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What is 5over50?
5over50 is an Anthill initiative launched in mid-2010 as an offshoot of its popular 30under30 awards. It recognises Australian entrepreneurs over age 50 who have started a new business in the past five years. More.
Breed Lewis, VIC (b. 1953)
Name: Breed Lewis
Age: 57 (Born: January 1953)
Breed Lewis wants to get past the Band-Aid approach to “green” business practices.
The Melbourne-based business and service consultant says sustainable practices often are duct-taped to company protocol — and it shows in lost potential efficiency. In addition, she says, such jerry-rigged approaches do little to change a company’s culture.
Lewis’ year-old startup, a IT services consulting firm called Macanta, want to change all that.
“We want to empower organisations to use their existing framework to deliver sustainable services to the business,” she says, “therefore changing the behaviour of people so that sustainability becomes business as usual rather than having to ‘do green IT’ and clean up after the damage is done.”
(Oh, about the accompanying image of a salmon. It’s from Macanta’s home page, because the consultants impart a lesson from the Salmon of Knowledge.)
Macanta marked Lewis’ entrepreneurial rebirth after she was retrenched in 2009. She took advantage of her over-55 status and started drawing her superannuation while firing up her new business.
“Others may have felt like a victim being retrenched at that age, but I felt it was my lucky break,” she says.
Lewis does not have a tertiary education, because the people around her expected she would be a full-time mother. And she indeed brought up her kids — while she progressed through jobs such as part-time bank teller, administrative assistant, account manager and national sales manager.
“My children are now adults, and my greatest achievement. Now it is my turn to shine,” she says.
Lewis’ fellow director of Macanta, Karen Ferris, is an expert in IT service management and an experienced consultant and trainer. And she brought with her the idea for eco-ITSM, a service product designed to guide a company to sustainability. Lewis says she found another partner who was able to “automate” eco-ITSM, meaning Macanta to sell it for use by consultants worldwide.
Lewis says eco-ITSM gives Macanta a tool no other IT services consultant is using, while Ferris gives the business credibility in the IT field. And Lewis’ talent as an entrepreneur and “connector” means Ferris isn’t just another name on a convention agenda — she’s the keynote speaker.
“I totally believe Macanta will be successful,” Lewis says. “I just love the ride — it is exciting, it is liberating, and I am having the time of my life.”
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