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Steve McLeod, 2011 Anthill 30under30 Honourable Mention

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What is 30under30?

30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. This year saw more outstanding entries than ever before. So, we thought we would highlight some of the bright and innovative nominees who just missed Top 30 by a wink. Behold, our 2011 30under30 Honourable Mentions! More.

Steve McLeod, VIC (b. 1984)

Name: Steve McLeod
Age: 27 (Born: May 1984)
Gender: Male
State: VIC

When we met Steve McLeod last year, he was steadily ascending the ladder to full-scale market domination with his training company, Fire and Safety Australia.

Cut to the present, and he’s still pretty much right on track. He’s doubled his staff (whom he calls “team members”) and annual revenues, now estimated at $2 million. Plus, his organisation has a full-time presence in every mainland state.

McLeod was inspired to found Fire and Safety by his experience with the fire brigade.

“I went to lots of accidents and incidents and I wanted to prevent these from happening,” he says.

The company performs on-site emergency response training tailored to each client, and also offers consultancy services in workplace risk assessment.

Just four years in the business, McLeod has built his aspiring empire by exploiting the weaknesses of his competitors and the disjointedness of their market presence to emerge as the nationwide standard in safety training.

Besides that, you could say he makes safety look cool, via the producing and marketing of slick videos, online and mailed directly to prospects, who can preview the hands-on experience of the training. “Abseiling off large buildings, putting out large fires and performing CPR make great video footage,” he says. “It draws people in.”

McLeod has as much devotion to motivating his team members — some nearly twice his age — as to motivating trainees. Every six months, he holds a three-day conference in Melbourne, where his employees get to give their say about the company.

Once, he surprised them by showing up in a clown suit. The message to the team, however, was no joke: “I did it to persuade them that we need to be different compared to the competition,” he says. “We need to act differently to make a difference and be memorable for our clients.”

With nearly 11,000 trainees counted last year and growth ever on the horizon, McLeod has set his Big Hairy Audacious Goal: to train 100,000 people before the business turns 10.

However far Fire and Safety Australia goes, it’s safe to assume that McLeod and the team will be doing things in their own memorable way.

Anthill asks: Steve McLeod, What motivates you as an entrepreneur?

“Every person we speak with, every learner we teach, every organisation we visit and in everything that we do. We can change Australian workplaces forever and we can make a positive difference….one experience at a time.”

Fire and Safety Australia Demo

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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.

Four years in the business, McLeod has built his aspiring empire by exploiting the weaknesses of his competitors and the disjointedness of their market presence to emerge as the nationwide standard in safety training.

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