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What is 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative that was launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.
Steve McLeod, VIC (b. 1984)
Name: Steve McLeod
Age: 26 (Born: May 1984)
Safety is Steve McLeod’s business. And business is good.
In 2007, at age 23, he parlayed a background in emergency response into a company that became Fire and Safety Australia, which offers workplace training in every state and territory on the continent.
(That’s McLeod in the picture, taking part in “vertical rescue training” — more than 195 metres over the Melbourne Central Business District.)
Imagine this youngster making sales pitches to heads of multinational companies, convincing them they need to take their workplace safety to another level, and that he was the one to help them do it.
“I didn’t give them my age,” he says now.
Today, Fire and Safety Australia has 11 full-time employees and six casual staff, and McLeod serves as managing director. He also has 16 co-providers who run safety-training business as licensees of his company.
Fire and Safety Australia turned over $1.4 million in 2009-10 and projects more than $2 million in 2010-11.
It wasn’t an easy path to this point. McLeod admits he started the business with the wrong partner. And though they parted ways, “this mistake nearly cost me my business and it did cost me a lot of money.”
He also drove himself — literally — to grow the company. “I was able to grab several large national contracts and ‘punching well above our weight’ and flying interstate and completing the training/consultancy myself. Often this meant over 10 trips interstate per month for over 12 months.
And McLeod continues to set his sights high: “I want our company to become the sole supplier for Australia’s largest 100 companies so that we build our company into a world-class business and build a world-class team.”
Steve McLeod’s favorite quote:
“You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”
— Wayne Gretsky
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.