Adelaide - from city of churches to city of entrepreneurs
It’s heartening to see the city I call home, Adelaide, taking big steps into becoming a city for entrepreneurs. In so many ways, Adelaide is perfect for that.
A good article from BRWcovering Entrepreneurs Week which concluded last week. I had the opportunity to talk about creating innovation spaces in the government as part of the Intrapreneurs Forum in that week.
I strongly believe in the need and future for Entrepreneurship (in established orgs and startups) and this change in the climate in Adelaide is perfect for that.
Reeling from three years of job-killing decisions made elsewhere — to close car manufacturing and defer the massive Olympic Dam mining project — Adelaideans have become more determined to control their own destiny, says Paul Daly, who consults on entrepreneurship to Adelaide City Council.
“There’s something in the water lately. The government has shifted its focus to supporting home-grown business, but a lot of the mentoring and organisation that we need, to encourage start-ups, is being volunteered by our own successful businesspeople,” he says.
Locals need an entrepreneurial “hero” to inspire them, Daly argues. One frequently mentioned during Entrepreneur’s Week was Janine Allis, whose Boost Juice empire began in Adelaide. It took advantage of the fact it’s a relatively cheap place to open and test a central CBD store, before doing likewise in Sydney or Melbourne.
Another is Hackett, the Internode-founding millionaire whose enduring loyalty to his hometown has seen him establish Base64, a co-working and incubator space at inner-city Kent Town.
The most up-front catalyst is probably Morgan, the co-founder of online wine merchant Vinomofo. He cashed in his stake in the business and fled Melbourne’s weather to return to his hometown, where he runs The Engine Room. It’s a networking club with a sidecar investment fund that’s attracted memberships from over 500 South Australian companies.