High unemployment in the Illawarra has seen a wave of entrepreneurs start businesses that create jobs for themselves and others. Maryanne Harris has taken the start-up route by creating an app, TappOn, that connects people living with a disability to the most appropriate assistants for them. The app was brought to life by Ms Harris and iAccelerate at the University of Wollongong.

“I saw a gap in the market for this kind of thing and so I pursued it,” Ms Harris said.

“As my business grows I’d love to employ people who are struggling to find work.”

Youth unemployment in our region is at record highs, reaching 11.3 per cent in the Illawarra and 29.4 per cent in the Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands.

Regional Development Australia Illawarra CEO Debra Murphy says entrepreneurship has many positives.

“Starting a business allows individuals to gain employment and also pursue something that drives and motivates them,” she said.

(Source: http://www.economyprofile.com.au/wollongong/trends/unemployment)