Today is International Women’s Day, and we thought we’d celebrate the occasion by highlighting the achievements of some of Australia’s most successful female entrepreneurs: Jodie Fox, Melanie Perkins and Rebekah Campbell.

Jodie Fox – Co-founder of design-your-own shoe company ‘Shoes of Prey’

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Jodie comes from a background in advertising and law, and co-founded the company ‘Shoes of Prey’ in 2009, as a means of solving her own problem of never being able to find great shoes.

Shoes of Prey was the first ever design-your-own-shoes website, and the company is now a multi-million dollar international enterprise with stores in the US, Australia and Tokyo. Jodie lives in the US, and constantly travels the world sharing her love of innovation, business, entrepreneurship and a great pair of high heels.

Jodie is half-Sicilian, and her strong determination came from her parents, who both came from extremely poor backgrounds and constantly encouraged her to achieve her dreams.

Jodie’s advice for dreamers? “Do everything before you are ready because you learn so much that way – you do need to have a business plan, but the more that you think about things, the less you’re going to do things and you just learn so much more when you’re doing. The other thing, too, is that you genuinely have to be passionate about it because if you don’t then you’ll give up easily.”

Rebekah Campbell – Internationally recognised serial-entrepreneur

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Rebekah started her first business when she was 7 years old, selling flowers from the footpath outside her family home. She decided to become an entrepreneur when she was 9.

Since her humble beginnings, Rebekah has founded various successful companies including (but not limited to) ‘Scorpio Music,’ which launched the successful music careers of various artists including Matt Corby and Lisa Mitchell; ‘Hey You,’ Australia’s largest mobile ordering and payments platform for cafes and, most recently, the popular discovery app ‘Posse.’

Rebekah is passionate about innovation, awareness and community, and she is an expert at developing strategies to make our lives easier.

Her advice for budding entrepreneurs? “Confidence is not something you just find on the ground, it’s something you really have to work on. I think you have to be confident for people to believe that the business is going to be successful.”

Melanie Perkins – CEO of global multi-million dollar company ‘Canva’ / Australia’s second-richest woman under 40

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Melanie formed her first business when she was 19 years old, selling hand-made scarves that she knitted on her mother’s couch. These days, Melanie is the CEO of the multi-million dollar graphic design company ‘Canva,’ which has been deemed by the Webby Awards as “the easiest to use design software in the world.” Melanie created Canva after studying and teaching design at university, where she realised that most of the design software in action was cluttered, clunky and overly complicated to use.

Like Rebekah, Melanie focuses on implementing simple, easy-to-use software, and she is a great believer in applying heart and confidence in her work: “Everything I have done in my life I have poured my heart and soul into. I think that’s such an important thing, especially when considering what you want to do in life. Confidence is key.”

Melanie’s advice for other business-minded women? “Find things you’re passionate about, and put 110 per cent into those things. That way you’ll have so much more experience for it, you’ll have created your own things, and you’ll know when making your own decisions in life whether you should try an entrepreneurial route or a job that you’re maybe not as interested in. If you have track record of achieving your goals, you’ll feel confident to pursue that path less travelled.”

These determined women have made lasting contributions to international business and technology, and they are just a few shining examples of the wealth of entrepreneurial female talent in Australia. If you’d like to discover more of our Australian female entrepreneurs, check out this article.

Happy International Women’s Day! #IWD2016

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