5 Australian Entrepreneurs that had an idea and made it happen

Have you got some good business ideas?

Well, you don’t need a million ideas, you just need one!

Here are 5 Australian Entrepreneurs who had one idea and ran with it… all the way to success.

Not to say they didn’t have their ups and downs but one thing they all had in common is a little resilience and a lot of perseverance.

Don’t want to scroll? Just click the Australian Entrepreneur you want to read about below.


Naomi Simson

From: Rural Councils Victoria

Naomi Simson. Enough said.

Simson started out in her front room at home with $25,000, an old computer, and a desire to see everyone having fun and wonderful experiences. That room is where RedBalloon was conceived 15 years ago.

She had no experience in business, but she did have a clear vision. Simson dictated her life and didn’t let it dictate her, leading her to the success of RedBalloon we all see today.

RedBalloon is an online experience retailer that has over 3,500 experiences and is generating over 60 million dollars in revenue per annum.

Simson hasn’t had it easy, developing a website selling experience for money in a time that ‘no one trusted the internet’… it all sounded a bit dodgy.

For the first 2 years, Simson called customers directly to ask about their experience with RedBalloon and had nothing but negative feedback. While some of us may have given up after receiving these unfavourable results, Simson was not one of those people. This just made her work twice as hard to pursue her end goal.

She has always been a firm believer of live what you do, and this comes through in every aspect of her personal and work life. We can all strive to bring the same level of work ethic to our workplace everyday.


Adam Garone

From: Melbourne University Magazine

Adam Garone. What a man and what a moustache.

Ever heard of the Movember movement? Ever wondered how that came about?

A few blokes, some beers, and a handful of jokes about moustaches.

They wanted to bring Moustaches back …. and they did, but for a cause.

Growing a moustache in November ended up not being just a laugh with the boys but an actual movement to fundraise for prostate cancer research.

It started in Australia, later spreading to New Zealand and from the success in these 2 countries, Garone and his team wanted to take Movember global.

However, there was trouble in paradise after pushing his company a little far too fast.

Garone encountered some setbacks initially on the international level.  After expanding to America and expecting the same outcome as Australia and New Zealand.

Sadly the lack of ambassadors on an International scale was the root of Garone’s problems to meet the needs of a global brand.

After 3 years of constant hounding and chasing support he ended up creating a network of 450,000 Movember ambassadors who raised over 80 million dollars for men’s health awareness in 2017 alone.

Adam Garone’s original starting point was similar to a few of our nights out, just some friends having a few laughs, but through his passion, he created a movement to promote awareness for men’s health.

Will you or someone you know be taking part in Movember this year?


Australian Entrepreneurs Justin Butterworth

From: Twitter @ButterworthJust

Who knew there was something before Airbnb. Let alone an Australian owned and created a company.

Well, Justin Butterworth started Rentahome in 1999, 10 years before Airbnb was even pitched.

You could say Butterworth pioneered online holiday rental properties.

He sold his house and everything he owned and started renting for the sole purpose of understanding what the rental game was all about and how he could change it.

There’s a lesson we could all learn from Butterworth’s actions here. In order to provide something of value to our customers, we each have to know what our customers truly need. By becoming one of his own customers, Butterworth could start generating ideas for how to meet that need.

Unfortunately, Butterworth had no idea how he was going to adjust the once fragmented rental home world, but came up with the idea of a website that people could pick someone else’s home to stay in temporarily.

Butterworth’s first booking gave him the extra incentive to take his idea nationally and then later globally.

In 2007 Justin Butterworth sold Rentahome for 29 million dollars…

From selling his home and everything that went with it, to 29 MILLION DOLLARS!!

Butterworth believed in his idea and his passion to change the rental game forever. But his passion for innovating didn’t just stop with Rentahome. He is currently developing an app called Snug, which cuts the paperwork out of renting.

Truly, Justin Butterworth has found the industry he is going to change for the better, and nothing is going to stop him from doing so.


Australian Entrepreneurs Emma Welsh & Tom Griffith

From: Emma & Tom’s 

Emma & Toms. Fresh, premium juices. hmmmmhmmmm.

Emma Welsh is the co-founder of Emma & Toms juices. Welsh has never shied away from the fact that starting and running your own company was hard and took a lot of courage.

Getting an outsider to trust and believe in something that you wholeheartedly believe in was one of Emma Welsh’s biggest struggles.

She got knocked back numerous times and had huge production issues, but after spending a few years learning the ropes, Welsh was even more determined to provide Australia with top quality, minimally processed juices.

After pursuing the right people Emma & Tom’s juices came to life and is now being retailed in over 5,000 independent supermarkets, cafes, and delis.

See what a little faith can do?

This is the last female for this post but here are 7 Kick-Ass Inspirational Female Entrepreneurs


Andre Eikmeier

From: Life Hacker

You won’t be able to find people who love wine more than Vinomofo.

Vinomofo was an idea thought of by Andre Eikmeier in his garage. He loved wine and wanted everyone to feel like a wine connoisseur because everyone deserves good wine.

He describes his own company as ‘the friend that knows everything about wine’, which has always been the goal from day dot.

Eikmeier started off strong finding suppliers for his company. However, that took a turn when bigger companies threatened to drop the suppliers accounts if they continued the business.

There was no way Vinomofo could compete with big-time retailers such as Dan Murphy’s, creating one of the first big hurdles for Vinomofo.

Vinomofo struggled for a while, running out of resources, both financial and employees, the company partnered with Catch Of The Day, an online retailing website.

There were positives and negatives for this move. On the one hand, Vinomofos profit margin was soaring but on the other hand, they were moving away from their original goal.

Eikmeier decided to buy it back for a zero balance.

Sure they had no money but the integrity of the business was more important.

Vinomofo found satisfaction in selling wine to people who actually enjoyed good wine, but didn’t have the whole picture on how to do this.

The team started from scratch again, but with a lot more knowledge of how to get where they wanted to be.

Over the past 3 years, Vinomofo has grown to a company with a run rate of over 50 million dollars, 450,000 members, and a team of over 100.

5 Australian Entrepreneurs that had an idea and made it happen. Launchpad App Development. Naomi Simson: Naomi Simson is the brilliant mind behind Red Balloon, an online experience retailer that does $60 million in revenue per annum. Adam Garone: Adam Garone started the global prostate cancer fundraising movement known as Movember. Justin Butterworth: Justin Butterworth pioneered online holiday rentals 10 years prior to Airbnb. He built his business, Rentahome, Which was sold for $29 million in 2007. Emma Welsh: Emma Welsh is the co founder of Emma & Tom's Juices, a high quality juice business that is currently being distributed across 5,000 independent supermarkets, cafes, and delis. Andre Eikmeier: Andre Eikmeier is the founder of Vinomofo, a business that, despite being bought back from Catch of The Day for a zero balance, currently has a run rate of $50 million.


There you go, 5 Australian entrepreneurs that had an idea and took it all the way to the top.

Lessons are always learnt from positive and negative experiences, the way we chose to respond to them is how we determine our future.

Through perseverance and hard work, anything is possible, it’s just up to you to determine how much you want it.

Have you got some other Australian entrepreneurs you’ve learnt valuable lessons from? Let us know in the comments.

And now that your mind is ticking, here are some resources to help you get started.