MOBILE SAWMILLER: Ken Cowden loves working with timber and his clients.
MOBILE SAWMILLER: Ken Cowden loves working with timber and his clients. ETC

Program helps timber enthusiast to turn hobby into dream job

COFFS COAST local Ken Cowden took a leap of faith by starting his own business so he could pursue his passion for timber.

After a nine-year stint working for a University, Mr Cowden found himself with the classic Monday-morning-itis and knew it was time for a change.

"I got to a point where I thought, I'd like to look back on my working life and know that I really enjoyed what I was doing," Mr Cowden said.

"I knew about the NEIS program already from many years ago. I found out that I was eligible and went into ETC and was encouraged to join Exploring Being my Own Boss followed by the New Business Assistance with NEIS program."

Thanks to the support of ETC, Korora Specialist Timbers officially opened its doors in June 2018.

"My business is principally timber sales. I specialise in timber that is difficult to source and not stocked by normal sawmills. I have a mobile sawmill which I can transport to sites and mill logs for people. I'm also able to dress timber for people," Mr Cowden said.

Mr Cowden said his working life enjoyment had increased exponentially since starting his own business.

"I find it hard to leave the shed and have to force myself to take some time off, because I'm just enjoying what I'm doing so much. Making a living and income from something you love is really something everyone should aim for (whether it be working for yourself or someone else)," he said.

ETC Small Business Manager Gerard Klinkers said Exploring Being My Own Boss was a great opportunity to learn the basics of starting a business and talk to other like-minded people about your ideas.

"We provide a workshop conducted over two weeks (25 hours per week) which is fully subsidised by the Australian Government (eligibility criteria applies.) This can then feed into the New Business Assistance with NEIS program," Mr Klinkers said.

To find out more about Exploring Being My Own Boss or the New Business Assistance with NEIS program, visit or call 1800007400.