MATURING BUSINESS INITIATIVE EXPANDS

Written on the 13 August 2010

MATURING BUSINESS INITIATIVE EXPANDS

FRIDAY night drinks and the city’s young entrepreneurs hand out business cards.

It’s all part and parcel of career building in Australia’s big cities, but until recently not seen on the Gold Coast.

KPMG marketing personality Amy Worth has changed that by establishing the YPGC with six other young professionals to bridge the business relationship-building void that has existed on the Gold Coast.

“I was getting frustrated that if I wanted to go to a seminar I had to travel to Brisbane for them, if I wanted to gain knowledge of the industry or generally and that’s not exactly enticing,” explains the 27-year-old.

“This age group are the up-and-comers of the Gold Coast business world and I think in business a lot of it is about the relationships and who you know – that first opportunity to set up those relationships can help you for tens of years to come.

“There are not many opportunities to meet other people in different fields, unlike in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne where there’s a real buzz, a culture of Friday night drinks.

“Especially on the Gold Coast, there’s a lot of small business so quite a few people at our events are directors of companies, CEOs of their own organisations. It’s great that you can meet people from other industries than yours. For example, you might work in the property industry and only ever work with people in that industry, but here it’s something different.”

Worth works in marketing at accounting firm KPMG, a sponsor of the committee alongside Business GC and Shac Communications.

“It’s driven quite independently though and we do the work voluntarily on our own time to put together events – the biggest challenge is having the time and finding the balance with full-time work and other commitments,” she says.

“We started in November last year and it took a while; the process of getting incorporated, branding, launching the website, I had no idea how much demand there was.”

For the opening event at Lauxes, YPGC attracted Gold Coast Football Club (Suns) boss Travis Auld, while demographer Bernard Salt spoke at the June event at Soul.

“We thought it would be either really popular or it would flop at the first event,” says Worth.

“We had capacity for 300 people and tickets were gone in five days over the weekend, so three business days. Then, leading up to the event we had an influx of people calling wanting to know about the event, but we had to turn them away and only had a limited budget.

“We weren’t sure what would happen with the second event when we were charging, we only had a capacity of 100 but we charged $20 per ticket, which is a bargain. Once again tickets were gone way before the event.”

YPGC will hold two more events this year in September and November, with the first featuring Minter Ellison managing partner John Witheriff, while the final 2010 event will likely be a race day.

The Gold Coast has become a land of opportunity for today’s savvy young entrepreneurs and 2010 marks the third year that Gold Coast Business News has showcased the city’s brightest young business minds. If you’re aged under 40 and feel that you deserve your place among the eminent Gold Coast Business News Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalists, click on the '2010 Young Entrepreneur Awards' tab at the top of this page. 


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