Soon after launching our 30under30 awards, in late 2007, members of the Anthill staff began to receive polite, sometimes disgruntled, emails and phone calls from Australian entrepreneurs outside of this age bracket.
The overall message involved a desire to be included in programs like the 30under30.
As we explained at the time, the purpose of the 30under30 is to promote a shift in the cultural landscape of Australia and encourage the fastest growing segment of the Australian workforce (Gen Y) to consider business and industry creation as a career path.
We all understand that the Australia population is aging and appreciate that this will place a greater and greater burden on our younger generations to generate national wealth as more and more baby boomers enter retirement. As such, the 30under30 was based on a strong ‘policy’ rationale (that will eventually dawn on our political decision makers, probably when too late).
Furthermore, other Anthill programs, such as the Cool Company Awards and the SMART 100, are not age specific, already provide a way to celebrate innovation in Australia and are usually dominated by entrepreneurs with a few more years to refine their craft.
Since then, the 30under30 has enjoyed three successful years as the largest program of its kind in Australia.
However, earlier this year, the argument was put to the Anthill crew that a similarly worthy agenda exists.
If baby boomers are nearing retirement, isn’t there an equal imperative to foster a culture of business creation among this set?
We agreed and the 5over50 was born.
However, unlike most award programs recognising the achievements of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs, we didn’t want the 5over50 to simply provide another round of accolades for the same small set of already well-known industry leaders, who have spent a lifetime dedicated to business development.
Rather, it made more sense to identify new role-models — baby-boomers who have found the joys, thrills, spills and rewards of entrepreneurship later in life.
For that reason, the program was designed to only recognise entrants who are over 50, Australian and have set up a new business in the last five years.
As a result, you will find few familiar names in our inaugural 5over50. Rather, you will discover five inspiring stories of people who have uprooted their lives, later in life, to pursue entrepreneurial ventures, out of both passion and necessity.
They are Anthill’s inaugural 5over50.
5OVER50 Awards – The Inaugural Winners
|Peter Murphy||1948||Male||NSW||Stonebridge Systems|
|Sally Arnold||1950||Female||VIC||Corporate Creative Directions|
|John Maher||1950||Male||VIC||Rebound Discs|
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