Business bulletin: 16 September 2021


October Business Month (OBM) 2021 will deliver a program packed with presentations, workshops and networking events to further support small businesses across the Territory.

OBM builds on the success of the 2020 format with a key week of presentations in each region. The program has been tailored specially to each region to meet the current and future needs of small business.

The OBM program, which includes over 90 workshops and networking events is focused on giving small businesses access to keynote presentations, expertise and the latest practical business information and skills as the business community responds to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.

Our Territory Success Stories include a diverse range of Territory business owners and entrepreneurs, each of whom will bring their own local story to inspire and share practical tips with the business community.

Many OBM events are free to attend and there is a nominal charge to attend keynote presentations and masterclasses.

As part of the OBM COVID-19 Event Safety Plan all attendees must register to attend events.

The OBM program will open in Nhulunbuy on Tuesday 5 October 2021 and close in Darwin on Friday 29 October 2021.

Check out the full OBM program and register for events today at the OBM website

Conference reception

Territory businesses can now access a new and free business support program delivered by the Australian Centre for Business Growth.

The Immediate Business Acceleration Program is targeted at business owners, chief executive officers and managing directors of small and medium companies to help them rebound strongly from the recent Territory lockdown.

The program will provide Territory business owners and managers with expert advice on how to manage their company’s resources during external disruptions like the pandemic. It also offers examples of how other owners and managers have turned a crisis into an opportunity, positioning their companies for future growth.

The program’s online resources will include articles, video tutorials, and live Q&A sessions with guest CEOs or Growth Experts, hosted by Dr Jana Matthews. Dr Mathews is an international expert on entrepreneurial leadership and business growth and the Director of the Australian Centre for Business Growth.

“The 24 digital resources we are creating have been designed to enable NT business owners to learn the basics of company survival and growth,” said Dr Matthews.

“We’re delighted to share our tested and proven strategies for survival and growth in new digital formats, which means this knowledge and information will be available to anyone, anytime.

“We look forward to interviewing the business owners and executives we’ve worked with in the Northern Territory who are willing to share their experiences and lessons learned with other business owners and their teams.”

For more information about the Immediate Business Acceleration Program and to register to receive updates view Immediate Business Acceleration Program.

Ask Dr Jana - immediate business acceleration program

Local businesses, organisations, industry leaders and students have embraced the Northern Territory National Innovation Games to develop renewable energy transition solutions.

For the third and final Games, 170 participants came together online and in-person at the Darwin Innovation Hub. They formed 16 teams representing a range of industries including health, property, construction, mining and resources, tourism and hospitality.

The Territory series has enabled businesses and organisations to uncover and harness opportunities in renewable energy. This includes new ways of thinking about product and service development from the perspective of suppliers, employers, educators, service providers or product developers.

The winning solution for the third challenge was conceived and developed by the ‘Prana Power’ team, which included Calvary Community Care Bathurst Island, Australian Regional and Remote Community Services, Palmerston Regional Hospital Community Care and Darwin Solar.

The team designed a pilot program to deliver reliable and affordable renewable energy into homes to support ‘health hardware’, such as fridges, cooktops, hot water and lighting, to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in remote communities.

The pilot program, called, ‘Sun Healing Homes’ would provide electricity through individual solar powered micro-DC (direct current) systems, in addition healthcare lessons for families, such as healthy cooking and medicine storage.

The system would not require the grid to operate, is scalable, applicable to remote and regional communities nationally and globally, and would also deliver knowledge transfer to local areas, including training for installation and maintenance.

DIH Chief Operating Officer and Chair of the Territory Hydrogen Technology Cluster, Emma Nesbitt said, “The interest and participation in these Games highlights the growing desire of Territory businesses looking to transition into renewable energy, engaging their teams to become educated in the process as well as working collectively to develop sustainable solutions.”

Team using video conferencing

Above: Challenge 3 winners team Prana Power.

Development of the Territory’s drive tourism market has shifted into a new gear following the release of a 10 year Drive Tourism Strategy.

The Northern Territory boasts a plethora of road trip options to suit both adventurous 4WD enthusiasts and motorists who prefer sealed roads.

The 2021-2030 Drive Tourism Strategy identifies key product and marketing opportunities to develop the Territory as a drive destination with 4 key focus areas:

  • attract new growth markets to increase visitor numbers
  • improve the current visitor experience to increase length of stay
  • increase regional dispersal to improve outcomes for regional areas
  • enhance brand reputation by attracting key visitor markets.

Consultation with industry and government has guided the development of the strategy to ensure tourism benefits and opportunities are considered.

This includes the delivery of new road infrastructure, camping and recreational vehicle grounds and marketing efforts with South Australian, Western Australian and Queensland Governments on key drive routes.

One of Australia’s largest campervan, motorhome and RV hire companies, Britz Campervans has operated in the Territory for over 30 years. Chief Operating Officer Kate Meldrum, said they are “delighted with the Drive Tourism Strategy initiative”.

“The NT is a key fly-drive destination for domestic and international visitors alike. We expect exceptionally strong demand for the NT next year and look forward to supporting and participating in this initiative.”

To learn more about the Drive Tourism Strategy, go to the Tourism NT website.

Aerial view of vehicle on a highway

Northern Territory (NT) businesses are one step closer to securing a regular supply of locally grown ginger as a trial crop is harvested this month.

NT Hay Seed and Grain’s Mic Jakobi has been working with the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade’s Horticulture team to research the best way to grow a disease-free, commercially viable crop.

“We’ve been getting excellent results. One sample 100g bag of ginger rhizomes weighed 2.4kg - more than 20 times its weight and another 100g bag weighed 3kg, which is 30 times its original weight.

“I also gathered some of the ginger from a sample and after making sure there are no pathogens, ground it down to a powder and freeze dried it. Already, three local businesses have sampled the powder and they love the strong flavour."

Purple Mango Café and Brewery is one of those local businesses.

"We strive to use local produce as much as possible. All our mango products are made from locally sourced mangoes from NT farms,” owner Adam Asanovksi said.

"We are particularly excited about Mic's ginger as we use bulk fresh ginger in our hand crafted alcoholic ginger beer and this would fit our use local strategy perfectly.”

One Mile Brewery is the second Top End craft beer company keen to get in on the action, according to owner and manager Stuart Brady.

"We are always looking for local ingredients to use in our products, to be able to source larger quantities of quality locally grown ginger will allow us to keep up with demand and help promote local produce."

Darwin city based The Harvest Press is another company using the Territory grown spice.

The business’s owner and operator Marian Flynn said they’re delighted to be part of the trial.

“We have sampled some of Mic’s fresh ginger and it’s bursting with flavour. Ginger has so many wonderful health benefits and we use it in many of our juices and Juice Cleanse Programs.”

The businesses all identified being able to use fresh, Territory grown produce with fewer food miles as a selling point.

Further trials are being carried out in the coming seasons for the currently $25 per kilo product.

The commercial trial is just one of many collaborations the Territory Government is undertaking with local growers and the broader industry to diversify the agricultural sector – as recommended by the Territory Economic Reconstruction Report.

To find out more information about research and development into the Territory’s $445 million plant industry, view plant industries research and development.

3 people celebrating

Last updated: 16 September 2021

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