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Nikias Leigh, 2011 Anthill 30under30 Up-and-Comer


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What is 30under30?

30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. This year’s batch of nominees was extensive and impressive. So much so that we believe several young talents who didn’t snag 30under30 top honors still deserve your attention and recognition. We call them our Up-and-Comers. More.

Nikias Leigh, VIC (b. 1988)

Name: Nikias Leigh
Age: 23 (Born: March 1988)
Gender: Male
State: VIC

Wedding photography is the family business for Nikias Leigh. His father runs Zenfoto, a thriving business in North Queensland. Leigh decided to follow in dad’s footsteps, but to take the business in a bold direction.

Leigh set up a franchising model for the business. Now, anyone who wants to get into professional photography can join the Zenfoto family. For a $25,000 franchise fee, a person will get training from Nikias’ father, Roy, along with advice, support and access to products from Zenfoto contacts.

Leigh says the franchising approach is just getting off the ground — no franchisees yet but several strong possibilities.

Meanwhile, Leigh opened up a strong revenue stream with a group-buying site called Boutique Bride. He is building interest from merchants for the site, which he said grew out of necessity. Leigh is operating in an extremely tight budget; when he learned it cost $6,000 a year for Zenfoto to secure a banner ad on a wedding directory, “I nearly died.” He decided to pour that potential ad expenditure into the group-buying venture.

The young man knows how to stretch a dollar. “Instead of spending six months worth of research and planning, conduct six months worth of selling on the streets,” he says. “Have a go at it yourself before paying others.”

He convinced a former colleague to fund the start-up of his ventures. “It was a risk for him, yes, but a greater risk for me,” Leigh says. “Now I’m accountable to shareholders, but having a helpful partner has made a difference.”

Leigh says one of his powerful motivations is the desire to prove to his family that he can make this all work. “I have dropped out from uni three times already, and having a dad who is also a solicitor, and two older sisters who also are solicitors, I am aiming to show them that this is my niche, and that being a lawyer is not the best career path in the world.”

Anthill asks: Nikias Leigh, what’s your super-power?

“Seeking out a good deal. I hate paying full price for anything. Yes, I have been labelled as tight, but it very much comes in handy when negotiating with contractors and freelancers.”


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