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40 Under 40 winner of the day: Sarah Bartholomeusz


An author, chorister and founder of her own law firm, Sarah Bartholomeusz knows how to multi-task.

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The 38-year-old has worked as a lawyer in Adelaide for the past 15 years and held roles with companies including Viterra and Elders before starting her own firm, You Legal, in 2013.

The University of Adelaide law and politics graduate also sits on a number of boards and is a mentor at innovation incubator ThincLab.

Bartholomeusz was named a winner of the inaugural InDaily 40 Under 40 Awards in June.

Since opening its doors a little over four years ago, You Legal has grown to a team of 14, servicing more than 1300 clients.

Bartholomeusz embarked on a mission to transform the way legal services were delivered to business clients, by using an innovative business model, minimising costs and overheads while maximising productivity.

As more industries gravitate toward the gig economy, You Legal led the industry in this space.

The mother of two this year published her third legal book and is also an active member of community choir Umbrella Acapella.

We asked her some more about doing business in South Australia.

What do you believe are the strengths of doing business in South Australia?

The cost of living compared to other capitals. It is also a good test audience for starting a business – South Australians can be price-sensitive and are considered with their decision-making.

What do you believe are the weak points of conducting business in South Australia?

The limited number of big corporate businesses with head offices here [which] affects our remoteness.

Do you see your future in South Australia?

Yes, it is the best place in the world to bring up a family (I have two kids – they are four and six). The environment is fair and stable for business.

How can the state encourage more of its young leaders to stay?

Don’t encourage them to stay. Entice them back when they start having families – encourage them to travel after school or university and cut their teeth in other businesses and then once they have demonstrated the ability to start-up, give them incentives to move back here to scale. Provide fast internet and loan incentives to buy houses near good schools to lock them in until the loan is repaid. Support growth accelerators instead of startup incubators. Start-up entrepreneurs want to be east for the experience when they are starting up. Work with the natural flow of people considering returning here when they start a family. It will flow more naturally and you will have 50 per cent win rate instead of a 5 per cent win rate and generate way more jobs and production.

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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