The South Australian Young Entrepreneur Scheme (SAYES) has been in operation for 18 years!
We recently touched base with past participant Jeremy Hawkes from Bowhill Engineering.
You participated in SAYES in 2005. What did your business look like then and what does it look like now?
Bowhill Engineering were doing some good things back in 2005, but we were operating from a fairly narrow perspective. Being a tradesman without formal qualifications is a good practical platform to build from, but the professionalism and process minded approach that we take now is transforming our company into a collaborative customer focused and strategically mature organisation.
Who was your mentor and how did they help you look at your business in a different light?
Entech’s Managing Director Doug Brown, Entech is a global electronics organisation and the perspective that Doug shared with me really widened the lens that I view the world through. Doug challenged me to think more strategically than I had ever considered, longer term and from a much bigger or higher viewpoint. He wanted me to consider how Bowhill Engineering fitted into that picture.
What was the ultimate learning you took from SAYES that you still use in your business today?
Doug my mentor suggested joining TEC as a way of growing my knowledge through sharing with other CEO’s and this way of accumulating knowledge and networks became instrumental in our business’ success over 10+ years.
What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business?
Don’t try and do everything alone, there are many professionals out there that will be surprisingly helpful if you just approach them respectfully and you’re willing to listen and ask questions.
If you could go back in time, what would you tell your 18-year-old self?
Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink until you run out, wash them straight away, its easier! But seriously, I would say, just believe in yourself, you are so much more capable than you may think!
Do you have an 18th birthday message for SAYES?
Congrats on the 18-year milestone SAYES, you have supported and created a growth platform for many up-and-coming young professionals over many years, such a great program, I hope it keeps going for at least another 18 years.