Council supports two entrepreneurs on the mission of a lifetime
  • Monday 26 February 2018
Venturer Program resized

Thanks to the Sunshine Coast Council, two successful Sunshine Coast entrepreneurs have secured a spot on the Venturer Mission, a seven-day digital detox event for selected entrepreneurs.

Run in collaboration with the Best Job in the World winner Ben Southall and the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, the Venturer Program is specifically designed to take entrepreneurs out of their comfort zone, away from mobile phone coverage and throw them together with other like-minded individuals who thrive on physical and mental challenges.

Economic Development Portfolio Councillor Steve Robinson said the Sunshine Coast has a unique entrepreneurial ecosystem where industry contemporaries collaborate, and where innovation and new ideas, entrepreneurs and start-ups are actively encouraged and supported under council’s High-Value Industry Program.

“To continue to foster this ecosystem, council announced plans to support one entrepreneur to participate in the mission by covering the full $5000 fee but successfully managed to turn one opportunity into two,” Cr Robinson said.

“This is great example of the type of council support available to start-ups and businesses on the Coast and it demonstrates how committed we are to creating a region that is smart, healthy and creative.”

Aaron Blackman, from Retail Express, said he was ecstatic he was selected but said he chose to pass on the free placement to an up and coming entrepreneur.

“I have successfully built Retail Express from the ground up into an international software company with more than 4000 major brand retail clients and I know full well the challenges of starting out,” Aaron said.

“Being an entrepreneur is lonely and brings with it many challenges and costs in bringing an idea to life.

“I want to support a local entrepreneur on their journey and that’s why I decided to fund my own placement and hand over my winning entry.”

And no-one was more thrilled than Natalie Thorogood, from Soak Society, a locally based bath products wholesaler and online retailer.

“I’m so grateful to be given the chance to spend a week with other entrepreneurs in a setting where I can focus solely on my business and personal development without the distraction of technology,” Natalie said.

“I know what it’s like being at the very beginning of a business journey and not knowing what support is available.

“I can’t wait to share everything I’ve learnt with other business people on the Sunshine Coast.”

Both Aaron and Natalie depart for their outdoor New Zealand adventure alongside 18 other entrepreneurs on March 19, returning March 25.   

The initiative is supported under the Regional Economic Development Strategy 2013-2033 which provides a 20-year vision and blueprint for sustainable economic growth to ensure the region actively participates in the global economy and delivers the lifestyle and opportunities for local residents and businesses alike.