I'm Jade, the Founder of JadeStart
and this is my story...
I'm Jade, the Founder of JadeStart
and this is my story...
Starting a business has so many emotions attached to the experience. To see the passion in someone’s eyes, hear the excitement in their voice and feel the energy that is booming from them as they talk about their business is real and contagious.
As a positive, driven and resourceful person myself, I founded JadeStart with a vision to empower entrepreneurs to have the change they deserve in life and build their legacy and I believe you're just one idea away from achieving this. It is my mission to help them build their legacy by providing the tools that make launching a business easy. Essentially, I’m in the business of providing parachutes to entrepreneurs who take the leap of faith, so they feel supported, guided and their startup is successful.
I'm not your average business owner though, I come from humble beginnings. I didn't take the traditional path by completing grade 11 and 12 then going to University, instead, I had to move out of home and live with my grandparents at the age of 16 (right before grade 11 was due to start) because my step mum had a stroke. I entered full time employment straight away to pay my way and due to a few bad choices financially, couldn't afford to go back to school or University until I was in my mid 20's.
I worked for Woolworths for 8 and a half years, learning how one of the biggest supermarket chains ran their operations and working my way up through management. I wanted to challenge myself further, I wanted to grow as a person, I wanted more for myself but how could a girl who didn't complete grade 11 or 12 do anything exciting like become a lawyer or start a business? I didn't know how.
I then met a property developer on the Gold Coast who needed an in-house legal assistant. The in-house lawyer was kind enough to interview me for the role. I was raw, having worked in butcher shops, delicatessens and managing departments at Woolworths, what did I know about property law? Nothing! People who were applying for the role of legal assistant were way more qualified than me, there were even lawyers applying! I had something they didn't have. I was not going to fail at this opportunity to provide a desperately needed and wanted change in my life.
I was offered the job despite all odds. My first day was the day before stage 1 of the property development of units were due to settle. I knew nothing about conveyancing or what it all meant. I was told to keep my head down and stay out of the way of the sales and legal team that week. So, I worked with the commercial property management team that week, much to the property manager's disappointment I can tell you! I was the one everyone wanted to palm off and no one wanted to train.
A few months in, everything settled down and I began working on some really complex legal matters within the company and had well and truely grasped the roles. It was then that I realised I wanted to be a lawyer.
I looked into what was required and I had to go back to school and get my Advance diploma in Business with an OP of 1-4 before a University would consider my application. I enrolled with Martin College and completed the Advance Diploma, whilst working full time and after more than 10 years out of school with an OP1. I applied for enrolment into Bond University for a Bachelor of Laws and was accepted. I was going to be studying to become a lawyer, whilst working full time in the Legal field! I looked up to all of the lawyers I was working with externally at KWM, Norton Rose and Minter Ellison and now, I was studying to become one of them.
If you had have asked me whether I thought I was going to achieve those grades or even be studying to be a lawyer, just 2 years earlier, my answer would have been "I highly doubt that, you need to be smart and have money for that." You see, I had learned a very valuable lesson at that point in time, I learned that ANYONE is capable of ANYTHING, you just have to set your mind to it. I remember feeling like I wished I could live another 80 more years on top of my average life expectancy of 110 years old because I wanted to see what else I could accomplish. It's truely a remarkable feeling when you unlock self belief.
Fast forward to a year after being hired and I get into work one morning and was told that the directors needed to have an urgent meeting with us all. We were told that Receivers and Managers were going to be appointed over the Company today and they weren't sure if we were going to have our jobs by the end of the day. Everyone was panicking, we all had commitments and needed income.
I went home that night and told my partner (now husband) what had happened and we discussed my current position of study commitments and what this meant to my future. Some people were telling me to resign, get out! It will look bad on your resume they said. I saw it as an opportunity to learn so much about insolvency in a business and from the leaders in the industry, PwC.
I stayed and subsequently worked for the Company in receivership, managed by PwC for a further 4 years before I was employed directly by PwC within their insolvency and business restructuring team. I also completed my Law degree and was admitted as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of Queensland. But my path changed. I am not practising as a lawyer because I have found something else that i'm extremely passionate about as a result of this life path, BUSINESS.
It was at University that JadeStart was conceptualised. I launched it during my second year of my law studies, whilst working and studying full time. I had helped so many businesses and learned from the biggest businesses and it just clicked light a light bulb switching on, that I can do this as a business and help even more people set up their businesses with the structure to give them the best chance of success and avoid insolvency.
To date, my qualifications also extend to an Advance Diploma in Business, Sales Real Estate License, Bachelor of Law at Bond University, Admitted as a Lawyer of the Supreme Court of Queensland, Post Graduate in Insolvency Law, Undergraduate in Commerce (Accounting) and partly completed Chartered Accountants course with CA ANZ.
Having worked with over 500 businesses since launching JadeStart, we are undergoing some exciting changes so that I can help more of you with your businesses. We are also committed to ensuring that we remain relevant with our knowledge, skills and information so follow us on our social media channels to keep up to date on the latest updates.
I hope you enjoyed my story. I'd love to hear from you so please reach out to me and introduce yourself.
To your ongoing success.
Award Winner for Leadership in Small Business 2020
Finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year & Mentor of the Year for the Women in Finance Awards 2020