5 of Australia’s Most Inspirational Businesswomen (And How They Got Where They Are Today)

Without any doubt, women hold a very important position in Australia’s retail business sector. Lots of successful businesswomen are creating thousands of job opportunities in the market and helping to improve the national economy.

Our purpose in this article is not to rank these successful businesswomen, we just wanted to throw a spotlight on some of these inspirational individuals; people that may influence you, too!  

Uppma Virdi: Founder of Chai Waali

Uppma Virdi is a 26 year- old Indian-Australian lawyer. While working full-time at a law firm, one day she decided to take a chance and her tea business idea ‘Chai Walli‘, a shot. The rest is history, and as well as dozens of stockists of her company’s award-winning tea across Australia, she won the title of  Business Woman of the Year at the 2016 Indian Australian Business and Community Awards.

All this happened because she had faith in herself and took a chance on following her passion for tea; an interest that spurned from her grandfather, a doctor who specialised in herbs and spices. Uppma also runs “The Art of Chai” workshops to teach people how to brew the perfect chai. Meanwhile, she is still working as a lawyer.

Katie Page: CEO, Harvey Norman

An Australian business executive and the CEO of retailer Harvey Norman, Katie Page was ranked fourth on The Australian Business Review’s list of the “50 most powerful women in business” in 2015. Page started working at Harvey Norman in 1983 as an assistant. Today the company has almost 200 stores in Australia and more than 80 stores overseas. Katie Page is also a director at The Retail Council.

Maxine Horne: CEO, Vita Group

A CEO, speaker, author, commentator, and a mom. Maxine Horne is an experienced businesswoman in the technology industry, and she established one of the first mobile phone store chains in shopping malls, Fone Zone, back in 1995. Two decades later, that first Fone Zone shop has become Vita Group and the co-founder of the start-up is now the CEO of its listed company. Page made this all happen, she says, through “thinking smart and running hard”.

Lesley Gillespie: Co-Founder Bakers Delight

In 1980, Lesley Gillespie and her husband opened the first Bakers Delight in Hawthorn, Melbourne, with their friend. Today, Bakers Delight can be found in more than 700 locations across Australia, Canada, the USA, and New Zealand. Gillespie says a succession plan is of the “utmost importance” for family businesses like Bakers Delight. She was awarded an Order of Australia award for her support of charitable and sporting organisations.

Janine Allis: Founder, Boost Juice/ Retail Zoo

Janine Allis started Boost Juice from her home in 2000. Today, the business has franchises in 13 countries. The successful businesswoman also stars as one of the “sharks” on Channel 10’s reality show, Shark Tank. She has been awarded accolades such as Telstra Business Women of the Year, Amex Retailer of the Year, and Awarded Exporter of the Year.

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