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Young business leaders joining together to drive South Australian agenda


A powerful 80-member lobby group consisting of South Australia’s best young business leaders and entrepreneurs is being proposed to help drive the state’s political and economic fortunes.

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Spearheaded by Community Corporate CEO Carmen Garcia and You Legal governance lawyer Sarah Bartholomeusz, the group would provide a voice for business leaders and create ongoing networking opportunities across a diverse range of industries.

Bartholomeusz and Garcia were among the inaugural winners of InDaily’s 40 Under 40 Awards last year, which celebrate the achievements of South Australia’s leading entrepreneurs aged under 40.

Garcia said 40 Under 40 was the ideal platform to base group membership on because it brought together high achievers from a range of industries who were passionate about South Australia.

She said attaching group membership to the awards would further raise the exclusivity and prestige of the group and the awards program.

“The diversity of industries and individuals from tech to HR, retail and social enterprise makes it a really interesting community of people that could bring such diverse ideas and leadership to what our state needs now and into the future,” Garcia said.

“There’s a real opportunity for us to act as a group to influence the conversation and be part of the dialogue and discussion of advancing the state.

“I’ve seen the way other sectors and other states do this and we don’t really have the same influence or impact at the South Australian level.”

InDaily and Garcia are in discussions about how to best formalise the plan.

The second group of 40 will be recognised at a 40 Under 40 Awards dinner on June 6. The 40 Under 40 alumni would then potentially grow by a further 40 members each year.

Garcia said under her plan, the group would hold two to three networking events a year where members could talk business and develop partnerships.

“After June we’re going to have 80 of the state’s leading professionals and entrepreneurs, how do we harness that and use it to progress the agenda for South Australia?

“How else does government engage with future leadership and future-proof the state’s business community if they are not engaging with young leaders today for tomorrow’s advantage?

“I think if we position ourselves well with the right people it will then be remiss of them not to tap into the group.

“I’m pretty confident that we could organise a state reception after this year’s 40 Under 40 with the 80 members at Parliament house to officially launch the group and hold the first event.”

Garcia won the State Contribution Award at last year’s 40 Under 40, which was sponsored by KWP! and returns to the awards as a panellist this year.

She said being named in the inaugural 40 Under 40 list in 2018 had helped her consultancy firm.

“If there are young entrepreneurs who want to influence the conversation and have a real impact in driving our state’s future prosperity then nominating for the 40 Under 40 is not just about personal recognition and career advancement, it’s about how they can be part of a movement to really ensure South Australia is strategically positioning for the future,” Garcia said.

“Being connected with KWP! they were able to identify areas to help scale my business and help connect me with potential partners and collaborators.

“I’ve benefitted from it – my business has nearly doubled – and there’s no reason why we can’t facilitate those sorts of opportunities for others.

“I think we are only limited by our imaginations as to what we can create.”

This year’s 40 Under 40 major prize categories are:

Inspiring Disruptor Award  recognises the vision, thought leadership and achievement of a leader in the private or public sector. Thanks to OTR;

Creative Thinker Award for the person who best demonstrates creative thinking in relation to any aspect of their business and uses innovation to progress. Thanks to KWP!

Inspiring Future Collaboration Award  
recognises the ability to work with others innovatively to produce something of lasting value in either the private or public sector. Thanks to Renewal SA;

Advertisement Rural and Regional Award  celebrates an individual who demonstrates influence and leadership in contributing to the prosperity of a rural or regional business and community. Thanks to Piper Alderman;

Entrepreneurial Award recognises an outstanding lateral business thinker and risk taker exhibiting entrepreneurial flair. Thanks to William Buck, and;

First Among Equals Award is selected by the judging panel as the finalist who embodies the 40 Under 40 as the First Among Equals. Thanks to the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Applications close on Thursday, April 25.

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