Bryce Eldredge & Ashley Shultz - The Rural Network

It is becoming increasingly obvious that the future of work is going to be about individuals selling their unique set of skills – the more connected households become via technology, the less relevance things like offices and shop fronts will hold in society. We have seen many metro-centric platforms, such as Airtasker and Task Rabbit appear in the last few years to service this developing ‘task economy’, allowing users to find individuals with skill sets to help them with a wide range of domestic and business-focused tasks. But until recently there has been a digital divide between the city and the rural areas of Australia. 

Pioneering the task economy movement for the 1.3 million regional-based business owners across Australia is a fast-growing platform called The Rural Network.

Launching in only 2016, the platform services over 63 communities across Rural South Australia and is fast becoming known for its positive impact that it is having in rural and remote communities. The platform was founded by Bryce Eldredge and Ashley Shultz, both business partners and a real-life couple based in Kybunga, South Australia. As a Co-Founder and General Manger, Bryce balances his time between the family farming enterprise and The Rural Network, but found his passion in the startup industry. Bryce studied entrepreneurship and innovation at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Taipei Tech before joining The Entourage, where he is part of a dedicated team that educates and empowers a community of over 300,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners. 

The Rural Network's second Co-founder and Creative Lead, Ashley, lives, breathes and dreams creativity. Ashley's creative spirit was ignited from Australian children's television series, Mr. Squiggle, which has lead to a lifelong dedication to creativity and design. A passionate and energetic, yet down-to-earth person, Ashley has worked extensively with branding, digital design, print design as well as the development and execution of design projects and digital acquisition. Expanding on her skills as a ceramics graphic artist, Ashley has traveled and worked extensively in China, developing new homewares ranges for Liddy Design. 

SACristy Houghton