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These executives have completed MBA's and started their own companies.

She discovered her niche in the market while working out at home during lockdown. “I always had her million ideas,” says Richards. “I’ve been plus size all my life, and shopping for clothes was very frustrating, if not impossible.”

Larger bodies were largely ignored in the sports and activewear industry, and as interest in working out grew, Richards realized he couldn’t buy a sports bra his size. ‘ she says.

So Richards decided to explore the idea of ​​selling plus-size sports bras.

The data was on her side. Her 67% of Australian women are considered plus size (size 14 and above), but only her 6.7% of retailers offer plus size clothing. According to her, the average Australian woman’s waist size corresponds to her 16 to 18. But sports bra makers seem to have decided to ignore plus-size women entirely.

Richards jumped at the chance to explore her startup idea in a two-week AGSM incubator program called New Wave.

“I used the idea of ​​a sports bra, a radically adjustable sports bra for plus-size women,” she says. She won the program’s Pitch Her competition, and a survey on bra ideas got her nearly 700 responses.

“Hundreds of women have joined the waiting list.”

Her company, AmpleFolk, will launch its first collection early next year. The collection includes plus-size sports bras, leggings and towels, designed with the help of professional swimwear designers.

Richards says he focused his MBA studies on solving AmpleFolk’s business problems, building comprehensive business plans, growth strategies over five to 10 years, and scenario planning for risk mitigation. “I didn’t even know how to create a spreadsheet,” she says.

But I’m sure she understands the intricacies of business planning.

David Mallett, Yanun Project Services

David Mallett started the company in 2019 after completing his MBA from the University of Adelaide. He was motivated by his passion for building independent, Indigenous owned and operated businesses. “We are pretty underrepresented in the professional services space,” he says.

Mallet is originally from Ngaringeri, South East South Australia and joined the Navy after finishing school. He worked in Australia’s elite special forces as a clearance diver and later as a sniper with the 2nd Commando Regiment (part of Tactical Assault Group East). After training for the Iraqi police in Iraq, Mallett was forced to return to Australia due to a serious back injury requiring surgery and rehabilitation.

David Mallett

David Mallett started his own company while completing a master’s degree in project management from the University of South Australia.

Looking to the private sector and further education, he graduated from the University of South Australia in 2011 with a Master’s degree in Project Management.

“I enjoyed that kind of work. After spending some time in the construction industry, I spent a few years at Iluka Resources,” he says.

Mallett worked on planning and scheduling mining development projects, but eventually decided to pursue an MBA degree from the University of Adelaide and launch his own company, Yanun Project Services, in 2019.

The COVID-19 pandemic swept across Australia shortly after Mallett launched the company, but Mallett spent two years working with the Department of Defense on an ill-fated future submarine program that brought his young company to a soft landing. I had already signed the contract.

An MBA course in Adelaide, he says, boosted his confidence in his business skills and provided a solid foundation of foundational knowledge. “I felt that I had the motivation to start my own business, but I probably lacked the sophistication of knowing all the methodologies and understanding the ins and outs,” he says.

“I was a very operational type of person, but I had to get out of there and look down from my balcony.”

Mallett graduated this month and his company is up and running, consulting on capital projects across the country for clients including Defense, Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation and Aurecon (Transport NSW).

Yanun employs eight people and Mallett has set a model for indigenous development pathways by recruiting indigenous candidates, mentoring them and partnering with the right companies.

“I find solid candidates from community connections and school graduates and take them to real jobs,” he says.

Candidates earn a certificate in project management, giving them exposure to projects and teams in large companies. “These trainees are still employed by us, trained and mentored, and we provide them with all pastoral care,” Mallett says. I sit in our office once or twice a day, but I also sit in corporate offices.”

The plan is to expand the pool of Australian First Nations professional resources, and Mallett said the system works well with BHP. Defense contractor BAE Systems will soon join him. He adds that companies have been very supportive of this model and the opportunity to bring specialized expertise to Indigenous Australians.

Mallett credited the success of his young company to his mentor, Jim Willie, then a lead entrepreneur in South Australia, whom he met through Damien Scanlon, then MBA director at the University of Adelaide. I think. “he [Whalley] It took me through Yanun’s early days,” says Mallett. “He opened the door for me.”

Andrew Fitzgerald, Gospel Distillery

Andrew Fitzgerald also has an engineering and project management background, but he wanted to move completely across the field. He worked in mining for his 17 years, and feasibility projects for the last 3-4 years, but changed gears and co-founded his own company, Lai He whiskey production and marketing.

Andrew Fitzgerald started a gospel distillery and turned to the MBA program to acquire the necessary management skills.

Andrew Fitzgerald started a gospel distillery and turned to the MBA program to acquire the necessary management skills.

He and his business partner started distilling whiskey in Brunswick, Melbourne in 2015 and launched Gospel Distillery in late 2019. .

Gospel Straight Rye Whiskey is made from 100% Australian rye grown in South Australia’s Murray Murray region to meet the growing needs of international rye whiskey aficionados.

Fitzgerald quickly realized that maximizing market opportunities required specialized retail knowledge. “I thought I was stepping into a sea completely unfamiliar to me,” he says. “From delivering projects in the mining industry to launching consumer products in the international market, they are worlds apart.”

An MBA course at Deakin University helped him understand aspects of the business he hadn’t encountered in the mining sector. His company now manufactures and sells The Gospel and produces beverages for other companies under distillation contracts.

“With Deakin, I was able to do a lot of the assignments and use my business as a foundational research, which was very important,” he says. “It’s like digging deep into market analysis. That’s what you think, but you don’t have to. MBA pretty much forced me to do that. I found that very rewarding.” .”

The core subject matter of this course on market strategy inspired his business plan. he said:

He is currently developing another product. The release is scheduled for next year, and he will graduate from the University of Adelaide with an MBA by the end of this year.

“One of the things I learned in my MBA is the penetration that comes from focusing on one thing,” he says. “It’s about deep and narrow entry into the market. We’ve grown from there and having a single focus means we can be an authority figure for that particular kind of whiskey.”