Run The World Instagram Competition

Instagram Competition 25 - 29th of August Terms and Conditions

- Competition entries are only valid if you regram one of the Run The World instagram photos, with a comment on the photo to say why you're looking forward to seeing the speaker, hashtag #runtheworld2014 and follow @theleaguewomen.
- Competition closes on Midday (Aus Eastern Standard Time) 29th August 2014.
- Valid only to entries that are posted with pubic profiles so that @theleaguewomen can see your entry.

- Tickets only include entry to Run The World Conference 2014. Transport, flights not included.


The 'Run The World' Inspirational Entrepreneurs


With no formal education after finishing high school, Wills would sell handmade jewellery at a local market on weekends, while working a retail job through the week.

With an opportunity to showcase her designs at Australian Fashion Week in 2004 at a cost of $500, Wills took the opportunity, hoping to simply make the cost back. She ended up writing $17,000 in orders over four days. Quitting her retail job the following day, Wills committed herself to building the SAMANTHA WILLS brand, known specifically for its bohemian luxe aesthetic of costume and fine jewellery. Today, her pieces are stocked in department stores around the world, and boast a cult following through the brand’s digital channels.

An A-list celebrity following, an appearance on the ‘Sex and the City’ movie, and constant magazine features have seen Wills’ profile rise internationally, and she has been touted by fashion writer Inez Mendoza as ‘Australia’s biggest export since Vegemite,’ and a ‘breakout star’ by the New York Times.

Often referenced by marketing experts as an example of ‘how to’ do successful social media, Wills is a known pioneer of the Australia digital landscape, taking the brand’s origins of costume jewellery to now house a portfolio of fine jewellery, handbags and a bridal division. This commercial savvy, creative flair and digital know-how, combined with her endorsement deals, makes Wills a bankable business.

Samantha now represents an award-winning brand, having won a ‘Prix de Marie Claire’ fashion award in 2013 for Best Australian Accessory Brand, and ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2012 by Cosmopolitan magazine. She splits her time between her homes in Sydney and New York City.

Jodie Fox, Founder of Shoes of Prey

What woman doesn’t want the perfect pair of shoes? Jodie Fox is no different. Driven by her passion for shoes, but frustrated by her endless hunt for exactly what she was looking for, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Jodie, along with former Googlers Mike Knapp and Michael Fox, co-founded Shoes of Prey, an ecommerce site that empowers women to design their own shoes to their exact specifications.

From a background in advertising and law, Jodie now applies her communication savvy and sense of style to her true passion: outfitting women around the world in the most beautiful heels possible.

Jess Hatzis, Bree Johnson and Erika Geraerts co-founders of Frank Body

Willow & Blake are writers who dislike the words collective and bespoke more than they dislike coffee with milk in it.

As a communications agency it's their job to think and write creatively for brands.

After working separately across the fields of copywriting, editorial, and social media, they saw a gap in the market for an agency that did it all. They began working from home with one client. Soon they had a small, cold office with one desk. Two-and-a-half years later, they now have their own studio with five desks, five chairs, and two more Willows who fill up the extra seats.

Brand naming, tone of voice documents, web content, social media strategy and rollout, scripts, press releases, packaging, brochures, ads, signage, menus, blog copy, strange stories and in some cases, erotic fiction.

Amongst many clients from various industries is their own brand and second business: frank body, a humble coffee scrub that launched last year through Instagram and has since seen 380,000 people join #thefrankeffect

Kelly Baker-Jamieson, Founder & CEO of Edible Blooms

Establishing a new gifting category here in Australia, Edible Blooms is just like a florist but you get to eat their bouquets when they arrive.  Since launching her unique concept in 2005 on a shoestring budget, Kelly Baker-Jamieson has been recognised as Nominee in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program 2012, Telstra Business Woman of the Year for SA in 2011 and Edible Blooms was awarded the Telstra MYOB Small Business of the Year for Australia in 2009.

Today Kelly is a Mum of two young children and has taken advantage of cloud systems since 2008 to run her growing business that includes store locations in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Auckland (NZ).  Her idea of creating bouquets that you can eat has grown from an initial range of nine products to a large ‘family of brands’ strategy that now encompasses living plants, fresh flowers and premium gift hampers giving their 100,000+ customer base the opportunity to source multiple gift solutions from the one trusted provider.

Kelly is a self-confessed chocoholic, standing by her motto of ‘do what you love’.  She’s full of drive and optimism with an approach to business that is well respected amongst her team and industry peers.  If there is a way – Kelly will find it!  

Abigail Forsyth, CEO & Founder of KeepCup

The idea for KeepCup came to Abigail as she was heating up milk in a sippy cup for her daughter . At the time Abigail believed the idea of giving her daughter  milk in a disposable cup unfathomable and yet she was drinking two cups of coffee per day from disposable cups! From here, the KeepCup concept was born.

KeepCups were the first Barista Standard reusable cups  launched worldwide and since launching in 2009 at a designers' market in Melbourne, 3 million cups have been sold. In the first six hours of the business, they had already sold 1,000 KeepCups and the business now generates an annual turnover of more than $5 million.

Abigail will be sharing with us the story of how she turned a simple idea into reality, the trials and triumphs and how she managed to grow the business into a multi-million dollar company in 5 short years.

Melane Gleeson, co-founder & CEO of Endota Day Spa

8 years had passed since the end of high school when Mel Gleeson and Belinda Fraser ran into each other at a mutual friend’s BBQ in the year 2000. In those 8 years, both had traveled the world.

Mel had spent a year on exchange in Scotland, before returning to Melbourne to study theatrical hair and makeup. After a few years in the beauty industry, she found herself working in one of Melbourne’s very first day spas – Georges on Collins – and witnessing firsthand the appeal of a spa.

Despite the fact that few people knew what a spa was – there were then only 4 in Victoria – the spa Mel worked in was bustling. She saw the opportunity, and decided to open the Mornington Peninsula’s first spa.
Meanwhile, Belinda had completed a degree in economics at Monash University, and headed off for a stint of overseas and interstate travel. Returning to Melbourne, she got her Real Estate Agent’s license and was working in her father’s business when she ran into Mel. Belinda’s ambition was to start a business which she could grow into a national entity.

Chatting over that snag, the ladies realised their two ideas could work together. endota spa was born.
10 years on, the distinctive endota logo is now emblazoned across 65 spa locations, an organic skincare range, a glycolic skincare range and a swathe of spa products including nail paint and accessories. endota spas are now a fixture in some of the country’s most iconic destinations, in almost every Australian state and territory.

Nahji Chu, Founder & CEO of Miss Chu

Nga Chu, known to everyone as Nahji or Miss Chu and to those who get in her way, as ‘The Queen of Rice Paper Rolls’ is the founder and creative director of misschu.

Born in Luang Prahbang, Laos, in 1970, Nahji and her family escaped the Pathet Laos Regime in 1975. They sustained themselves on the meager living conditions afforded by the various Thai refugee camps they inhabited over a four year period before the Chu family’s number came up and the Australian government made them one of the first Vietnamese/Laotian refugees to settle in Australia.

A talented filmmaker, she produced a charcoal animation telling her story and that of many other Vietnamese refugees. These skills are still part of the brand, with Nahji hand writing the menus on the blackboards found in the tuckshops. Nahji’s early desire for a career in the arts has been fully handed over to the creative life of misschu - the high-design fast food chain.

The success of misschu is based around Nahji’s instinct that Vietnamese food’s largely gluten free and highly tasty base ingredients would be a hit with contemporary diners.

Jane Lu, Founder and CEO of Showpo

Jane Lu, founder & Chief Executive Pony, has always had a sincere passion for women's fashion online, social media and entrepreneurship and it’s these passions that have led her to build ShowPo to where it is today. After a 3-years working in top-tier firms Ernst & Young and KPMG, and gallivanting around the world (bored of her corporate life), she finally put brought her dreams into fruition in 2010 when she started Showpo.

Jane has shaped the Showpo brand to emphasize each woman’s uniqueness and individuality. “It’s not about the clothes, it’s about how you feel in them, it’s the confidence you exude wearing something gorgeous and comfortable. We’re not overpriced nor pretentious, it’s all about fun and forward trends that bring out your inner show pony”.

Celebrating their first $1M month recently, Jane was nominated as a finalist in the Spotify Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the Australian Start Up Awards.

Alison Goodger, CEO & Co-Founder of Sukin

Alison Goodger is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian natural skincare brand Sukin.  Alison helped launch the business in May 2007 and has since helped grow it from a fledgling start-up company to Australia’s number one selling natural skin care brand. Under Alison’s leadership, the Sukin brand has grown rapidly to become a market leader in the Australian Pharmacy and Health food channels with distribution in over 5000 outlets nationally.  Through developing networks with distribution partners, Alison has also successfully launched Sukin into multiple export markets including the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and South Korea.  As a result of this success, Sukin has won a number of awards such as Emerging Exporter of the Year at the 2010 Governor of Victoria’s Export awards.

Prior to launching Sukin, Alison attained a Bachelor Degree majoring in Public Relations and Marketing from Deakin University and held various Sales and Marketing roles.  Alison then gained invaluable experience in brand management, market development and supply chain logistics working with the brand Renew Skincare, a brand that remains under Alison’s portfolio.   In 2006, Alison helped launch Renew Skincare into Singapore where it remains one of the biggest selling rose hip oil brands.

As a mother of two, Alison successfully juggles her business commitments with her young family. Her approach to business is simple: use your time efficiently and surround yourself with the best resources including a proactive team and business partners who all share your vision for growth and success.

Keran Wicks, Founder & CEO of The Network Group

As the Founder and CEO of The Network Group, Keran Wicks has become a leading identity in Australia’s home entertainment industry – here’s how it all began.

When Keran was fired for being pregnant, the need to make decent money and provide for her child drove her towards the video business and she started her own wholesale business selling movies from her car boot. Keran’s thriving business soon grew when she bought her own rental store, Little Monster Video. While the store’s turnover consistently rose, Keran found her business disadvantaged because she wasn’t part of an established franchise, so she started her own rental group.

So, in 1993, The Network Group launched with Network Video, a group founded with the ethos of independence. Its expansion over the years has led to the development of numerous brands including Network’s online retail arm, Done Dirt Cheap DVD, and MyVideoStore which caters for wholesale business owners. Fast-forward over twenty years and Network is firmly established as rental industry leaders, a contention that was further cemented when the Group was named one of BRW’s most innovative companies of 2013.

Network is also the only group in the world run by a woman and is the most successful rental group worldwide with over 250 member stores in both Australia and New Zealand.

Meanwhile, Keran has also recently entered into the fitness industry, opening her first Underground Fitness Club (TUF Club) studio in late 2013. Its immediate success will see another TUF Club studio opening later this year.