community and bridge the gap between large corporate, government and small business. In particular, our partnership with the Australian Small Business Advisory Services provides the Bayside BEC with funding to deliver advisory and coaching services at an economical price point making them affordable to most emerging and existing small business owners. 

Our accredited business advisors have extensive experience in large corporations and medium and small businesses across multiple business disciplines.  This, combined with our Board of Directors who are all successful business owners and executives in large organisations lays a stable and solid foundation you can rely on.  Our Board of Directors take pride in serving the community through the efforts of the Bayside BEC, learn more about our Board.

Over 30 years ago, the Business Enterprise Centre was set up to act as a link between the business community and the Local and State Governments with an aim “to provide free, independent, confidential, competent advice and other practical assistance to foster viable local enterprises and businesses in order to boost sustainable economic development and employment”. Read more about this historic initiative and the role that our centre played under its original name of the Botany Bay Business Enterprise Centre.

Bayside BEC Team

A Team You Can Trust

John Carnohan

Executive Officer & Business Advisor

John’s extensive business, leadership, and coaching experience enable business owners and independent professionals to achieve business growth and financial freedom. John has comprehensive experience in the Financial Services and other industry sectors.

Isabelle Durkin

Marketing Strategist & Coach

With a passion for all things marketing, Isabelle’s 20+ years’ experience in consumer and B2B marketing, she brings an innovative approach to help our members drive brand awareness, boost leads, sales, and market share. Her experience spans large, medium and small businesses in digital and overall marketing strategy.

Louise Brawn

Memberships & Partnerships Manager

Louise has an extensive background in customer-focused solutions, and has considerable experience helping small to medium businesses improve their customer acquisition, retention, and satisfaction.  Fluent in both English in German, after spending 28 years in Europe, she returned to her native Australia a number of years ago. In her free time, Louise likes to paint, and she enjoys working in both oils and watercolour paints.

Maja Kowalska

Maja’s international business, marketing and product sourcing experience, allows companies to gain a comprehensive understanding of their audience and create tailored marketing strategies that their customers will respond to.

With over a decade of experience in these fields, and 5 years as a VET Trainer in Marketing & Communications, Maja’s passion for creativity accommodates the even the smallest marketing budget.  

Brian O'Grady

Brian has been working in Digital Marketing for 10+ years across both client-side and agency side.

Began his online career in Ireland where I set up one of Ireland’s first online discount voucher sites.

Worked across some of Australia’s most well-known brands across multiple categories including Woolworths Group, Freedom Furniture, Nabtrade, Accor Hotels, PetBarn, Cotton On Group, etc.

Brian recently left a global agency to open my own independent digital agency. Based in the inner west he works across a variety of clients that include a number of fashion brands including The Iconic and White Runway. Brian also teaches a range of digital marketing subjects in Cityeast Community College.

Bayside BEC History

The Botany Bay Business Enterprise Centre

Historical Photo of the Opening of the Bayside BEC in 1985

The BEC was set up to act as a link between the business community and the Local and State Governments with an aim “to provide free, independent, confidential, competent advice and other practical assistance to foster viable local enterprises and businesses in order to boost sustainable economic development and employment”. Business Enterprise Centres in New South Wales started as an initiative of Tom Cappie-Wood, a former director of the NSW Department of Decentralisation and Development and initiator of the Office of Small Business (now part of State and Regional Development).

During his year as president of Sydney Rotary, he made a trip to the United Kingdom where he was inspired by the ‘Business in the Community’ initiative and by the trade unionist Arthur Scargill to establish Business in the Community Ltd in NSW (later renamed Business Enterprise Centres (NSW) Ltd).

After the failure of a 12 month-long miners’ strike in 1985 and subsequent closure of mines with resulting unemployment among miners, the UK initiative was aimed at helping enterprising individuals from affected communities to start and grow their own businesses. As part of the initiative, large businesses in the Yorkshire area were approached to offer their spare capacity and expert staff towards helping those who wished to start a business.

Together with Sydney Rotary, Cappie-Wood approached the NSW State Government to gain the support of a local representative to start a similar program in the state. It was initially difficult to attract sufficient Local Government, Private and Community funding to make these Centres viable but in 1988, Mr John Fahey, Minister for Industrial Relations, Employment, Training and Further Education saw the value of the BEC Network. He initiated the formation of a partnership between the State Government, the BECs and the local community and since that time, the State Government has been providing core funding for BECs together with private community sponsorship.

The Bayside Business Enterprise Centre itself was formally created in 1987 as the Botany Enterprise Development Agency Limited (BEDA). Peter Morgan was recruited and appointed to establish BEDA with encouragement and support from the Botany Municipal Council.

The board of directors was made up of senior managers, often CEOs, from local industries which included the major banks, the Federal Airports Corporation (which ran Sydney Airport at the time), international and interstate airlines, freight operators, maritime services, and specialist food manufacturers.

Partnerships Spanning 30 Years


21A Dalley Avenue, Pagewood 2035

Phone: 02 9316 5877



social icons-05.png
social icons-04.png

Copyright 2019 Bayside BEC | All Rights Reserved