Entrepreneur-in-residence (EiR) programs are growing in popularity in the Australian economy, including the higher education system. Dr Julienne Senyard and Associate Professor Naomi Birdthistle from the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation have invited three entrepreneurs-in-residence to share their hands-on knowledge with Griffith students—Alanna Bastin-Byrne, Jock Fairweather and Scott Miller.

Alanna Bastin-Byrne

Griffith alumnus, Alanna Bastin-Byrne is the Director of Femeconomy, a national membership organisation that educates how purchasing decisions can create gender equality.  With over 18 years’ experience in marketing, communications and community development leadership in the UK and Australia, Alanna has been involved with a number of community-based activities to extend the Femeconomy ethos, including a TEDx Talk, mentorships and guest speaking,  

“I strive to inspire and create positive outcomes for the wider community, through activities that create change for good.”

“When I studied at Griffith, I had the opportunity to connect with people from many industries. This was instrumental in shaping my career. I am looking forward to connecting with Griffith students to help their own career journeys,” Alanna said.

“I am also looking forward to learning from the best and brightest minds at Griffith on how Femeconomy’s community can continue to advance gender equality, by using economic levers to drive change.” 

“I think COVID-19 gives the world a focus on accelerating the systemic adoption of ‘for purpose’ companies. According to the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer, 73 per cent of people believe companies can be profitable and impact the social and economic conditions of the communities in which they operate. We are seeing new pop up ecosystems arise as companies across industries partner to respond to critical needs for example, Accor Hotels providing its portfolio of hotels as crisis accommodation for domestic and family violence victims.”

“According to Deloitte, in the next 3-5 years companies could shift towards a more empathetic stance on to how they can best serve customers, shareholders and employees to rebuild after the crisis. Larger organisations with legacy systems and structures will take longer to shift towards true corporate social responsibility and investing in communities. Entrepreneurs can build that into the fabric of their businesses from the outset.”

In partnership with the 30% Club, Femeconomy developed a Creating Gender Equality through Procurement Toolkit and Policy for organisations to implement as part of their ethical supply chains. The Workplace Gender Equality Agency has updated its Employer of Choice citation from 2020-21 to include gender equality procurement principles.

Jock Fairweather

Jock Fairweather is a Curator of Jockefeller | Shoulder on the fisherman’s club | Captain of Evermeta | Partner of flywheel | Founder and Elcapitano of Little Tokyo Two | B Corp member | Lord Mayors Young Business Person of the Year | Multiple board member | Serial judge and panelist | Consortium member of GenerationIn | Brisbane Angel | Gold Coast Angel and started it all with a women’s luxury shoe label. 

According to Jock, entrepreneurship is likely split into 3 categories:

1. Short term innovation acquisitions; entrepreneurs build small innovations in niche segments that displace larger organisations and get bought within 3 years. Building global brand names will slow down massively.

2. Intrapreneurship; finding businesses owners that want to hire people to be part of ‘red teams’ (innovation teams) that can experiment continuously and build out processes/systems that can be scaled across an organisation once it has been proven.

3. creatives; a big tailwind towards creativity and content production. As jobs become harder to get, larger conglomerates begin to vertically integrate into everything in your life and global payment schemes become possible – creativity/ content generation will be needed to occupy people’s time.

“Ultimately, the people who choose to champion originality are the ones who propel us forward.

“Their inner experiences are not any different from our own. They feel the same fear and self-doubt as the rest of us. What sets them apart is that they take action anyway. They know in their heart of hearts that failing would yield less regret than failing to try.”

Scott Miller started his first business at age 14 selling keyrings at local markets before growing it to an e-commerce brand shipping thousands of units a month by the time he was 15. At 16 he launched a company creating holograms for events and marketing and by the time he was in grade 12 he was travelling around the world working with leading brands on their events.

Scott Miller

After graduating year 12 at the end of 2017 I started running my businesses full time and found my real passion which is working with young people around the world to show them that age, location, and background is no longer a barrier for success in today’s innovation economy. 

“I am hoping to lead by example to show other young people the amazing things they can do and the opportunities they can take if they both work hard and work smart.”

 “I am looking forward to working with the Griffith team to ensure that the university continues to deliver programs and courses that are real, relevant and relatable as they prepare their students for the future of work. As well as this, I look forward to connecting with the communities across the university to show students in different faculties the power of entrepreneurship and business skills.  

“I’ve been incredibly excited to be working with the Griffith Business School team to develop their youth outreach strategy as we build programs and resources to engage future Griffith students, showing them how they can pursue their passions and help change the world in their own way at Griffith.“

“It’s important to understand that entrepreneurship is more than just starting the next Facebook or Microsoft. Entrepreneurial skills and mindsets are essential for success in the workforce of the future regardless of whether you want to be a teacher or a lawyer, nurse, performer, or anything in between. These are skills around thinking on your feet, delegating roles, communicating ideas and more. All skills that we all need to thrive in today’s globalised workforce.” 

“Great things never come from comfort zones. To achieve truly great things and to stand out from the rest, you need to be pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Think about that at least once a month, how are you pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone right now? And how are you growing?”

“Regardless of your age, postcode or background, anyone can start and build a business and that’s what we aim to show you. There will never be the perfect time or the perfect idea, sometimes you just have to give it a go and just start. You never know where it will take you.”