May 19, 2020

How small Australian businesses can take on the world

small business
Export Council of Australia
Micro Small Medium Enterprises
Harry Allan
3 min
How small Australian businesses can take on the world

The Export Council of Australia (ECA) believes that with the right encouragement and tools, more Australian businesses, particularly Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), can take on and succeed in the world of international trade.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were more than 2.17 million actively trading businesses in Australia in June 2016, an increase of 2.4 per cent from June 2015, primarily driven by growth in small businesses (those with fewer than 20 employees).

With 60.7 percent of actively trading businesses in Australia operating as Sole Proprietorships, with no employees, 27.6 percent had 1-4 employees, 9.2 percent had 5-19 employees and 2.3 percent had 20-199 employees. Only 0.2 percent of businesses had 200 or more employees. This means that the overwhelming majority of businesses currently trading in Australia can be defined as MSMEs.

Despite the growing number of Australian businesses, in 2014-15 fewer than 52,000 were actively engaged in exporting goods and services.

ECA CEO, Lisa McAuley said “The ECA has worked closely with Australian businesses for more than 60 years, helping them to take their place on the global stage through world-class education and training.  We understand the value of face-to-face training, but also acknowledge the difficulties faced by particularly small businesses who are time poor and often under resourced.

“For this reason, we have developed our Online Going Global program, aimed at those businesses and individuals who are wanting to upskill before they embark upon their international business journey.”

“The ECA’s Online Going Global program has been developed on the award-winning Open Learning platform.  On this platform, participants not only get access to word-class information and skills training, they become part of an online community that shares ideas, collaborates, and together solves learning problems. 

“Participants also have access to a network of trade professionals and proficient international businesses who will answer questions and share their experience.” Ms McAuley said.

Founder & CEO of OpenLearning Adam Brimo said “We are excited to partner with ECA to give Australian companies the skills they need to thrive in international markets. The Online Going Global program has been built on the concepts of flexibility and engagement to offer busy SME owners the best chance to grow as business leaders.”

“This is a very natural partnership for us. ECA as an organisation places the same value on education and lifelong learning as OpenLearning. In creating these courses, we are looking to take an innovative approach to up-skilling beyond the traditional educational options available to businesses,” Mr Brimo said.

The Online Going Global program consists of 11 Modules, covering all the basics of international business, from selecting the right market, to building staff capacity and pitching for international success.  Upon completion of the 11 modules, participants will have a full body of knowledge, including the capability to complete an international business strategy.

“The ECA is extremely proud of this program.  We have no doubt that companies completing the program will start their international business journey on the right foot and be able to achieve global success,” Ms McAuley said.

Enrolments for the Online Going Global program are now being accepted via Government and industry stakeholders are also encouraged to explore the various licensing options available.

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Jun 13, 2021

Seo JungJin: Who is EY’s World Entrepreneur of 2021?

Kate Birch
3 min
From just US$45,000 capital in 2003 to a world-leading biopharma giant with revenues of US$1.69bn today, Seo JungJin is crowned EY World Entrepreneur 2021

Seo JungJin, founder of biopharma firm Celltrion, which most recently developed an antibody treatment for COVID-19, has been named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2021, becoming the first South Korean in the award’s 21-year history.

Regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates visionary and innovative leaders from across 60 countries who are transforming the world and fostering growth.

JungJin, who is now honoroary chairman of Celltrion Group, was up against a worthy cast of entrepreneurial competitors, taking the crown from among 45 award winners across 38 countries and territories.

Speaking during the virtual event, JungJin described his own interpretation of entrepreneurship as something that brings together “a group of people toward a common vision, embracing challenges as opportunities and committing oneself to contribute to the greater good”.

Why was JungJin crowned King Entrepreneur?

A South Korean native and now 63 years of age, JungJin founded biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion in 2003. In the nearly two decades since its founding, Celltrion has lived up to its goal of advancing health and welfare for all by developing ground-breaking drugs to treat autoimmune disease, various forms of cancer and, most recently, COVID-19.

The company, which JungJin started with just US$45,000 and five of his colleagues, has since growth to more than 2,1000 employees with sales permits in more than 90 countries and revenues exceeding US$1.69bn.

According to the panel, JungJin’s story is a shining example of the power of an unstoppable entrepreneur to change the world with the pandel moved by both his incredible story and his purpose-driven leadership, innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit.

Described by the chair of the EY judging panel Rosaleen Blair as “representing everything an unstoppable should be” from taking on the world’s biggest health care challenges to consistently creating long-term value for his company, JungJin’s story is one of incredible tenacity and perseverance that the judging panel felt most represented the entrepreneurial spirit.

“He’s taken breathtaking risks, both personal and professional, to found Celltrion and grow it into one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies,” says Stasia Mitchell, EY Global Entrepreneurship Leader. “His passion for creating affordable, life-saving health care and flair for tackling global problems has led to many treatments that have helped millions of people worldwide and was especially evident this past year through the creation of a COVID-19 antibody treatment.”

How did JungJin get there?

JungJin's entrepreneurial journey started at an early age when he worked as a taxi driver to get himself through Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. After studying industrial engineering, he rose through the ranks of Daewoo Motor Co. before losing his job amid the carmaker’s financial troubles following the 1997 Asian economic crisis.

Following this, JungJin started collaborating with colleagues to explore business opportunities in different industries, though none delivered lasting success. The turning point came after he attended a talk hosted by renowned scholars, which inspired him to focus on the biopharmaceutical sector.

And so he founded Celltrion with just US$45,000 of his savings. The launch of Remsima, credited with being the world's first antibody biosimilar, quickly moved Celltrion up the ranks of the country's fairly underdeveloped pharmaceutical sector. Celltrion followed this success with the launch of drugs for breast cancer and lymphoma that today are being used worldwide.

With ambitions to be the world’s first in different areas, Celltrion has pioneered numerous uncharted areas to great success over the past two decades, most recently responding to the global pandemic by successfully developing an antibody treatment for COVID-19 and working to ensure a timely supply of the safe and effective treatment.

“When I first started, my vision was to help patients gain access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and thereby enhance the quality of people’s lives,” explains JungJin. “The success of Celltrion has enabled me to expand on this while finding new ways to fuel my entrepreneurial drive.”


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