SUCCESSFUL women from the University who have made a name for themselves in business have been recognised as strong female role models at the 2008 Telstra Business Women’s Awards. Professor Margaret Abernethy, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Commerce, was named 2008 National Telstra IBM Community and Government Business Woman of the Year. Alumna Naomi Simson (BCom 1988) was the National Winner of the 2008 Nokia Business Award for Innovation. Ms Simson (pictured) is the Chief Experience Officer and founder of popular online gift service RedBalloon. Ms Simson started RedBalloon as a small home business in 2001, and has since expanded it to a thriving online company with 46 staff in Australia and New Zealand. The company offers gifts of experience, and has 900 suppliers in Australia and 700 in New Zealand. Ms Simson said winning her Telstra Business Women’s Award acknowledged those who were prepared to take a risk and do something different.
“It shows you can start with nothing (from the front room of your house – with second hand computers) and create a multi million dollar business that is globally recognised as best of class,” she said.
Ms Simson shares the story behind her company and rise to success, as well as some tips for people wanting to break into business, in an interview with Melbourne Alumni e-news. Click here to read it.