Young leaders mean business

Professionals under 35 are emerging as a new class of leaders on the Gold Coast business scene, creating a raft of start-ups and SMEs that call the city home.

The Gold Coast Junior Chamber of Commerce, the industry body and voice for young professionals aged 18-35, said there has been a spike at its events.

President Chaz Prezident said registration for its events had doubled over the past six months.

“In 2015 we were attracting fewer than 70 people to our monthly networking event and today we are hitting more than 140 registrations,” he said.

“Venues are expanding and catering to the overflow and we have received incredible support from industry figures, Gold Coast venues and the media, which see that we are hungry to grow industry in the city and create more economic opportunities.

“In the past 12 months we have hosted almost 20 events ranging from our monthly ‘Kickstart’ drinks evening, at which attendance is free, to specialty talks by industry professionals.

“We have done a business toolkit tailored to start-ups and covered topics from insolvency to whisky appreciation, which is an ice breaker and a conversation starter.”

Cr Hermann Vorster, chairman of the Gold Coast council’s economic development and major projects committee and the city’s youngest councillor, said: “In total, 96 per cent of people employed on the Gold Coast work in a small business, so SMEs and start-ups are creating the fabric and culture of this city.

“The Gold Coast is growing younger and it used to be the case that people came here to retire. But, if you look at the trend, young professionals under 35 are relocating to the city in the prime of their lives and choosing to stay.”

As featured in the Gold Coast Bulletin, 27 February 2017 page 17.