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40 Under 40 winner of the day: Amy Orange

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From university student to founding director of a social enterprise, Amy Orange’s career has been on a steep trajectory in the past decade. The meteoric rise coupled with a passion for gender equity led to the 33-year-old being a winner in InDaily’s inaugural 40 Under 40 awards this month.

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Orange finished an honours degree in psychology in 2008 and began her career in the not-for-profit community services sector before progressing to executive management and completing an MBA in 2015.

In 2016, she launched Harvest Fair Australia – a social enterprise that uses the power of good food to advance gender equity.

Harvest Fair provides flexible employment for women who have struggled to find a place in the mainstream workforce. The enterprise prepares ready-made meals which are distributed through Drakes retail supermarkets and cafes around Adelaide.

Fresh from her 40 Under 40 recognition, we asked Orange some more about doing business in South Australia.

What do you believe are the strengths of doing business in South Australia?
South Australia is the perfect test bed for innovation. The population size, the affordability, the accessibility and the systemic connections we have between government, universities and the private and social sectors all make for perfect conditions to test new ideas, retain talent and attract international investment. South Australia has a strong history as a socially progressive state, and there are significant opportunities to advance our for-purpose sector as well as our technology and manufacturing sectors through the unique redevelopment of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site.

What do you believe are the weak points of conducting business in South Australia?
The lack of policy and programs at State Government level that recognise, fund and support the emerging for-purpose sector is a weak point that needs to be addressed, particularly as the number of millennials joining our workforce increases. Policy work in this space can also encourage and attract further private investment in this growing space including angel investment, venture capital and philanthropy.

Do you see your future in South Australia?

Yes absolutely – I am a proud born and bred South Australian who loves her home state and all it has to offer. I am excited about the significant contribution I feel I can make to advancing our social impact sector in SA. However, there is a frustrating lack of policy and funding support for innovation and social enterprises compared to the eastern states that must be addressed to ensure talent is retained.

How can the state encourage more of its young leaders to stay?
The state needs to review systems and policies to ensure they remain current and consistent with modern practice and provide opportunities that young leaders are looking for to be able to fulfil their dreams. This includes reducing unnecessary red tape, ensuring affordable access to resources and networks such as high-speed internet, providing funding opportunities and programs to connect and inspire our up and coming leaders and engaging young leaders in regular consultation on new development opportunities.

More about 40 Under 40

An assessment panel representing the South Australian business community judged hundreds of nominees for the inaugural 40 Under 40 awards, which aim to identify and promote a new generation of local leaders under the age of 40.

The final 40 includes a hugely varied collection of South Australian talents, who are making a mark in fields such as health, technology, the media, property, social innovation, agriculture, finance, the law, and much more.

For the full list of 40 Under 40 winners go here.

40 Under 40 is an InDaily initiative supported by the following partners:

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