If you're running a small business or are waiting for the right advice, this is for you.
Gearing up for its second year after a successful debut in 2019, Mid-Western Regional Council has announced the region's Young Entrepreneurs Summit will return next week.
Buy from the Bush founder, Grace Brennan is among the lineup of speakers for the second annual event which will be hosted online on Thursday, 29 October due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The event, run by Mid-Western Regional Council, brings together some of the most knowledgeable and inspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs to share their wisdom with attendees looking for that missing piece of the puzzle to move forward with their big idea.
Rounding out the lineup, Brennan will be joined by Showpo Chief Operating Officer, Sam Reece, Soul of Gerringong founder, Simone Mathews, Farmers2Founders co-founder, Sarah Nolet and LBPR founder, Lisa Burling.
The Mudgee Guardian spoke with Grace Brennan about Buy from the Bush, her newest venture Stay in the Bush and what summit attendees can look forward to from the young entrepreneur.
A dry day in October
October 16, 2019. A day that Grace Brennan couldn't have known would change the course of her life. All thanks to an Instagram account started to help bring support to small businesses doing it tough in the drought.
It was only a year ago but the drought might seem like a lifetime ago to som, in the age of COVID and bushfires before that. But the effects of the drought are still being felt and haven't been forgotten.
Buy from the Bush was Grace's attempt at giving small producers and businesses a platform to connect with new customers amid a crippling drought, something the country needed at the time.
The account and its reach has grown exponentially since, today it sits at 243,000 likes on Instagram alone.
"It's kind of been the most incredible experience to be at the helm of. I didn't expect that Buy from the Bush would turn into what it turned into, but also throughout the year as different crises of have reared their ugly heads, it's remained relevant and and the support for by the bush is growing still," Grace said.
Beyond the drought, Grace said Buy from the Bush has been the perfect avenue for people to support locals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The pandemic forced people to shop online more than ever, but I think they have a real appetite for connecting with with the story behind the business and shopping with purpose and thankfully we established that," she said.
"So I think people are looking to shop with that purpose and now suddenly people are wandering into rural communities more than ever, and we're hoping to connect with those opportunities.
"Through the drought story, we established that brand and when people shop through a small business, they know the effect it's having on a really micro local level. When you buy from one business owner and they spend money at the coffee shop and the post office and then they might get the painter to paint house.
"That's the story we've been telling through Buy from the Bush."
Expanding beyond Buy from the Bush was Grace's next venture Stay in the Bush, a concept that came naturally when Grace would be asked by Buy form the Bush customers where they should stay on an inland holiday.
"We started Stay in the Bush in November last year because people were - on the back of Buy from the Bush - writing to us saying 'we're traveling from Melbourne to Brisbane for Christmas and instead of going by the coast we're going inland, tell us where we can stay.'
"It's about painting a picture of rural communities that's a bit more nuanced that people expect."
Secrets of success
Grace didn't give away too many secrets, she's saving those for summit attendees. But she did talk about what she has learned in the last year growing an idea into something tangible and creating the instagram account in the first place.
"I think the main thing I learned through all this is that it doesn't need to be perfect. We just needed to do something in order to create change and impact," she said.
"I've been thinking about that, if you really believe in something, and you just really want to achieve something, just doing it and not thinking too much about making it perfect. I think it's really powerful.
"It doesn't need to just apply to a community project, it can definitely apply to a commercial enterprise. I think just getting out of your own way and getting out of your own head.
"That's probably been the biggest lesson."
Tickets are $25 and available at youngentrepreneurssummit.com.au
Ticket holders will receive an email link to attend and can watch just one or all of the speakers.
The story Next week's Young Entrepreneurs Summit could be the thing you need to kickstart your million-dollar idea first appeared on Mudgee Guardian.