There was a buzz in the room as some of Broome’s brightest and most innovative business minds gathered together for the winners ceremony for the Broome Makers Competition. An initiative of the Broome Growth Plan, the Broome Makers Competition aimed to develop the next wave of budding entrepreneurs by encouraging them to share innovative ideas on how to grow a new area of economic opportunity.
A plethora of business ideas submitted by senior school students and community members ranged from a mobile beauty salon to high-tech, 3-D entertainment. Shire President Ron Johnston opened the winners ceremony saying,
“The calibre of ideas for new enterprises was outstanding, with our young entrepreneurs stealing the limelight with the energy and enthusiasm to get new businesses going.”
The competition judging panel was comprised of local business and industry leaders – Saeed Amin, Jael Napper and Jack Kain – and their role was to assess how the business idea had a sustainable competitive advantage, potential for marketability and growth and promoted the development of partnerships. And although there were many deserving submissions, there could only be a few winners on the day.
Two contestants shared the First Place Award – Andy Greig and the Hive Handmade Collective’s Amy Andison and Tamara Graffen. Andy Greig also picked up the People’s Choice Award. Mr Greig’s idea is to create an Indigenous cultural hub and gallery to ‘pop-up’ at local markets, with the aim of providing opportunities for a diversity of local Indigenous artists to share their art works, culture and knowledge with the broader community and visitors. All profits raised through the sale of art works would be reinvested into the business and help ensure the sustainability of an artist-in-residence program.
In accepting the awards, Mr Greig commented that he was filled with a reinvigorated sense of purpose. “Thank you for the awards. It is a clear message from the community that social enterprise has a place here and in particular, people are behind a business initiative that helps build social empathy and outcomes,” he said.
The Hive Handmade Collective’s Tamara Graffen said, “Amy and I have a passion for all things handmade and crafty – and we know all the talented artisans in Broome already and wanted to bring all those people together and showcase what they have to offer.”
A particular highlight was the winning submission for the Student Award. With support from Broome Senior High School’s Work Studies and Careers Coordinator, Andrew Chapman, and local youth development consultant, Nathan Dines, students in career classes across Year 9 to 11 were encouraged to submit their ideas. Year 10 students Sophira Buaneye and Wayne Milgin came up with the winning idea for selling merchandise at West Kimberley Football Association for all teams on game days, including those played in remote communities. The aim is to sell merchandise to encourage more people to ‘show their colours’ and be proud of representing their community. Attending the winners ceremony to support the students, Mr Chapman enthused,
“It was really good to see students using entrepreneurial creativity and thinking and it would be great to see more of this happening.”