The Entrepreneurs

CWW Nip WijewickremaPhoto by: Tracy Lee PhotographyNipuni (Nip) Wijewickrema describes herself as a social entrepreneur, who was inspired to build a
floristry business - “GG’s Flowers”, to provide safe, stable and ongoing employment for her teenage
sister, Gayana, who has Down’s Syndrome.

GG’s Flowers is a family affair, with Gayana's mother Geetha, who is a fully trained and accredited florist creating the arrangements. Nip takes care of sales (including corporate clients), social media, admin, marketing, and promotion. Nip and Gayana’s other sisters, Veena and Rangana help out on big days
like Mother’s Day and Valentine’s day. On these high volume days even their Dad has been called in to help out! Of course the beautiful floral arrangements that GG’s have become famous for are hand delivered by the sweet Gayana, with her signature hug.

CWW Kate SeseljaPhoto by: Tracy Lee PhotographyKate Seselja is a married mother of six who, for twelve dark years, struggled with a gambling addiction
to poker machines. Her recovery has sparked an unstoppable desire to make a difference in the lives of others struggling with addiction and disconnection.

The bulk of her energies have been thrown behind the project she gave birth to in October 2015,
called the HOPE Project.

second success retirementThere has been much discussion about the age pension’s increase to 67 years and the effect it will have on the lives of older Australians. However, any discussion about the economic activity of older Australians should also include a discussion about how we support the growing number of ‘seniorpreneurs’ or entrepreneurs over the age of 50.

Research, funded by National Seniors Australia[i], studied more than 400 seniors and found that seniorpreneurs invest, on average, $1.2 million more in their business than younger entrepreneurs and their firms earn more than twice the profits.

lynette3We had a chat with Lynette Murray from Acton Advice who left a high flying corporate career to start her own financial practice.

In this 3 part series as we explore her journey we look at intrapreneurship and how both organisations and innovative individuals can benefit from growing the kind of business that attracts investors; and how technology innovation can make a difference in a business.

Nyngan Bogan1It started in Nyngan, a small, rural town in New South Wales with a population of just 2,000. Located in the centre of the state, Nyngan is home to farmers and miners, not exactly Silicon Valley and not where you'd expect a tech startup to be born.

Among its residents are entrepreneurs Ian Perkins and Richard Bootle, who own farms and a property law firm, lawlab. Lawlab was founded in 1899, and was acquired by the pair in 2000, working with both local and city based clients on their conveyancing needs.

But not content with just operating a successful rural practice, Ian and Richard had plans to create a national branded property law firm with offices all around the country.

 

anne contractorcomplianceThe construction industry, as Australia's third largest industry, is a significant driver of the Australian economy. As of July 2015, it comprises of 330,000 businesses nationwide and employs almost 9% of the Australian workforce [1].

For local business owner Anne McGregor the construction industry is second nature.

"My father and grandfather were both builders so I've grown up in the building industry. I've always worked in the industry in some capacity, whether as a project manager or bookkeeper."

Five years ago, as a newly single mum Anne was in need of a job and found herself inspired by a new business idea – offering contractors assurance services to ensure that their subcontractors are legally compliant.

west coast windlabAbout 80% of Australians support or strongly support renewables in Australia and we regularly read about campaigns like Yes 2 Renewables, Australian Wind Alliance and Solar Citizens.

However, even with all the petitions with their tens of thousands of signatures, is the Government listening to the calls for change and what is the impact on local companies like Windlab?

We recently spoke to Roger Price, Windlab chairman and CEO.

across the road 3Office View at Accounting 4 BusinessYou might think a seachange is just for retirees or those wanting to open a coffee shop, but for one ambitious entrepreneur a seachange has been the route to exponential growth.

In less than ten years, Susie Robinson from Accounting 4 Business went from a small accounting practice in Gungahlin to opening an additional four shopfronts along the South Coast.

Initially, a decision to make a seachange saw Susie and her partner Glenn open an additional shopfront in Narooma where they were going to live.

Jaktman Installation2

Catherine Jaktman knows a lot about IT Management, enterprise modelling and service delivery models. 

In fact, she even has a PhD in all of that.

However, most people who have had the pleasure of meeting American-born Catherine don't know that she has a real passion for Aboriginal art.

This passion has seen Catherine step outside her comfort zone and launch Jaktman Gallery which has just opened its first exhibition to a packed out audience at the M16 ArtSpace in Griffith.

Xtek1The Hon Stuart Robert MP, Assistant Minister for Defence with Uwe Boettcher, ChairmanAn 18 per cent increase in income to $5.71m in 2014 from $4.83m in 2013 and a bottom line improvement of over half a million dollars through increased sales of $0.992m in 2014 continued the upward trend for homeland security specialist XTEK (ASX:XTE).

 

When times are good, people will spend on fitness coaches, even lifestyle coaches like dietitians, vanderhoek 2but rarely do people think ahead about a career coach to keep their professional lives on track. 

Vanessa Vanderhoek has hit the ground sprinting with her new business, Career Inside Track in which she's helping people work the 'full circle' of their career life.

"It's about making those course corrections to keep people tracking well in their careers," she said.

Jessica MayTo be human is to have issues. Something could happen to anyone of us and we could land up suffering from a disability and be unable to work in a traditional 9 to 5 job. 

Not to be all doom and gloom or anything, but as you get older the chances of something happening that affects your capacity to work increases substantially. In fact, your risk of living with a disability more than doubles between 24 and 45 years and then increases again to 31% of 55-64 year olds

A new resource for those with a disability comes from Canberra entrepreneur, Jessica May, who recently launched her company Enabled Employment; a recruitment site that connects people with disabilities with teleworking opportunities. We had a chat to Jessica to find out what motivated her to start her business and what lessons she had learnt along the way.

Kehnan Walsh1

Put simply, Kehnan Walsh needed to make a decision - try and get back to full health and work as a personal trainer or risk starting up a business.

Kehnan, 22, is a founder and CEO of KD Ratio, a streetwear and fitness clothing company birthed in Canberra and trading from Sydney.

A graduate from Erindale College and CIT, Kehnan found himself on the usual path of looking for a job and quickly settled into the role of a contractor personal trainer. 

But when he contracted glandular fever in 2013, Kehnan was unable to work for a year – the first of several blessings in disguise.