A recent Article by Greg Ellis in the Illawarra Mercury – MARCH 21 2019 – 8:30AM

Wollongong entrepreneur Carmen Rudd will represent the Illawarra at the prestigious Telstra Business Women’s Awards!

Ms Rudd is a finalist in the Purpose and Social Enterprise category after being nominated by one of the businesspeople using the co-working space she created for like-minded entrepreneurs, freelancers, makers and creatives in Crown St Mall.

She is being recognised for her work building a local community of entrepreneurs at the Zig Zag Hub as well as a course she has launched for young entrepreneurs in Wollongong.

She also wants to take that to Cambodia where she has already established a school using some of the profits from her business.

Ms Rudd said she always planned to build a community around the co-working space she started three years ago on the opposite side of the mall before moving to a new location in March.

The official opening of the Zig Zag Hub’s new home in Wollongong is next Wednesday just days before the NSW Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards are announced on April 4.

Ms Rudd’s other entrepreneurial endeavours include Diamond Offices and Wollongong Serviced Apartments.

She said she was proud of creating a community of entrepreneurs at Zig Zag Hub where a culture of collaboration and innovative thinking has emerged.

“I wanted to break isolation barriers and create a community which benefited each and every member”.

The Zig Zag Hub also runs mentoring programs, workshops, pitch fests and talks to help develop skills.

Ms Rudd’s student entrepreneur course helps many young people in Wollongong with entrepreneurial dreams. And soon students at the school she founded in Cambodia will be able to do the same course before they head to university. The course helps participants develop strategies in solving problems and finding solutions with innovative ideas. Which enables them to develop their product so they can move from idea to action.

“It is rewarding to see young people develop confidence in their own ideas and abilities,” she said.

“It has always been my dream to help solve global social issues. And the student entrepreneur program expansion to Cambodia will make a real difference to the lives and futures of young people.”

In 2017 gemaker founder and managing director Natalie Chapman took out the micro-business category at the state finals of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards for the work the business does helping others take new technologies to market.

In 2014 Disability Trust chief executive Margaret Bowen won the 2014 NSW Telstra Business Women’s Community and Government Award a year after Professor Julie Steele won the same category for her work heading the University of Wollongong’s Biomechanics Research Laboratory  and becoming one of Australia’s most eminent researchers in the field of applied biomechanics.

Prior to the last state winner was Dr Jennifer Smiley in 2006 who then created history when she went on to the national finals where she was named Australia’s best businesswoman in the corporate and private sector for her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for medicine.

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