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NSBPC Winners - Where are they now?

The National Student Business Plan Competition is the perfect way for pharmacy students to develop their entrepreneurial spirit and bring innovative ideas to the forefront of community pharmacy. The competition contributes to the development of a dynamic and vibrant pharmacy industry, and makes a genuine difference to the health and wellbeing of local communities. But what can it do for pharmacy students? There's no better way to answer this question than by checking in on the past NSBPC winners!

The NSBPC enables pharmacy students to grow their business acumen and acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to take on the challenges of pharmacy management and ownership. Past competition winners have enjoyed fantastic career opportunities across spectacular locations all over Australia! From the pristine beaches of the Whitsundays to the lush, rolling paddocks of rural Victoria, the NSBPC winners are passionately driving local health outcomes and achieving their management and ownership goals! Find out more about their stories below.

Wally Maguire

Queensland University of Technology, NSBPC 2011 Winner

Our success with the NSBPC saw me being offered an intern scholarship at LiveLife Pharmacies in the Whitsundays where I spent the next five years as a pharmacist manager in one of the most amazing and picturesque places in the world...

Connie Arronis

University of Sydney, NSBPC 2013 Winner

I selected a career in pharmacy as I have always been interested in both the health/medicine and business/finance domains. So not surprisingly I’ve found community pharmacy to be the perfect environment to satisfy both of these passions. I am the ...

Jess Cahill

University of Canberra, NSBPC 2014 Winner

I didn’t know what I wanted to be or do when I finished my pharmacy degree, which is why I basically tried everything and learnt a lot along the way. ...

Lauren Haworth

University of Tasmania, NSBPC 2015 Winner

I am a great big pharmacy nerd. Truly. Eat - Breathe - Drugs - Sleep - Repeat. At the end of my degree I moved from Tasmania to pursue opportunities over the ditch in Victoria. I completed my internship in...

Ellen South

University of Technology Sydney, NSBPC 2018 Winner

My interest in allergies and allergic rhinitis, combined with my experience in the NSCPC, has seen me now working as a community pharmacist in Canberra. This is really appropriate ...


Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to shape the future of community pharmacy? Do you have an innovative service idea that will contribute to a vibrant and dynamic community pharmacy network and make a genuine difference to the health and lives of our local communities?

If so, it's time to get down to business and get your business plan ready, polished and perfected for the Pharmacy Guild of Australia's National Student Business Plan Competition (NSBPC).

Register your interest here


The National Student Business Plan Competition is an initiative of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. The project is coordinated by the Member Services and Innovation Group.

The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand is proud to support the National Student Business Plan Competition in 2021 and aspiring pharmacy owners currently studying in New Zealand.

Pharmacy Guild NZThe National Australian Pharmacy Students' Association (NAPSA) is proud to support the National Student Business Plan Competition in 2021 and to collaborate with the Guild in promoting and supporting pharmacy students.



The objective of the competition is to assist pharmacy students to gain the skills required to approach the task of owning or managing a pharmacy through the development of a business plan.

The competition is designed to promote creative entrepreneurship among pharmacy students and encourage the development of viable, innovative, pharmacist-owned community pharmacies.

It focuses on developing innovative services which can be provided in their pharmacies that aim to meet the health needs of the Australian community.

The objective of this competition is to allow pharmacy students the opportunity to complete a business plan and have it reviewed by not only pharmacist owners but accountants and business experts for viability.


Who can enter?

Teams entering the competition must contain a minimum of 50% of team members who are:

  • currently enrolled Bachelor of Pharmacy students who in 2021 are in their third or fourth year of study; or
  • currently enrolled Master of Pharmacy students who in 2021 are in their first or second year of study

Multi-disciplinary teams can also enter the competition. The students from disciplines other than pharmacy that will be accepted in a team are those students studying in a primary health discipline such as physiotherapy or nutrition.

Multi-disciplinary teams cannot include students studying  accounting, business, finance or other related fields. Multi-disciplinary teams must have half of their members from the pharmacy school—i.e. A team of three or four must contain two pharmacy students.

All students must be from a school of pharmacy whose courses have provisional or full accreditation with the Australian Pharmacy Council (Australian and New Zealand Pharmacy Schools).

Teams can consist of between one and four team members.

Cross institutional teams can also enter the competition. It is possible for students from two different universities to join together to enter a team should they wish. If the team is successful in becoming a finalist, the prize money allocated to the pharmacy schools will be equally distributed.

Mentor Requirements

Business or management studies are not a prerequisite to developing a business plan or for entering the competition.

Many potential small business owners start by going through the wealth of resources available to the public and talking to mentors with small business experience. It is for this reason that the competition mandates that all entrants must seek out TWO advisors or mentors.

Each team must have a minimum of TWO team mentors. To assist entrants, mentors should be selected based on the following priority order:

ESSENTIAL: Each team or individual MUST have a current community pharmacy owner as a mentor who is a member of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, or a retired past Guild member pharmacist owner and MUST have a business or financial mentor.

OPTIONAL: An academic mentor.

The team mentors are not allowed to participate in the Quarter Finals, Semi Finals or Live Finals presentation sections of the competition.


What you win

Prize money in the National Student Business Plan Competition totals $15,000.

The awarding of prize money to the Pharmacy Schools is to assist in the promotion of the pharmacist-owned community pharmacy model.

All quarter and semi-finalists who do not progress to the next stage will receive a Certificate of Achievement.

Entrant Component
Pharmacy School Component


$5,000 to the winning entry (team or individual)

$2,000 to the Pharmacy School


$4,000 to the second placed entry

$1,000 to the Pharmacy School


$2,500 to the third place

$500 to the Pharmacy School

Business plan checklist

NSBPC 2021 Business Plan checklist image

Business plan essentials

These guidelines aim to provide a consistent base for all teams, to allow them to focus on the innovation component.

All business plans submitted by the participants in the National Student Business Plan Competition 2021 must comply with these guidelines.

The business plan MUST be based on the ‘Foundation Pharmacy Profile’ which is located in the RESOURCES section of the website. All entries must use the ‘Foundation Pharmacy Profile’ from which to develop their new pharmacy business.

Do not construct your business plan on an existing pharmacy business – your pharmacy is fictitious

The focus of the plan MUST be on a business innovation and a community integration activity

To be successful in the first round of the competition, the business plan MUST use the information provided and MUST detail the development of a new to market or highly differentiated service to be run from the pharmacy. The business plan MUST also outline how this service offers a social or community benefit.

Your business plan should aim to describe;
  • what is unique or innovative about the pharmacy service proposed
  • what it is you’re selling
  • who the target market is
  • the demographic and size of the market
  • the revenue model
  • How do you expect to make money?
  • Who is behind your business?
  • What are you offering an investor?

Business plan format and content

Business plans MUST be in the following format:
  • maximum ten A4 pages for all content inclusive of graphs, charts, tables, pictures etc;
  • all pages to be A4 ONLY
  • one additional page for Title Page;
  • one additional page for Contents;
  • additional biography page/s with maximum 200 words for each team member and team mentor;
  • single spaced text using Arial font (font size 10 or equivalent);
  • no references; market research results; appendices; attachments etc; and

The plan should be succinct and be able to satisfy the scrutiny of a loan provider and assembled as though being made to a bank or lending institution for finance - use plain language and avoid jargon

The business plan MUST address the seven sections outlined below;
  • An Executive Summary – the overview of your business;
  • A Short Description of the business – this must include one ‘new to market’ or ‘highly differentiated’ service that will be offered by the pharmacy and one social outreach or community initiative that will be offered;
  • Marketing and Sales Strategy – outline how you will sell your business and why people will buy from you;
  • Management Team and Personnel Summary – your credentials and the skills of the team you plan to recruit;
  • Operations Management – details of your premises; management information systems; IT and risk management outline;
  • Financial forecasts – using the details provided and your innovations in the previous sections to translate your plan into numbers;
  • SWOT or opportunity analysis including demographics etc.

How to enter

Submit your business plan

  • Make sure your business plan satisfies the specified format. Business plans that do not meet the guidelines will be rejected.
  • Make sure you do not exceed the word or page limit. Business plans that exceed the stated limits will be rejected.
  • Submit your business plan in a printable electronic format including a student declaration form for each team member.
  • Submit your business plan by 16 May 2021
  • Submit your business plan by emailing bus.support@guild.org.au


STAGE ONE - Business plan

Teams submit a business plan based on the Foundation Pharmacy Figures and complying with the Business Plan Checklist guidelines

STAGE TWO - Quarter finals

The Quarter Final round consists of a 1,500 word response to feedback received from the judges in Stage One.

All resources required for the Quarter Final Round will be provided to teams at commencement of the round.

STAGE THREE - Semi finals

The Semi Final teams will present a video pitch to the Judge Mentors  in preparation for the Final Rounds of the Competition.

The top three teams at the end of the Semi Final stage will be invited to participate in the Stage Four Finals.

Prior to the Finals presentations, the Teams will have one video call with the Judge Mentors who will provide feedback and mentoring on how they can improve their pitch for the Finals and one face to face meeting will be scheduled with the Judge Mentors on the day prior to the Finals presentations.

This coaching will assist all teams to deliver the strongest possible pitch at the Finals. The Judge Mentors will not participate in the judging of the final presentation.

All resources required for the semi-final round will be provided to teams at commencement of the round.

STAGE FOUR - Finals live "pitch"

The Finals presentations will be held live at the Pharmacy Connect event in Sydney  2-4 September 2021.

The purpose of the live presentation is to provide an opportunity for each team to present to a room of potential investors. The teams will have five minutes to pitch their idea.

The pitch should highlight why investors should provide financial support for the innovative pharmacy ideas set out in the business plan of each of the finalists.

Teams will be provided with all necessary resources at the commencement of each round.

STAGE FIVE - Post pitch investor meeting

Following the live Pitch, each team will be contacted by the judging panel to meet for 20-40 minutes to answer some post pitch questions, prior to the judging panel finalising their decision.

As per the previous rounds, teams will be provided with all necessary resources at the commencement of each round.  Teams are expected to be available to travel to Sydney for the finals round at the Pharmacy Connect event  2-4 September

What will the judges be looking for?


Building a business plan that will drive a successful, community-focused healthcare business. The pharmacy focus should be to provide a dynamic, valued health destinations. Will the investor be excited by your business plan and will they be confident in its success?


Have you provided sound demographic information and presented a clear understanding of the needs and issues within that community? Have you demonstrated clear knowledge of the innovative service you are providing?

Business management

What is your approach to running the pharmacy? Consider some of the following: Business planning/strategy, communication systems with customers and staff, stock control, retail management, marketing, management structure and human resources

Community engagement

How have you reached out beyond the pharmacy? In what ways do you support the various community groups or engaged them in health communication, promotions, education and projects?

Innovation in professional services

What professional health services does your pharmacy provide (on the premises or otherwise) that are unique and fill a special gap in your community. Have you/will you train staff to provide bespoke services, or perhaps brought in other professionals to practice in your pharmacy?


Have you used the Foundation Pharmacy figures provided? Have you explained why an investor would want to invest in your business idea? Do you understand and have you outlined what the investor will receive in return?

Investor offer

When developing your business plan have a clear understanding of what it is you are offering an investor, what it is you would like them to commit to and what you would like in return. Which business structure is right for you? Are you looking for an Investor who provides capital with the expectation of a future return through profit share or a Loan which will require principal and interest repayment?

Consider the business structure that would be required, i.e. trust, partnership or company and the implications this will have on the return to lenders and the distribution of profits and the legal requirements of non-pharmacists providing financial assistance to pharmacies.

Consider what the agreement looks like and how you can make it attractive for potential investment, however, also ensure that your financial return is also accounted for. Remember to be realistic - the end goal is to ensure that your pharmacy business is viable.


What is your purpose, vision, and values? What do you deliver? — Products, services, value, difference and experience. Who do you care about? – Customers and community. How do you behave? – Actions, what you say and how you say it. How do you look? – Your name, tagline, design and logo.

Clinical health

How well have you explained your understanding of the health issues you are addressing? Have you provided evidence/research to support your claims?


Major sponsor

Visit Symbion website Visit ProPharma website

EBOS Group is the largest and most diversified Australasian marketer, wholesaler and distributor of healthcare, medical and pharmaceutical products. It is also a leading Australasian animal care products marketer and distributor.


Symbion is a national wholesaler of healthcare services and products with over 3500 retail pharmacy customers and 1000 hospital customers across Australia. Its beginnings can be traced back over 170 years to when Francis Hardy Faulding opened his first pharmacy in Adelaide in 1845.

Since this time, Symbion has grown to become an integral part of the Australian healthcare system with leading positions in a wide range of areas.

The company has 10 warehouses located around Australia which coordinate daily deliveries and house over 17,000 product lines from 540 manufacturing partners.


Since its beginnings as H.F. Stevens in Christchurch in 1886, ProPharma has been a leading specialist in health logistics and a valuable contributor to the New Zealand healthcare industry.

Today, ProPharma is the largest and only national pharmaceutical and over-the-counter medicine wholesaler in New Zealand, with nine branch warehouses strategically located across the country. It provides support and service to pharmacies, hospitals and medical clinics, ensuring products are always available when they’re needed, no matter where that may be.

Foundation sponsors


Pharmaceutical Defence Limited

FREE PDL Student Membership

PDL membership is FREE for pharmacy students and interns. You don’t pay anything to join but the benefits of membership are enormous.

Full professional indemnity insurance liability cover including: professional indemnity; public liability and; products liability. Covers everything in the scope of practise of pharmacy as regulated by the Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA).

Advice and support for incidents and critical times together with an online reporting and account management facility. You will also receive a bonus subscription to the Australian Journal of Pharmacy (AJP) online magazine.

PDL supports emerging talent and innovation in pharmacy through university awards and prizes. PDL is a founding sponsor of the National Student Business Plan Competition since 2006. PDL’s ongoing support of the competition provides the opportunity for pharmacy students to gain valuable learning and experience of community pharmacy business models through participation in the competition.

For more information visit www.pdl.org.au and click on the ‘Student and Intern’ button.

Visit the Gold Cross website

Gold Cross Products & Services

Gold Cross Products & Services is a fully owned subsidiary of The Pharmacy Guild of Australia and endorses pharmacy products and services badged with the Guild’s logo.

  • Provide members with endorsed products and services The Gold Cross has been used by Guild members for over fifty years in many ways:
  • As a painted or illuminated sign for identification outside or inside pharmacy
  • As window transfers
  • On labels for dispensed medicines
  • Inclusion in personal identification signs used in a member’s practice
  • Paper bags
  • Pharmacy stationery
  • Name badges

The Gold Cross is also used by approved providers of products and services:

  • There is no discrimination or bias with the use of the logo
  • It has a number of strong positive associations around medicines and ‘personal advice’
  • Recognition of one-on-one advice and information
  • ‘Special services’ related to medicine
  • Customer benefits of safety, control, confidence and positive health outcomes

The Gold Cross device is increasingly viewed as the definitive symbol for quality care and advice on medicines.

Endorsed products and services branded with the Gold Cross are working well to drive both recognition and positive associations for the Gold Cross symbol and brands displaying the symbol.

We encourage the support of Gold Cross branded products.

Contact us

Competition enquiries

The competition is coordinated and managed by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Member Services and Innovation Group.

Email: bus.support@guild.org.au

Phone: 02 6270 1846

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia National Secretariat

Level 2, 15 National Circuit, Barton, ACT 2600 Australia

PO Box 310, Fyshwick, ACT 2609 Australia

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Page last updated on: 08 June 2022