Kayla Itsines, who found fame on the internet with her exercise tips, is in the running to be Australia’s next Entrepreneur of the Year.
She and partner Tobias Pearce, who started the Bikini Body Training Company, won the central region award for the best emerging entrepreneurs in the 2015 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards.
When Kayla built a following on social media for her fitness tips, she and Tobias saw an opportunity to spread the message.
They now have offices in Adelaide and New York and warehousing and manufacturing contractors across Australia and overseas.
Revenue comes from fitness e-books, nutrition plans, recipes and merchandise.
The judges at the EY Enrepreneur of the Year awards say Kayla and Tobias have already achieved in a very short time what many businesses don’t in their entire lifecycle.
“They have the drive and enthusiasm and are totally focused on their own journey.” the judges said.
Here they are at the awards:
Other winners announced in Adelaide:
Sheree Sullivan and Saul Sullivan of Udder Delights Group & Cheese Cellar.
Opened in 1999, Udder Delights Cheese Factory & Cheese Cellar handcrafts artisan cheeses in the Adelaide Hills, selling them through an award-winning cellar door and to external distributors.
Jim Whalley of Nova Systems
Whalley describes himself as a pilot first, and an entrepreneur second. While working as an air force fighter and test pilot, he saw the need for an independent engineering organisation to test key defence systems and capabilities. That’s when he and business partner, Peter Nikoloff, started Nova Systems in 2000.
Paul Vinton of Vintek
Vintek is an IT consulting company which advises on long-term strategy and risk mitigation. It provides network consulting, a data centre with cloud services, wired and wireless data and voice services. The business has expanded completely through word of mouth and has over 1,100 clients worldwide. In 2013, it was the first in the world to deploy a revolutionary new datacentre technology. Paul aims to employ over 100 staff and build an international presence, starting with an office in Singapore.
Dr James Muecke of Sight For All
As an ophthalmologist, Dr James Muecke felt a strong sense of moral duty to help people in disadvantaged countries. He established Sight For All to work towards eliminating blindness in Australia and internationally. Instead of a fly-in, fly-out approach, Sight For All trains and equips local eye care specialists and their staff.
Champion of Entrepreneurship
Peter Hurley of the Hurley Hotel Group
The Champion of Entrepreneurship award is a lifetime achievement award. Peter Hurley was a banker and then a school teacher until the age of 24, when he began his career in the hotel industry in Wudinna on Eyre Peninsula. He moved to Adelaide in the late 1970s and today is the owner or part-owner of 12 hotels in South Australia. Peter has been a member of the Australian Hotels Association Council since 1979 and has held various positions on the AHA National Board including National President and currently State President. Peter has been Chairman of Hospitality Group Training, the largest group apprenticeship training scheme in the state.
The Central Region winners and Social entrepreneur will go on to represent the state at the national awards in October, where they will compete for the title of 2015 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year.
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