The clock is ticking for rural businesses and entrepreneurs to make their best online pitch for a new competition that has a $60,000 prize pool up for grabs.
BFTB founder Grace Brennan said there had been an enthusiastic response to the contest, which is offering the winner $30,000 cash plus a business pack to help get their idea off the ground.
There's also $15,000 for the runner-up and $15,000 for the people's choice prize, with the Australian public having the chance to vote on the top entries.
"The response has been really positive, and I think people are quite excited, there's a lot of money on the line and huge prizes, so I think there's a great energy," Mrs Brennan said.
Entries are open to anyone aged 18 and over and based in a rural Australian location and there are two elements to entering.
"Because we [BFTB] started on social media, we really liked the idea of a social media pitchfest," Mrs Brennan said.
"So people have to do their two- to three-minute video but also post either an Instagram Reel or a 15-second video to their Facebook feed, and that element, the 15-second video will be the element that people vote in the people's choice awards.
"So we really want that element to be super entertaining and engaging and knowing people like I do in the bush, I think it will be some really cool stuff coming our way."
...knowing people like I do in the bush, I think it will be some really cool stuff coming our way.Buy From The Bush founder Grace Brennan
The 2021 NSW Regional Woman of the Year, she highlighted the competition was for people in "all stages of their business's life cycle".
"It's not necessarily somebody new to the market with some whiz-bang innovation, it could be somebody already running a small business of either a store or a service-based business and they have this plan to grow, and they need a little bit of help to get there," Mrs Brennan said.
"And we're just as interested in those pitches as we are the seedlings of ideas or proof-of-concepts."
Entries close at midday on Monday October 11.
"There are a few reasons why it's a tight turnaround but mostly because, let's not overthink it, I think you've just got to put yourself out there and pitch, and have a crack," Mrs Brennan said.
"I think as always it's not about perfection, it's about progress and in some ways the more you sit with it, the more huge this challenge is, so I just hope that people have an idea and communicate it."
In addition to the $30,000 cash to start-up or scale, the winner will gain free access to the Buy From The Bush marketplace for one year, membership to the BFTB Bush Business Club on Facebook, a Digital Marketing Accreditation grant, a PR package from The Regional PR Co. and a subscription to an online course and mentoring with Start Lab.
It was important to the organisers to offer a suite of prizes beyond cash alone.
I think one thing I've learnt through the past 18 months is that it takes way more than just cash to create a good business.Grace Brennan
"I think one thing I've learnt through the past 18 months is that it takes way more than just cash to create a good business," Mrs Brennan said.
"Even though sometimes that cash injection is just exactly what you need to get over a hurdle and really access new customers or implement systems that might improve what you do.
"But also the value of insight and expertise and tapping into both PR but also Start Lab really in a way helps you step through the process of either launching or scaling up your business and they're providing one-to-one mentoring sessions as well.
"So hoping that you know, we don't just hand somebody cash and say 'There you go, off you go, start a business', but hoping they get a little bit more benefit out of it and little bit more support from our prize pool."
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