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Australia is a lucky country with plenty of ambition, and success on the global stage to prove it. We are well-known champions on the world’s sporting fields; our artists, writers and actors are celebrated around the globe; and, in business, it seems it’s practically the Australian dream to run your own show: nearly one in ten of us are our own bosses. We’re also a nation of people with brilliant ideas that can change the world, like putting winged keels on yachts, making bank notes plastic so they don’t rip or…making better donuts …for dogs.

Reinventing donuts, for dogs

Meet Thea Mendes: her ambition is to sell donuts that taste like old socks. Actually, she started out selling regular donuts, but everyone else was doing that at her local markets and it was hard to cut through. “It may surprise you to learn that the idea for ‘dirty sock donuts’ came from the mind of an 11-year-old boy,” she says. “On second thoughts, that probably won’t surprise you.” “I had a stall at the local market selling donuts (the ordinary-flavoured ones) and my son Marcus was helping out. He tried to share one of our chocolate donuts with a customer’s dog, but was quickly told ‘Sorry mate, no, the chocolate would make the dog sick’.” As Thea tells it, Marcus was outraged on behalf of canines everywhere, so that night at home, he researched ingredients dogs could safely eat. Thea and Marcus came up with a dog-friendly donut recipe, and Marcus started selling them at their market stall. “We took 24 doggie-donuts to market on the first weekend, and they sold out immediately,” she remembers. “I realised we could be onto something. I mean when you think about it, there are 4.8 million dogs in Australia, and as a nation we spend more than $12 billion every year on our feathered and furry best friends. And who wouldn’t want to share a treat with their dog while they’re out for donuts and coffee on a sunny morning?

“So our new business was born, and it was Marcus who came up with the name: Domuts.” You’ll be hearing a lot more about Domuts very soon, because this idea is growing bigger than Thea ever imagined. To see what happens when ambition and know-how combine to turn a great idea into a great business sign up for ABN Rescue updates on the link below.

CGU Ambition Grants: real money for big ambitions

Something happened last year: 424,144 small-business ABNs were deregistered, which makes you wonder if we’re starting to lose some of our ambition.

Maybe some of those lost ABNs actually represented good ideas and big ambitions that could have worked, if only the people who started them had access to the kind of support and knowledge they needed to bring their ambition to life? 

It’s no secret that money – or more accurately the lack of it – can be a big sticking point to business success. So this year CGU will award three Ambition Grants to Australians who have brilliant ideas and need a bit of cash to get their businesses off the ground. It’s about helping others who are already making a go of it take things to the next level. 

But money is only one piece of the puzzle. Everyone wants to see businesses genuinely succeed and thrive, because we know success inspires more success. 

So each grant includes three waves of personalised mentoring and support: 

  1. Successful applicants will receive tailored advice from some of Australia’s best business, design and marketing minds;
  2. Experienced business advisors will review their day-to-day operations, strategies and growth potential; and 
  3.  The business owners will be introduced to useful business networks as well as potential new investors and strategic partnerships.  

To learn more about how Thea reignited her ambition and relaunched Domuts, watch our video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZaxUNifG_8&feature=youtu.be