Glenmore entrepreneur Nikki Davey has been awarded the 2023 VIC AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award for her trail-blazing approach to sustainable farming practices in the flower industry.
The co-founder of Grown Not Flown was selected for her work in creating a digital platform that supports the slow flower movement by connecting flower consumers with local and sustainable producers.
The slow flower movement aims to encourage sustainable farming practices by reducing flower miles, and encourage consumers to buy from the many local small-scale producers who make up the Victorian flower industry.
"I feel so incredibly grateful for this opportunity to be able to share our Grown Not Flown story and platform with everyone, and to help promote and raise awareness around flower miles, slow flowers and supporting local,” says Nikki.
“As a self-funded startup, often progress can be very slow and so this Westpac grant will be an absolute game changer for us and what we can achieve in the next 12 months.
“I’m so excited and proud to be joining an alumni community of supportive and strong women who are real change makers within their rural communities.”
This is the second year Nikki has been a part of the awards process, having been named a Victorian finalist in 2022 alongside Kimberley Furness from OAK Magazine (pictured above with Nikki) and Deborah Bogenhuber with Food Next Door Co-op.
"I’m so pleased that I came back and gave it another crack. I was really apprehensive about applying and going through the process again, but I’m so glad that I did," says Nikki
"I felt so much more confident within myself and really proud of how far Grown Not Flown had come in the last 12 months that irrespective of the outcome, it was amazing to look back as part of the process and reflect and celebrate everything that we’d achieved."
Nikki says the continued support of the alumni and community has helped raise the profile of their local small business.
"We've been able to continue to build a really strong brand around grown not flown. Our user base has increased from the media and social media attention that we've received from going through the awards process and so we've seen the number of users and flower farmers increase on our platform.
"When I went through the process last year, we had users in around 14 countries. We've now got users in 27 countries and counting. We've got almost 3500 users and 1000 flower farmers on our app, and I think a lot of that wouldn't have happened had I not have gone through this process and even had the confidence to kind of go all in on Grown Not Flown.
"The other big thing that happened is that I've left my corporate role and now work full time on Grown Not Flown; that definitely wouldn't have happened had I not have gone through this process last year."
As part of the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award, Nikki receives a $15,000 grant from Westpac to further support her project as well as the opportunity to undertake a professional development course of her choosing.
Nikki will go on to represent Victoria at the AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award Gala Dinner and National Announcement in Canberra later in the year where the national winner will be awarded an additional $20,000 Westpac grant and the national runner up, an additional $15,000.
The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award, supported by long-term platinum sponsor Westpac, is Australia's leading award in empowering and celebrating the inclusive and courageous leadership of women involved in Australia’s rural and emerging industries, businesses, and communities, now and into the future. It is an opportunity to celebrate the forward thinking, courageous leaders who come from industries that represent some of the regional and remote areas of Victoria.
If you would like to hear more about Nikki's story, listen to these in-depth conversations on A Friend of Mine podcast