NRL 2022, Entrepreneurs of the Year Award winners, Ryan James, Lauren Brown claim inaugural awards

The National Rugby League (NRL) is pleased to announce Broncos forward Ryan James and Titans halfback Lauren Brown as their inaugural Entrepreneurs of the Year award winners for 2022.

James and Brown were both recognized for the award, which celebrates the dedication, creativity, drive and passion of NRL and NRLW players who have started and grown businesses alongside their playing careers.

NRL Club Wellbeing and Education staff were invited to nominate a company (and the players who own and operate it) for the award based on the following criteria:

  • The business has been in existence for at least a year
  • The players play a significant role in the day-to-day operations of the company
  • Demonstrates behaviors consistent with the behavioral goals for wellbeing and education: Excellence, Inclusion, Courage, and Teamwork
  • Committed to professional development and lifelong learning
  • Wise and ethical decision makers
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Ryan James successfully launched Minjungbal Medical Supplies in 2022.

Ryan James successfully launched Minjungbal Medical Supplies in 2022.

NRL Entrepreneur of the Year: Ryan James

James successfully established the Ryan James Group, which aims to increase the number of Indigenous businesses in the Australian market while hiring and retaining Indigenous employees. There are several successful companies formed under the Ryan James Group including:

  • Minjungbal Hygiene Systemswho strive to create indigenous empowerment through sanitation solutions for all.
  • Ryan James Foundationaiming to be one of the leading, multi-functional, Indigenous-led and operated community outreach organizations in the country, with a focus on Indigenous business investment funds, health and welfare projects for older people, youth outcomes and social justice and early education and school-based initiatives in rural and remote communities.
  • BSKT Whole Foods, Emphasis on supporting Indigenous communities, with a focus on providing health and employment opportunities to local communities.
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There are several companies formed under the Ryan James Group.

There are several companies formed under the Ryan James Group.

James is also an active member of the Adeco Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group and the RLPA Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group, in addition to his Masters of Business Administration from Bond University.

Lauren Brown runs the successful Wags Dog Walking Service.

Lauren Brown runs the successful Wags Dog Walking Service.

NRLW Entrepreneur of the Year: Lauren Brown

Brown successfully launched Wags Dog Walking, a dog walking and doggy daycare service on the Gold Coast. As the company’s sole proprietor, Brown founded Wags with the idea of ​​combining her passion for exercise with her love of dogs!

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Brown started Wags Dog Walking with the intention of offering dog walking as a primary service and day care as a secondary service. However, as the business developed, dog daycare became more popular, so Brown made it the primary service and walking the secondary. Brown has around 35 clients on the books and is currently working at full capacity as she is the company’s sole employee.

In the future, Brown hopes for the company to purchase industrial space that can be specially adapted and outfitted for a dog daycare – allowing her to increase her capacity, hire staff and have longer and more flexible hours.

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