Sigrid Adams didn’t need Business Foundations to tell her that her business would succeed — she already had an unfailing belief in her idea — but she did need some help getting her plans off the ground.

And she credits Business Foundations advisor Tony Beard for providing the direction she needed.

Sigrid’s licensed real estate business Village Solutions Australia specialises in the retirement sector, acting on behalf of villages and retired folk across Perth.

Today she oversees $1.2 million in retirement village funds and has established herself as an industry expert recently taking a seat as a committee member on the state’s Property Council.

But it was only a few years ago that Sigrid walked into Business Foundations Fremantle with a dream and a question: “What do I need to do to make this happen?”

Tony Beard took on a mentoring role, helping flesh out Sigrid’s dreams on a whiteboard and testing the feasibility, before asking her to prepare a business plan.

“I’d never done anything like that in my life and every week for 12 months he held me to task on every item of that business plan,” Sigrid says.

“Tony and the Business Foundations teachers gave me the tools I needed to complete the task. Every week we’d work on different parts of the business.

“The result was a comprehensive business plan and it gave me the direction I was seeking — a road to take.”

Sigrid started out alone with just a business card and laptop, then took out a single cell in Business Foundation’s incubator in the Old Fremantle Prison.

She quickly progressed to a two-person cell within six months to accommodate her first staff member.

Today Village Solutions Australia has graduated to an office in East Victoria Park, has four employees and Sigrid’s business interests have grown to include another start-up cleaning consultancy.

Such is her confidence in the business model taught at Business Foundations that she puts her own staff through the training and plays the mentor role herself.

“Five years down the track and I would still go into Business Foundations tomorrow if I found myself in a pickle,” Sigrid says.

“It’s the environment of support from the CEO, to the receptionist and other small business owners – you can’t put a cost benefit to that – it’s invaluable.”

Find out more about working with our business mentors.