The Idea
Leveraging their collective passion and skills, in 2011 Matt Pfahlert and Clayton Neil co-founded this ambitious project with a dual purpose.

Build a thriving rural community through igniting entrepreneurship in young people and their communities.

Developing a job creator mindset and skills will be critical to the future viability of rural communities and retaining and attracting young people in these communities. For this purpose, a not-for-profit organisation named the Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship (ACRE) was head-quartered in Beechworth and began full time operations in 2014.

The Old Beechworth Gaol provides a home for this exciting project.

Position north east Victoria as the southern hemisphere’s premier cycling tourism destination.

Our focus is on growing a cycling tourism business model of scale, building on the rapid global increase in demand for cycle tourism products and services and the current highly fragmented supply of quality tourism products and natural assets our region boasts.

Matt Pfahlert

  • Co-founder & CEO of the Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship
  • Recognised social entrepreneur and social enterprise consultant in rural Australia
  • In 1996 was Young Australian of the Year for his work in youth development
  • 2004 – Leadership Victoria’s Community Leader of the Year
  • Telstra Foundation Board member (2003-2016)
  • Social Traders Board member – Development organisation for social enterprise in Australia
  • 2013 Churchill Fellow studying rural social enterprises in the US, Canada & the UK
  • Board member – Regional Partnerships Victoria

Clayton Neil

  • Cycle tourism entrepreneur & advocate
  • Economic development background for local government
  • Owner/operator of a number of cycle tourism businesses
  • Former Cycle tourism representative on North East Regional Tourism Board
  • Member of the Victorian State Government Cycling Reference Group.

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