Buy From The Bush (BFTB) has launched an online marketplace backed by PayPal in a new chapter that's about long-term sustainable support for rural communities, founder Grace Brennan says.
The Australian arm of the global payments giant has sponsored the new emporium, which gives rural businesses the ability to sell their products directly online and reach new customers across Australia and beyond.
More than 250 small businesses have already signed up to the marketplace, among them entrepreneurs from Dubbo and the Orana region.
Its launch on Thursday coincides with this month'sfirst anniversary of BFTB, which was started by Mrs Brennan from her home in the Warren district and has gone on to attract more than 450,000 followers across its social media platforms.
Created to showcase retailers in drought-hit communities to metro consumers, this week was the next step "in ensuring we're providing long-term support for rural communities and really connecting the city and the bush", Mrs Brennan said.
"I think the marketplace, with the support of a sponsor like PayPal really builds infrastructure around the movement, so we've always wanted this to be not about crisis relief, but long-term sustainable support for rural communities," she said.
The founder is thrilled to have PayPal as the movement's first official sponsor.
It had supported BFTB last year through its Christmas campaign, Mrs Brennan said.
"Since then we've just had a really good working relationship," she said.
"They seem to be well-aligned with the ideas of BFTB, they're really about supporting small business and they understand this is not about charity, it's about investment and they want BFTB to have legs and longevity.
"So we've been talking for some time about how that might look, and over the past few months they've lent enormous support, resources, expertise to me and my team to build this marketplace, and they're providing ongoing support to us..."
PayPal consumer shopping expert Danielle Grant, who with the company's CEO Paul Ryan travelled to Warren recently, said they had no doubt Australians would embrace the marketplace and "discover beautiful gifts for friends and family - with the added bonus of supporting Australian rural communities".