With International Women’s Day around the corner, we’ve rounded up some of the most notable Australian female entrepreneurs that spoke to Dynamic Business in 2019.
We’re taking IWD as an opportunity to showcase some of the brilliant women that have seen exceptional success in the Australian small business landscape, taking on leadership roles across a variety of industries.
International Women’s Day is built on the foundation that “an equal world is an enabled world.” The ideal world envisioned in the #IWD2020 campaign #EachforEqual is one in which all women enjoy equality, and one where their voices are heard far and wide.
Although women’s rights and feminist movements are gaining traction regionally and globally, there is still a long way to go. The Global Gender Gap Report 2020 found that there are still substantial differences between men and women in areas of health, education, work and politics.
Economic participation, in particular, has seen women struggle to receive wages, employment and workforce representation equal to their male counterparts.
Australia as a nation ranked 8th in the world for proportion of women-owned and -led businesses in the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs.
The Australian Government is also jumping on board the bid to empower women in the workplace, with the Boosting Female Founders (BFF) initiative set to launch in 2020. This initiative will provide $18 million in funding and support for women-owned and -led businesses.
In terms of female entrepreneurship, access to capital remains one of the most significant barriers for women. Despite the female gender representing almost half of the workforce in Australia, women still only make up a little over 30 per cent of all entrepreneurs in Australia – a disappointing percentage.
However, there has been a growing number of women entering leadership roles in recent years. Sydney and Melbourne ranked 12th and 13th in Dell’s Women Entrepreneur Cities Index, which measures a city’s ability to attract and support high potential women entrepreneurs.
Here are our top 5 Australian female entrepreneurs of 2019. We will continue to champion Australian female entrepreneurs and this is just one small handful of all the successful women we speak to regularly.
We hope they inspire you as much as they inspired us!
Nicole Lamond, Co-Founder & CEO at Eloments
Just 6 months after launching her vitamin tea company, Eloments Tea, Nicole Lamond managed to score a deal with Aussie supermarket giant Woolworths. Her innovative product was quickly met with consumer and retailer uptake around the world. Nicole raised equity capital in just 8 days after attracting investors from Organic X Labs, who shared her Fair Trade vision and helped her secure rapid growth for her product. Nicole attributes her success to market investment strategy and says that the quality of distribution partners in a business are paramount. As a female entrepreneur, she believes it is important to have good advisors on board and to never undervalue the contribution to your company as a woman.
Adala Bolto, Founder & CEO at Zadi Training
Adala Bolto, founder of women’s boutique gym chain Zadi, managed to build a fitness empire despite critics not believing in her vision. Coming from a personal training background, Adala launched Zadi in 2017 and maintained a positive attitude in a highly competitive industry. She attributes the success of Zadi to the best technology, scientists and trainers, and her vision of a “sexier, edgier and science based” fitness experience.
For Adala, it’s all about securing the right partners who share your vision, surrounding yourself with the right people, and getting the money to develop programs that resonate with a niche customer base. She highly recommends building good relationships with critics and listening to their assessments with an open mind. She stresses the importance of having the confidence to move forward – even when others don’t support your idea. Adala plans to expand Zadi to 50 locations in a matter of just 2 years and is open to foreign investors who are looking to collaborate.
Anneke van den Broek, Owner & CEO at Rufus & Coco
In 2008, animal-lover Anneke van den Broek founded Rufus & Coco, a successful pet care business which has since been launched in 9 countries. With a mission to support pet owners, animal charities and not-for-profits, Anneke now runs Australia’s most awarded pet care brand, having turned her passion project into the largest privately-owned pet business in Australia. Initially partnering with major Australian supermarkets, Anneke attributes her incredible success to building and maintaining relationships with market leaders, expanding into new markets, and putting innovation and customer relations first. In her interview with Dynamic Business, she explained she would “never bring a product to market if it isn’t offering a new or better solution to pet owners’ problems”. Anneke has won numerous awards, including the 2016 NSW Telstra Business award, and has been listed as one of Australia’s 50 most influential women entrepreneurs by Rare Birds.
Anna Wright, CEO at BindiMaps
Anna Wright developed mobile app BindiMaps with the desire to answer a nagging question on her mind – “how does a person who is blind know where the Braille sign is?” In developing her app, Anna set out to assist people with vision impairment for the reason that they are often overlooked and excluded from regular daily activities. The app’s Bluetooth and mapping technology has revolutionised the way visually impaired people access otherwise complex indoor spaces, such as shopping centres and airports. In her interview with Dynamic Business, Anna told us that business owners should never be afraid to ask for help when they need it, or to seek out capital. With a nomination for Australian of the Year, an Angel investment of $1 million as well as a partnership with Guide Dogs Australia, Anna is in the process of negotiating the launch of BindiMaps across the country with major national businesses.
Olivia Molesworth, Director at Bromleigh Capital
At only 23 years old, Olivia Molesworth is the youngest Australian female entrepreneur to build a fintech empire. In 2018, she founded her business, Bromleigh Capital, with the mission to make capital more accessible to Australian eCommerce startups. She has since developed a powerful vision for small business funding to become affordable, ethical and sustainable.