Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp speaks at the HInkler Innovation Series.
Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp speaks at the HInkler Innovation Series. Chris Burns

Business over borders: Entrepreneur connects Bundy to world

QUEENSLAND'S Chief Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp was setting up connections between local businesspeople and international contacts, and that was even before the Hinkler Innovation Series officially began.

Ms Kemp had a private one-hour meeting with a local company founder, and then a round-table discussion with 30 business representatives even before the meet and greet lunch, during which one of the many conversations was what she did as a chief entrepreneur.

The Brisbane woman is the founding chief executive of technology enterprise Everledger, but since last year gained her current governmental role in helping entrepreneurs develop their ideas, find funding, make contacts, and confront the challenges stopping them in reaching an international market.

"I'll take those ideas back and then I'll germinate them through the system, and then hopefully they'll fertilise,” Ms Kemp said.

Her office also looked at how the state government might be able to fund the idea.

There were 80 different programs that could support Bundaberg innovators.

"A part of my job in my conversations is to say 'these programs are here', 'this is how you engage', and 'this is where you will be able to go to find that funding', she said.

Ms Kemp specially listed the United Kingdom, Israel, India, and Asia as examples of potentially growing markets, particularly considering the good reputation of well informed Queensland entrepreneurs.

"These countries are very well associated with Australia having incredible respect for who we are as a nation,” she said.

"And more important, they understand that founders that come from Queensland are here and understand the business of entrepreneurship.”

The world was increasingly understanding "globalisation 4.0” through technologies that no longer considered the limitation of borders, and many of the same social concerns that Bundaberg had were similar to other cities across the world.

"Concerns about aging, population, the future of jobs and skills that are needed to create career paths for the future, these exist in every town, city, corner-store, pub location in the world,” Ms Kemp said.

"Whether you're here in a rural location in India or whether you're in Gladstone, or Bundaberg, or Cairns, these are still the same concerns as the human capital of the world.”

She said that that spirit of entrepreneurship overcame the major challenges.

"Sometimes we become paralysed about what's not possible than what's possible,” Ms Kemp said.

"Being an entrepreneur enables us to be certain in uncertainty so that drives ideas and drives the courage to be able to step into that idea.

"Those that are fearful of those ideas stay in the current state of today.”

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