Entrepreneur Of The Year
2018 National finalists: Western Region
- Read more about Aidan Jenkins
Infinite Energy launched into the solar industry in 2010 aiming to bring down energy costs for customers, while also reducing carbon emissions. It now is the fourth largest retailer of solar power in Australia and was a pioneer of the third-party ownership model, offering purchasing agreements for homes, business and government. It installs, owns and maintains the solar infrastructure while customers buy power at a discount potentially saving them 40 per cent of the costs of daytime solar electricity. Managing Director of Infinite Energy, Aidan Jenkins, steered the company through a period of uninterrupted, profitable growth by building strong relationships with suppliers, sub-contractors and partners.
- Read more about Wayne Peel
When Wayne Peel and his partners undertook a management buyout of engineering services firm Engenium in 2015, the company had been through a couple of changes of ownership, a change in direction and a redundancy campaign. The morale and culture of the business were at an all-time low and the industry was in a downturn. By employing hard-working people, creating a fun working environment and committing to exceptional client service, Wayne believed the business could not only be restored, but could thrive. At the time of the buy-out, Engenium employed 12 people. The business has since grown in turnover from $8 million in the first year to the current figure of $20 million and employs more than 130 people in Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales.
- Read more about Tony Routledge
Tony Routledge and his brother Stewart started their business 29 years ago, and they design, manufacture and support communication and security systems for the most rugged environments – including battle zones. AVI’s technology is also used in audio visual systems in courts and parliaments, and its industrial modems and routers are used in the oil and gas industries. In the mining sector, AVI’s technology is involved in driverless vehicles. The company employs more than 60 people, recruiting veterans where possible. As CEO, Tony has continually reinvested into the business, steering it into new global markets, and growing AVI into a leader in the field of highly trusted, secure and rugged communication systems.
2018 Social entrepreneur
In recognition of sustained, outstanding entrepreneurial achievement the 2018 Western Region Social entrepreneur is:
- Read more about Alicia Curtis
100 Women is a not-for-profit founded by Alicia Curtis in 2014 to operate as a giving circle, which uses collective giving to take donations and offer grants to causes that support women and girls’ access to health, education, safety and economic empowerment. Over five years, more than 400 women and men across Australia have donated between $200 and $1200 annually, allowing 100 Women to grant a total $400,000 to 13 local, national and international causes. Alicia volunteers as Board chair, while running her business, Alyceum, a leadership education platform. 100 per cent of member donations are allocated to the grants.
2018 Fintech entrepreneur
In recognition of sustained, outstanding entrepreneurial the 2018 Western Region Fintech entrepreneur is:
- Read more about Dr. Jemma Green
Dr Jemma Green was on a 12-month hiking sabbatical when she formulated an idea of developing an eco-village. Returning to Perth, she commenced a Doctoral research project to realise this vision. Her research led her to tackle challenges associated with dense housing access to renewable energy and ultimately she realised that blockchain was the key to scalable, affordable peer-to-peer electricity trading. Jemma was introduced to two blockchain developers, and alongside her co-founders Power Ledger was born. Today, Power Ledger is a blockchain-powered software platform which facilitates peer-to-peer renewable energy trading in both regulated and unregulated global energy markets – putting the power of electricity into the hands of consumers.
2018 Champion of Entrepreneurship
In recognition of sustained, outstanding entrepreneurial achievement the 2018 Champion of Entrepreneurship is:
- Read more about Gina Rinehart
Gina Rinehart is a leading figure in the mining and agricultural industries. She spent her childhood in the Pilbara, where she lived with her parents on large sheep and cattle properties in what was then a remote and rugged iron ore region.
Becoming Executive Chairman of Hancock Prospecting Group in 1992, Mrs Rinehart has transformed the Group into a successful, industry-leading innovator. Under her leadership, the Group has transformed from one in great difficulty, with its few remaining assets either heavily mortgaged or under legal threat, to a successful, diversified business that includes investments in primary industries to become the most successful private company in Australia.
Mrs Rinehart has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Bond University; an Honorary Life Membership of the Institute of Public Affairs; named Telstra Australian Businesswoman of the Year; named CEO Magazine’s Chairman of the Year in 2014 and 2017; and awarded Diggers & Dealers ‘Deal of the Year’ in 2006 and 2012 for Hope Downs and Roy Hill; along with numerous other awards.
Mrs Rinehart is Patron of Australia’s internationally renowned Olympic swimming, rowing, volleyball and synchronised swimming teams and has received an Order of Merit from the Australian Olympic Committee, as well as being a significant contributor to other charities.
Mrs Rinehart regularly writes for a resources and investment publication, speaks at engagements nationwide and has written two books. She has also established and now Chairs ANDEV (Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision). Mrs Rinehart has initiated three national days – one to promote breast cancer awareness, one to highlight the value of the mining industry and another to highlight the agricultural industry.