Entering the new Start-up category in this year’s Telstra Business Women’s Awards could offer amazing growth opportunities for women who’ve backed themselves to launch their own business, according to Ozganics founder Anni Brownjohn.
Ms Brownjohn, whose business is now on the brink of entering China, has urged other women to enter the Awards before they close on Monday 29 June.
Explaining her business start-up philosophy, she said: “I feel like I’m an accidental business woman who never thought about the risk of failure. I always believed that if one door closed another would open.
“You just need faith in your own ability. We’re surrounded by mountains. The secret is picking which one to climb first.”
Ms Brownjohn, National 2013 Telstra Business Innovation Award winner, created The Right Food Group in 1999 because she struggled to find locally-produced products that were not laden with artificial flavours, colours and preservatives for her children and husband who had lactose, gluten and other intolerances.
The Murwillumbah-based business manufactures the Ozganics range of organic, gluten and dairy-free foods sold domestically and exported to 20 countries. Ms Brownjohn has just returned from China where she signed a deal to provide her simmer sauce range to a major supermarket chain in Qingdao.
While she says ‘’running a business is all about juggling,” Ms Brownjohn advised women starting out to “be flexible and accept change daily, grow your networks and find friends inside your industry. Making connections is something the Telstra Awards really helped me do.”
Now in their 21st year, the 2015 Telstra Business Women’s Awards also include new categories of Entrepreneur and For Purpose and Social Enterprise, recognising that brilliant business women come from all sectors.
Kate McKenzie, Telstra Chief Operations Officer and Telstra Business Women’s Awards Ambassador, said the introduction of the Start-up category in the 2015 Awards reflects the rise in women owning businesses in Australia with more than half of all new small businesses started by women.
“I encourage eligible business women to enter the Awards and enjoy the benefits and recognition that the program offers. Don’t let this brilliant opportunity pass you by,” Ms McKenzie said.
The six categories of the 2015 Telstra Business Women’s Awards include:
- Start Up (owns minimum 25 per cent; business under three years old);
- Entrepreneur (owns minimum 25 per cent; business more than three years old);
- For Purpose and Social Enterprise (includes not for profit and social ventures);
- Government and Academia (government departments; educational institutions; statutory bodies);
- Corporate and Private (employed by the organisation); and
- Young Business Women (under 29 as at 30 June 2015).
Entries and nominations can be made at womensawards.com or by calling 1800 817 536 until midnight June 29. CommBank is a Major Partner of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards that are open to business women in all states and territories.