As a footloose 21-year-old, she left her native Wellington in New Zealand in search of adventure and, for good measure, in pursuit of entrepreneurship. It took her to Britain, from where she thrice took year-long trips around the world, before landing on the Sunshine Coast, after the birth of her son in 2003.
Nine years later, Yvette Adams won two awards at the prestigious 2012 Women in Technology Awards in Brisbane last week – the first Sue Wickenden memorial Entrepreneurial Award and the Employer of Choice award for her leadership at The Creative Collective, her fifth entrepreneurial venture.
“It was an incredible night and I am truly honoured to have been recognised with the Employer of Choice award,” she said. “In 2007 the business was just me, but we are really proud to now employ 5 staff, 35 contractors – many of whom are women and who work around their children, and 2 franchisees. Of course we couldn’t do what we do without each and every one of them.”
Still looking for mentorship
“The Entrepreneurial Award, however, is a truly special honour,” added Adams, whose first venture came when she was a mere 17.
Adams got a trophy, memorial plaque and cash prize for the Entrepreneurial Award. In addition, she will receive 12 months of mentoring from 10 of the top executives including those from Google, GBST and the Queensland government.
“My business is at a point now where I need some highly experienced advisers to guide me,” Adams said. “To have access to these outstanding business minds, who between them have many years of experience, is just what I needed right now. I’ll be using this opportunity to its fullest potential.”
Adams’ Creative Collective is a franchise-based agency offering website design and development, social media, SEO, public relations and other marketing services. A serial entrepreneur, she first started a newspaper when 17 and sold it to an American after publishing just one issue. Her second venture, in 2002, was an award-winning, online t-shirt business for which she received a government grant.
Adams is now working on a new website, awardshub.com. The site aggregates information on all business awards programs around the world to help users apply. The site uses several search criteria to help users identify the awards they may be eligible for.
The Wickenden Entrepreneurial Award was instituted to honour the memory of Sue Wickenden, an entrepreneur and member of the WIT committee who died in a tragic bobsledding accident on Mt. Cootha last year. Wickenden’s husband Brad and son were present at the awards function.