INNOVATORS: Monster Skid Steer and Attachment Hire's Dianne Kemshead, My Felt Lady's Candice Mason, and Business Navigator Western Downs Suzie Woods at the Pitch Challenge.
INNOVATORS: Monster Skid Steer and Attachment Hire's Dianne Kemshead, My Felt Lady's Candice Mason, and Business Navigator Western Downs Suzie Woods at the Pitch Challenge. Brooke Duncan

Pitching their dreams

NINE aspiring innovators are one step closer to making their business dreams a reality as part of the Business Navigator's Pitch Challenge.

Business Navigators is delivered by Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) and part of Shell's QGC Social Investment Program, and is aimed at diversifying the local economy and supporting small business growth.

Two professional business coaches live locally and support up to 45 small-medium businesses or individual entrepreneurs based in the Western Downs by providing one-on-one, face-to-face coaching to help locals evolve fledgling ideas into commercial products and thriving businesses.

On Tuesday eighteen budding entrepreneurs participated in the program's Pitch Challenge semi-finals, where they pitched their ideas to an experienced panel of judges.

The eventual winners will receive up to $10,000 to start or grow their businesses.

The participants had the opportunity to showcase their business ideas in three categories including Best New Business Idea, Best Growth Idea and Best Young Entrepreneur.

The finalists' innovations included ideas ranging from online legal services for contract checking to a clever Ute mounted picket driver fencing system.

There were new concepts around Human Resources business models, drone technology and bespoke clothes design.

Entrepreneur and challenge participant Danielle Lloyd-Jones said the challenge had "re-booted my passion for my business idea and given me more confidence towards personal growth”.

One of the judges, Michele Berkhout, said the candidates have a laser focus on problem solving and a strong community connection.

"They are a real drivers for the greater good and are making the most of their available resources.”

Challenge participant, Candice Mason from My Felt Lady, said the Business Navigators program overall has been "amazing”.

"To see a lot more people take advantage of it, I think it's great for the community, showing us that we can do a lot more with our business and there's so much more that they can offer to help us, which will be really good.”

The Pitch Challenge finals will be held on November 29. To purchase tickets, visit and register your interest at www.NavigatorWestern Downs.com.


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