The 12 Australian entrepreneurs you should follow on Instagram

Code Like a Girl Ally Watson

Code Like a Girl founder Ally Watson. Source: supplied.

More than eight million Australians are estimated to regularly use Instagram, and as the platform has matured, so too has the way local entrepreneurs are using the photo-sharing app to connect with followers. 

The launch of Instagram Stories three years ago is transforming how startup founders and small business owners are using the platform. Many are giving their customers and fans behind-the-scenes insight into their busy lives building business empires, and for those watching at home, it’s never been easier to interact with these entrepreneurs instantaneously. 

And that’s where the value comes from adding these entrepreneurs to the list of Instagram accounts you follow: the hard work that goes into running your own business oozes from these accounts, amid the photos of fun product launches and events, and, we must admit, glamorous travel snaps. 

So as we head into the new year, here are 12 inspiring Australian entrepreneurs we think you should follow on Instagram today. 

And don’t forget to find us on Instagram too — we’re over at @smartcompanyau and @startupsmartau

Zoë Foster Blake 

@zotheysay | 734,000 followers

Zoë Foster Blake is a journalist, author and beauty entrepreneur — and her Instagram is, well, fabulous. The founder of the GoTo Skincare and GroTo Skincare brands shares plenty of beauty and fashion photos, snaps from product launches and events, and a healthy dose of family and travel pics too.

There’s a playfulness, and realness, to Foster Blake’s photos and we love how the passion and energy she has for her businesses jumps from the screen. 

 

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What a ludicrous and jubilant and perfect way to end a week of launching Gro-To in NYC: with a giant inflatable Sud Bud, and a gallery showcasing our products and story. The inimitable Linda Wells, (founding editor of Allure magazine and Flesh beauty; certified beauty icon and hero of mine) and I chatted on stage, guests slozzled nuclear strength cocktails, sausage rolls and fairy bread, and my brain flipped out with pride, glee and gratitude. Mostly for the hard work my brilliant team – especially Hilary, Jess, Leonie, and the cool cats at @foundation – put in to make this event/week so perfect, and share our brands so joyfully to our friends stateside. I so wholeheartedly believe in @gotoskincare and @grotoskincare, in their quality, their usefulness and their simplicity, and even though I just did my own head talking about them non-stop for a week, it never feels like work. I think that’s maybe how you know you’re On The Right Path. Your passion transcends all fatigue, setbacks and barriers. You can’t imagine not doing it. Your customers feel successful (with their results and service) choosing your products, and you feel successful cos you made something they chose. And yes, we brought Sud Bud home. Might pop him on wheels and take him for a burn ‘round Sydney one day.

A post shared by ZOË FOSTER BLAKE (@zotheysay) on

Sam Wood 

@samjameswood | 276,000 followers

He may have become a recognisable face because of Network Ten’s The Bachelor, but Melbourne entrepreneur Sam Wood is leaving a lasting impression with his thriving healthy-eating and fitness program ’28 by Sam Wood’.

The business was last year shortlisted in the Victorian Telstra Business Awards and it claims to have helped about 15,000 people with their health goals. Wood is also the owner of The Woodshed gym in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton.

A balanced mix of family life, business and fitness inspo, Wood’s Instagram account might be just the thing you need this new year.

 

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Happy Fathers Day Everyone ❤️❤️❤️❤️ my four girls

A post shared by Sam Wood (@samjameswood) on

Emily Green 

@helloemilygreen | 37,600 followers

The Instagram account of Melbourne-based jewellery designer Emily Green is a celebration of vibrant colour, unique collaborations and, of course, Australian design.

Green has been making her jewellery since 2009 and her Instagram offers a behind-the-scenes look at what’s involved in running a successful design label today — from developing new ranges of her handmade beaded necklaces and earrings, to spending weekends selling her products at markets across the country.

Design lovers will also appreciate Green’s regular posts of colours that inspire her among everyday things, while those who love shopping local may also like to follow Pinky’s, the gorgeous retail store Green runs with fellow creative, stylist Becky Littler. 

 

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@bigdesignmarket today til 9pm! ????

A post shared by Emily Green (@helloemilygreen) on

Sabri Suby

@sabrisuby | 17,900 followers

“This life is not a dress rehearsal.” If you’re scrolling Instagram and looking for more direct business motivation, Sabri Suby’s account might be what you’re looking for.

Suby is the founder and head of growth at marketing agency King Kong. He started King Kong about five years ago in his spare bedroom, making hundreds of cold calls a day, and today the former Smart50 finalist is turning over more than $7.5 million annually.

Suby uses Instagram to post motivational quotes and short video clips for fellow entrepreneurs and business owners. 

 

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Don’t get it twisted.

A post shared by Sabri Suby (@sabrisuby) on

Kate Morris

@kateadorebeauty | 4,548 followers

We’ve followed Adore Beauty founder Kate Morris on Instagram for some time now, and we have to say, it’s a little addictive.

Morris, one of Australia’s leading e-commerce entrepreneurs, is a leader in the beauty retail industry, and a down-to-earth and savvy businesswoman.

She uses Instagram to share the latest news from Adore Beauty and her business insights, as well as her own beauty tips and recommendations. She lets her followers into her world, and once you’re there, you probably won’t want to leave. 

Kevin Garcia

@stairwayto_kevin | 4,418 followers

Kevin Garcia is the co-founder and co-chief executive of Karst Stone Paper, an innovative business that is making a play at shaking up the traditional pulp paper industry by turning leftover rubble from landfills into paper. Garcia founded Karst with Jon Tse and the pair produced their first range of stone paper notebooks in 2017.

The business has a global mindset — 70% of its sales are currently made in the US — and Garcia’s Instagram has a global flavour too, with posts from locations such as Germany and Italy mixed in with shots of Sydney, where Karst is based. 

 

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????????‍♂️

A post shared by Kevin Garcia (@stairwayto_kevin) on

Maggie Beer

@maggie_beer | 214,000 followers

If there’s ever a time to add some more photos of scrumptious looking food and drinks to your Instagram feed, it’s Christmas time, and who better to provide that content than Australian food icon Maggie Beer?

Beer has founded a number of food businesses over the past four decades, and while she has now sold her stake in Maggie Beer Products, she continues to work in the business and run the Maggie Beer Foundation, which works to improve the food experiences of Australians in aged care.

If you follow Beer’s Instagram, expect to see photos of mouth-watering pavlovas and plenty of fresh produce, and Beer’s infectious smile too. 

Jordan O’Reilly

@jordan.o.reilly | 974 followers

Jordan O’Reilly founded online disability support provider HireUp with his sister Laura in 2015, and in the space of four years, the on-demand platform has won national awards, saved clients millions and has grown like crazy.

On Instagram, O’Reilly shares the HireUp journey and documents how he is also working to bring together, help, other social impact entrepreneurs.

Inspired by their brother Shane O’Reilly, Jordan and Laura also launched charity Fighting Chance, which designs and builds social enterprises to make a real difference for Australians with disabilities and their families. 

Kemi Nekvapil

@keminekvapil | 9,115 followers

Kemi Nekvapil is a leadership coach, public speaker, author and creator of popular podcast series, The Shift Series. The podcast has been racing up the Global Apple Podcast charts and Nekvapil is planning a second series, to be released in early-2020.

On Instagram, Nekvapil shares leadership insights and advice, updates on her speaking events and her top book recommendations. 

 

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This photo… inspired by the energy of others, and connected to a greater force.⁣ ⁣ When this photo was taken, I had asked the room of 2000 women to join hands and shared a message with them that I would like to share with all of you… And that is that the world has never needed women to join together more than it does now, the world has never needed women to ask for what they need and want in the way that it does now, the world has never needed women to take responsibility for our lives in the way that it does now.⁣ ⁣ As women we are a mighty force, we need to work together and support one another. We have work to do.⁣ ⁣ Thankfully this event, #9toThrive, by @businesschicks was a space that we could come and immerse ourselves in connection, learnings and opportunities all allowing us to thrive together.⁣ ⁣ Thank you, everyone, who was involved in the event organisation, thank you to those that simply came to say hello and those that showed their support not only to me but to all the other incredible speakers and moderators on the day.⁣ ⁣ A huge thank you to @cueclothingco who dressed me, and @hipstermumsocial for capturing this image.⁣ ⁣ I am feeling truly blessed and humbled by the experience.⁣ ⁣ – Kemi⁣ ⁣

A post shared by Kemi Nekvapil (@keminekvapil) on

Sam Bashiry 

@sambashiry | 26,000 followers

Fourteen years ago, Sam Bashiry had just $1000 to start his internet service provider, Broadband Solutions. Over the following 10 years, he turned that $1000 into a multimillion-dollar company that would become one of the fastest-growing businesses in Australia in 2015.

Today, Bashiry uses his business knowledge and experience to inspire and mentor others, including via his Instagram account. Bashiry also uses his account to share his love for fast cars, which is perhaps fitting for someone who doesn’t seem to like to stand still — in business or in life. 

 

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I saw this few days back and I had to go back and get it ???? classic

A post shared by Sam Bashiry (@sambashiry) on

Ally Watson

@ally_c_watson | 402 followers

Code Like a Girl founder Ally Watson is on a mission to make the tech industry more accessible, inclusive and fun, and you can get a glimpse of how she is going about reaching this goal via her Instagram account.

Watson was working as a backend developer when she organised her first Code Like a Girl event to meet other women in code. Code Like a Girl now runs coding camps across Australia and Watson regularly speaks at events about all things women in tech. She documents her busy speaking schedule on Instagram and it’s easy to see why she is in demand. 

Tristan White 

@tristanjwhite | 2,523 followers

Finally, if you find yourself looking for some more leadership inspiration, and some pointers on how to create great company culture, take a look at Tristan White’s Instagram account. White is the founder and chief executive of The Physio Co, and since founding his business in 2004, has become an expert on company cultures.

He uses the photo-sharing app to share quick insight into being an entrepreneur and leader, and to promote his articles and books on the same topics. 

Looking for even more Aussie entrepreneurs to follow on Instagram? Check out SmartCompany’s previous Instagram lists here.

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