PayPal Australia has joined forces with Buy From The Bush, a nationwide movement that promotes products and services from rural small businesses throughout social media, to launch a new online marketplace to showcase rural Australian small businesses in time for Christmas.
The new Buy From The Bush Marketplace will serve as an online gateway for products designed and made by rural small businesses, many of whom have been impacted by the “triple whammy” of drought followed by last summer’s bushfires and now COVID-19..
The announcement comes just one year after the October 2019 launch of Buy From The Bush. The expanded partnership aims to build stronger connections between bush businesses and Australians in cities and suburbs across the country.
While Buy From The Bush already has a 450,000-strong following on social media, many of the participating small businesses don’t have their own website, nor an e-commerce platform. The new marketplace offers these businesses a safe, efficient, and permanent home to sell their products online for the first time.
“Following a historically challenging year for Australia’s rural small businesses, we reached out to Grace Brennan, founder of Buy From The Bush and asked how we could help,” Paul Ryan, CEO of PayPal Australia, said. “Grace explained her goal was to create long-term economic opportunity for rural small businesses – which is aligned with our own values and mission. We then mobilised a taskforce of engineers and experts who worked closely with Buy From The Bush to design and build the new marketplace.”
Grace Brennan highlighted how inspiring the resilience of bush communities and businesses has been inspiring in the face of devastating drought, bushfires and now the ongoing effects of COVID-19.
The movement has a particular focus on supporting regional Australian women, with over 90 per cent of the businesses involved being female-owned. Four out of five Buy From The Bush businesses are sole traders and a similar number are run as a side-gig.
“One year on after launching Buy From The Bush, the movement has created real relationships between strangers, injected hope into isolated communities, created jobs and undoubtedly saved bush businesses,” Brennan said. “So many bush businesswomen have told me that online visibility has transformed their hobbies and side hustles into enterprises worthy of investment, especially as the drought, and then COVID- 19 dried up their family’s regular income.”