Founders of LABSgroup Paul and Paula Misipeka
Founders of LABSgroup Paul and Paula Misipeka john mccutcheon

Help and support for business loss

BANKRUPTCY is the unspoken language of the business world.

It is often associated with humiliation and can leave people feeling alone and without financial or emotional support.

But a Sunshine Coast couple wants to change that through a support network and mentoring program, LABSgroup or Life After Business Support Group. Founders Paul and Paula Misipeka developed the program in reaction to their own business failures in 2009.

"Things were going great, everything was fine, but then it all came crumbling down. It was like a domino effect," Mrs Misipeka said.

"One thing led to another and we lost everything. It was completely out of our control."

Feeling isolated and humiliated, the couple struggled to find others to confide in.

Mrs Misipeka said the program was designed to help other business people going through similar loss to share their stories.

"We made a decision in the early part to get all the emotions, financial struggles and obstacles we had to overcome down on paper, so that one day we could go through our steps of recovery with others," Mrs Misipeka said. "These are the things we want to share with other business people because we are the real people who have been through it."

The first LABSgroup support evening will be held on Wednesday, February 29 at the O3 Office Building in Maroochydore.

The free eight-week module will cover business failure and success, desperation and inspiration, discouragement and hope.

"It is a mentoring program, designed to build resilience and reduce the depression risk in business people who are suffering," Mr Misipeka said.

"Our aim is to be a companion and support business people through what just may be their greatest journey."

The private support evenings have been put together with the guidance of professional business people, psychologists and mentors. For details visit

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