Young Entrepreneurs: How well are women represented on the Gold Coast?

Business News Australia Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the year 2015 finalists have been announced. The awards, which recognise successful business people aged 40 years or younger, have been running for the past 8 years. Last year’s winners included Luke McNally (Mass Nutrition) and Simon Gloftis (Hellenika and Fish House restaurants).

Nick Nichols, editor of Brisbane and Gold Coast Business News says that there has been a strong showing of women in the awards over the past 8 years but “there is definitely a trend for the bigger winners to be male”. Asked why that is so, he said “I don’t really know but perhaps it is because women don’t like to promote themselves as much as men”.

This year women are represented across the categories, however, Nick Nichols said the Digital and Technology category is more male dominated, whereas retail and services tend to have more female entrants. “The Social category is brand new, and represents not for profit businesses that show sustainability practices. That is represented mostly by women” said Nichols. While Nichols insists there is “definitely no male bias”, he also states “women do tend to be under-represented”.

Renay Wells of Miss Maneater and Rogue swimwear has been nominated this year in the Retail and services Category. Renay has been running her business for 5 years and now exports to the USA and Europe as well as selling in Australia online. She still does all her own pattern making and cuts her own fabric, and has all pieces sewn by Gold Coast seamstresses.

Renay worked for 15 years at City Beach, 2 Chillies swimwear and in China auditing factories before starting her own brand. Her advise for success in business is “Don’t give up on your dream. There have been times when I thought maybe I should go and get a real job. It takes a while to build a brand and get it out there”. She had a few covers on Zoo magazine in 2010, but most of her marketing has been through social media. She has an affiliation with her model Rosanna who has 700,000 followers on Instagram and 2,000,000 followers on Facebook.

Renay Wells definitely debunks the idea that women don’t like to promote themselves. Other female finalists this year include Jellaine Dee (nee Ross) from Cherry Blooms, who also won the Trailblazer award last year, and Marissa Bowden and Sarah Schoeller from the Village Markets.

Winners will be announced this Friday 30th October 2015 at Jupiters Casino.

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