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Sam Marwood – Incubator Mentor 2020


Sam is a community driven problem solver from central Victoria who is redefining the farming and agriculture industry. With a background in environmental science and social entrepreneurship Sam spent his early years as a policy advisor to the Victorian Government before connecting to his roots- farming and all things the environment.

In 2016 Sam recognised an emerging farming problem. Retiring farmers were simply selling off vast amounts of property and with it a deep understanding of farming. All the while young aspiring farmers found it near impossible to acquire the capital and acute knowledge to begin a new generation of farmers.

Answer: Cultivate Farms. A match maker for retiring farmers and want-to- be farmers alike. Since its launch, Cultivate Farms have nurtured many new farming partnerships across Australia, with the first of its kind in Albury, now operating as Hicks Country Beef.

Q & A  – Norfolk Incubator Programme – 2020

Where did you grow up?

Central Victoria (small town called Dingee). On a dairy farm

Given the choice between living in the city or country which would you choose and why?

Country. I had 15 years in Melbourne and felt couped in. I also was disconnected from my neighbours. No-one spoke to each other. I’m now back in the country and love being part of a community again.

Describe your area of expertise?

Building nature and farm-based business. Encouraging entrepreneurs who have an environment-focused idea to get it off the ground.

What are you looking forward to most about participating in the Norfolk Island Incubator Programme?

Getting to know the island and the people. The opportunity to me seems that with a geographically closed community like this, you can try so many great business ideas, that the mainlanders can only dream of. i.e. selling direct and ensuring people eat local.

What wisdom or knowledge do you hope to share with the participants?

How to remove barriers and excuses to just do something. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just start.

Document rather than create – share your journey on social media. It has never been a better time to start a business because social media can connect you with anyone.

What is the greatest hurdle you have had to overcome in your career and how did you do it?

Generating revenue. It is a constant battle that all businesses face. Being able to keep up the energy and continually try and improve to ensure you keep the doors open. It does take energy and commitment.

If you could solve one problem or issue what would it be?

People’s negative mindset to realising their dreams. Mindset is the number one thing. If you have a passion and are willing just to try, so many things can open up to you.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Have a side hustle business while in my well paid job.

Create content about a topic I liked and interview people – become an expert by documenting

This would have opened up opportunities which would mean I’d have a choice of keeping my job or doing my own thing.

I just thought I would have a job and that was it – but I should have been constantly building my skills and looking to create my own business from 5:00pm to midnight which would really set me up for life and allow me to live my passion.

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be and why?

Hamish Blake – I’d be keen to see how he has such a positive attitude in life, how he crafts his humour, and how he has built a business around being stupid.

Best advice you have been given?

Don’t put the no in someone else’s mouth

What are you looking forward to most about participating in the Norfolk Island Incubator Programme?

Keen to be really useful and help my mentee to make money and be a massive asset to the community. I’d love to get to know the island as well

My Great (x5) grandfather was  Thomas Stewart, who was the last officer in charge of Norfolk Island and handed it over to the Pitcairn Islanders.

My grandparents visited Norfolk regularly and helped to write his biography.

So I have heritage that I’d love to connect back to.

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