With Australia's business landscape pivoting, transforming and reshaping, we have an opportunity to create the model for the future that aligns with the worlds needs.
TradeSquare is Australia's first business to business marketplace connecting people, brands and organisations into this diverse eco - system in a unique global landscape.
Dianna Somerville- Bridge Hub and Regional Pitch Fest
Dianna grew up in Regional Australia in Wagga Wagga and ran away to join the navy to drive warships and had her sights on never returning to regional Australia. However when she did return, and fell in love with a farmer she began the journey of reinventing herself in a regional context.
She became involved in a number of new projects aligned to entrepreneurship and innovation to support in accelerating regional business.
The launch of Regional PitchFest came out of identifying a gap in the scene of entrepreneurship to recognise the talent in our regions and to put these great examples in front of people to tell that story and be that megafone back to the metro areas.
In 2017 she took a leap and led a program with Australia Post with 87 events across the country to promote opportunities in regional Australia. which led her to her role at Bridge Hub and the links between metro and regions to drive investment into the regions.
With hot topics in the Bridge Hub office being on carbon capture and water, Dianna is certainly flying the regional flag with a sustainable focus and environmental lens.
Bill Lang - Director, Small Business Australia
Following a stint in small business selling hot dogs in his University days, Bill has played in big and small businesses and now leads Small Business Australia to support small businesses on their growth journey and sustainable futures.
Last year, Bill and the SBA team launched "Buy Local" to encourage customers to shop with local organisations and buy locally made products. In 2021 they have launched "The Digital Business Cadets" - a modern apprenticeship bringing younger digitally savvy people together with older small business owners to support one another with a trade of skills
They have teamed up with organisations like NAB, Telstra and Snap Design to further educate their small business customers with key resources to survive and thrive.
Erin Boutros - Co founder, Empty Esky
As a 28 year old Melbournian entrepreneur, Erin is passionate about creating more justice and supporting people who are facing barriers in their life through creative ways to enable change.
Through the launch of Empty Esky - a national tourism movement of foodies and adventurers who are on a mission to support small businesses in regional Australia affected by the bushfires and covid, Erin and her co founder Elle have thought outside the box to create sustainable tourism and activating more Travel with Purpose.
Knowing that community is the key combined with a deep desire for collaboration and supporting one another, regional communities have used creativity to re think the future.
Ben Lazzaro - Chief Executive Officer at Australian Made Campaign
Ben leads the Australian Made Campaign as the Chief Executive Officer which is a Not for Profit organisation on a mission to administer and promote the Country of Origin of Australian Made products. The Australian Made symbol is a highly recognised and trusted symbol underpinned by a strong criteria of credentials to ensure that this trust lives on.
Having this symbol really takes the hard work out for consumers who in 2020 really got behind Australian Made products in an effort to support local organisations to survive and thrive and having the confidence in the credibility of its origins.
Ben and the team at Australian Made witnessed incredible organisations leading their industry with innovation to transform, pivot, adopt more technology and enable their digital capabilities by diversifying their businesses to suit the needs of the world.
With a strong focus in Australia on Advanced Manufacturing, we can see this movement to support Australian Made will only be amplified further on the local and global stage.
Amy Crookes - Asia Pacific Environmental Social Governance Services Leader, EY
Amy is a key an intrinsic part of the Global Procurement team at EY (Ernst & Young), a team of 450 procurement professionals engaging with suppliers and organisations to support EY and their clients.
With a strong focus in Australia and New Zealand on Indigenous procurement, she has researched, listened, learned and sought opportunities to collaborate with organisations on a collective mission.
Working with Indigenous Australian entrepreneurs like Dwayne Good from Inspire Travel Management, Mundanara Bayles from the Black Card and Laura Thompson from Clothing the Gap and alongside organisations like Supply Nation, Amy has supported in facilitating key sector practices to enable growth and future prosperity.
Knowing that we all have a role to play to recognise our past injustices, to working towards closing the gap and identifying that we still have significant work to do to change the disparities of our economy.
John Todd - Executive Director, WS Business Enterprise Centre
Working for Westpac many years ago, he was thrown out of the traditional 9 - 5 corporate role to spend 18 months out in the "real world" to understand customers needs, pain points and what it was like to run a small to medium sized business. But when Westpac decided to discontinue this model, John stayed on to lead Western Sydney Business Enterprise Centre for which he has been Executive Director for the last 30 years.
WS Business Centre supports Australian small businesses to reinvent themselves through time of change, advise on the future needs of Australian small businesses and supports with activating the digital capabilities of businesses.
Managing the Business Connect contract with the Australian Federal Government in Western Sydney, the government increased their contract by four times to support over 42000 organisations in an 8 month period. Something that they wouldn't be able to have done without transforming their digital capabilities.
With 40% of Australian small businesses still not enabling digital capabilities, John encourages businesses to seek support from trusted advisors to support in navigating the future path of doing business in Australia.