Buy From The Bush Building Regional Economies and Communities

Mia Garlick - Director of Policy, Facebook Australia and New Zealand – June 11, 2020

Buy From The Bush is a campaign on Facebook and Instagram that encourages Australians living in cities to buy from businesses located in regional and remote areas that have been impacted by drought and the other challenges that we have now experienced as a nation. Established by Grace Brennan from the town of Warren in the west of NSW in late 2019 as a way to support the businesses doing it tough— the campaign has delivered a significant economic boost to support a resilient and sustainable regional economy.

A new report from research agency AlphaBeta, released today together with Hon. Mr David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency and Grace Brennan, highlights the significant impact that Buy From The Bush (BFTB) has had on remote and regional economies, female entrepreneurship and communities over a four-month period.

 

Buy From The Bush

BFTB proved to be extremely successful in driving economic growth, with analysis of the campaign revealing significant increases in revenue, jobs and market access for regional and remote Australian businesses. A total of $5 million in revenue was generated for featured businesses, connecting them with new customers in Australia and overseas.

Three quarters of featured businesses now ship interstate and almost 20% began exporting to overseas markets for the first time. Closing this gap has also created new employment opportunities with one in five featured businesses hiring staff to meet demand generated through the campaign.

The campaign has been particularly impactful among female entrepreneurs. The vast majority of featured businesses were female-owned and many have seen BFTB as a community of like-minded women who encouraged and supported each other to learn new skills, pursue their interests, and meet their goals.

Further, the BFTB experience has encouraged 45% of female entrepreneurs to learn a new technical skill – marketing and advertising; IT proficiency; and business and financial literacy foremost among them.

Businesses surveyed reported that the increase in disposable income from the campaign helped them enjoy greater freedom and give back to their communities. Ninety percent of business owners said BFTB had improved their quality of life by boosting their self-esteem, reducing financial pressure and connecting them with other entrepreneurs so they felt less alone.

The report profiles the direct impact that the initiative had on four businesses across the country including Kennedy The Label from Nyngan, NSW, mink and me from Coonamble, NSW, Singing Magpie Produce from Riverland, SA and Wattle & Twine, Jandowae, QLD.

As Australia emerges from a new crisis – COVID19 – it is hoped that the entrepreneurial spirit, resilience and business capability that BFTB brings will continue and serve as an inspiration to many more business owners across the country.

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