This month we take inspiration from Bondi & Districts Chamber of Commerce’s new initiative to engage young business owners in the area - a concept credited, in part, for bolstering the eastern suburb’s chamber membership by 30% over the past year.

Ignore the energy and success of youthful entrepreneurs at your own peril is the message the Bondi Chamber’s President, Mary Anne Cronin, (inadvertently) gives after launching a Chamber-run scheme targeting the group.

 ‘#BondiDisruptors’ was a name chosen through a Facebook competition run by the chamber to launch a new, youth-lead member concept.

The idea to engage more young business owners with the chamber was inspired by the overwhelming success within the youth demographic at Waverley Council’s Brightest and Best Business Awards in 2015.

“We realised at the Brightest and Best (awards) we weren’t really connecting with these talented young business owners so we just thought; “how can we?”,” Mary Anne says.

The idea for a youth offshoot, running targeted events alongside the chamber’s more traditional networking initiatives to engage a younger demographic, rapidly gained momentum.

Officially launched in May, ‘#BondiDisruptors’ has already held three successful networking events including; a Fluro lawn bowls night at Bondi Bowling Club, an augmented reality themed evening at Bondi’s Bavarian Bier Café, a ‘shark tank’ forum run by well-known entrepreneur and author Marc Alfred held at the newly refurbished drift bar at iconic local establishment, Ravesis.

Along with growing interest and a strong founding membership group, Chamber President Mary Anne Cronin, backed by strong support from Waverley Council, is confident that #BondiDisruptors is the way forward.

“After a recent meeting with Waverley Council it was interesting to hear them say that they felt it (#BondiDisruptors) was a really strong way to grow the Bondi Chamber’s brand overall.

It really makes sense with the whole landscape and nature of business changing so rapidly. The traditional business chamber model doesn’t really apply anymore - the whole Bondi Disruptors concept is an ideal way to get with, and even ahead of, the times.”

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