HYBMA 2023

Seeking NextGen Innovators – Win $1000

Jahluvi Mtanda at work

Hunter Young Business Mind Awards (HYBMA) are on the lookout for the Hunter region’s budding entrepreneurs. Now in its sixth year, the awards recognise young people under the age of 25 who have an innovative business concept, product, service or solution.

Last year, 14-year-old Jahluvi Mtanda won his category inspired by his mother who encouraged him to explore his art talent with an eye toward entrepreneurship.

“I won my award for my ‘off the screens onto the canvas’ project,” said Jahluvi. “I wanted to encourage young people to take some time off the screens and explore their inner artist. I didn’t expect to win. It was surreal.”

Jahluvi now runs his own business, Jah Arts and Designs offering Munch & Paint packages for young people as well as selling his own artworks and merchandise. Jahluvi was recently highly commended at the Hunter Business Excellence Awards.

“I have a full operational business now and I have a busy week managing school, my business and basketball. I’ve learnt how to manage money and I’ve gained so much confidence. My advice to anyone thinking about entering the awards is to do it. Do not ever be scared to do what you would like to do.”

Primary students enter the Innovation in Sustainability award as a classroom. Designed to encourage primary school students to take action towards protecting the environment by developing a sustainable project or business idea that makes a positive impact on the planet, it aligns with the current curriculum.

Secondary students and under 25s enter as individuals choosing from five different categories: Sustainability, Business Enterprise, Design & Technology, Social Enterprise & Creative Industries. Designed to fold seamlessly into the work already being done in the classrooms, the teacher’s information packs even come with curriculum mapping.

Not forgetting hard working teachers, there’s even an award that recognises educators who have developed and implemented innovative ideas that have made a significant impact on teaching and learning outcomes in the classroom.

Co-Chair of the Board and CEO of The Finer Line, Cheryl Royale has seen an extraordinary range of innovations since the awards began in 2017.

“Over the past 6 years we have seen amazing ideas and innovations,” said Cheryl. “Many of our young entrants are driven by a deep desire to make a positive change in society.  For example, our 2017 runner up Tyler Regan from Tomaree High started a low cost online student rewards software program that he went on to sell for a substantial profit. Our 2021 first prize winners, Myla Tucker and Olivia Lorenz are now running Cinnamon Cove, a tween swimwear label and filling a definite gap in the market for age appropriate, stylish swimwear that respects the planet. It proves that awards like HYBM provide them with a platform to pursue their passions, solve societal challenges, and make a positive impact on the world.”

Tricia Martin, HYBMA Sub-Committee Chair, CEO of Nudge On and herself an FYA Young Social Pioneer agrees with Cheryl about the importance of providing such a platform.

“The real value of Hunter Young Business Minds is its impact over decades, not just days,” said Tricia. “By championing Hunter’s youth to tackle complex challenges, making a positive impact on both people and the planet through entrepreneurship, we are safeguarding the future of our region. Offering a platform for young minds to explore, innovate, and validate their ideas at an early stage, we are cultivating a generation of problem solvers who don’t just think about entrepreneurship but see themselves as entrepreneurs.”

The awards are sponsored by Ampcontrol, Hunter Water, Newcastle Airport, University of Newcastle I2N, Intouch Magazine and Spectrum Communications.

Winners take home $1000 and an opportunity for business mentorship. Runners up receive $500.

Entries for the awards are now open with further details to be found at