8 Australian Female-led Businesses Who Are Crushing It In The Business World


8 Australian Female-led Businesses Who Are Crushing It In The Business World

Nearly 38% of small businesses in Australia are owned by women and this will continue to increase. It’s amazing how female entrepreneurs have come so far.

This week, we're highlighting 8 Australian female-led businesses that broke barriers in the business world. 



Melanie Perkins is the co-founder and CEO of design software maker Canva to make professional-looking design easy and accessible to all. In September 2021, Canva was valued at $40 billion, helped to create over 2 billion designs in 190 countries, and has over 1.5 million subscribers to its paid ‘pro’ platform. With a net worth of  $6.5 billion, Perkins is one of the youngest female CEOs of a tech start-up valued at over A$1 billion making her one of Australia's richest women as of May 2021.  She was also “Top Under 30 Founders of the decade” Forbes. Only one of four startups is founded by a female, and Melanie is one of the 2% of female CEOs of venture-backed companies making her one of the most successful entrepreneurs around the world, gender aside.


Boost Juice

Janine Allis founded Boost Juice in 2000 to make healthy living simple, tasty, and fun. Boost Juice has over 580 stores across 13 countries and counting, making it one of the most popular and loved juice and smoothie brands worldwide.

Janine is also the part-owner of Retail Zoo, the parent company of Boost Juice, Betty’s Burgers, Cibo Espresso, and Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill. She also wrote a book called The Accidental Entrepreneur – The Juicy Bits, which talks about the importance of resilience to achieve success.


The Beauty Chef

Long before ‘inner beauty’ was a buzzword, Carla Oates knew the importance of fostering beauty from the inside out. Carla Oates founded The Beauty Chef in 2009 after successfully healing her family’s skin issues and knowing the importance of nutrition and gut health for beauty and well-being. Before creating The Beauty Chef, Carla was a fashion stylist and a beauty writer. This was when she learned and became alarmed by the synthetic substances and toxins that are in many commercial beauty products.

Beauty Chef consists of products with bio-fermented, probiotic, and super nutrient formulas for gut health, skin health, and well-being. Carla was named a Skincare Innovator by Net-a-Porter, a twice-nominated James Beard Award author, and winner of the 2017 beauty category at the InStyle & Audi Women of Style Awards. She also wrote three books: a guide to natural beauty product alternatives, Feeding Your Skin, a gluten-free recipe book to feed your skin, The Beauty Chef: Delicious Food for Radiant Skin, Gut Health and Wellbeing, and The Beauty Chef Gut Guide.


 ENJO Australia

Austrian-born founder of ENJO Australia, Barb de Corti, first tried ENJO to help ease her son’s asthma symptoms. The health benefits of cleaning without chemicals were so evident Barb brought ENJO to Australia in 1994. Enjo created a huge impact on environmental protection initiatives in Australia specifically concerning the health benefits of cleaning without chemicals.  For over 30 years ENJO has been changing the way people clean their homes, replacing chemicals and disposable products with reusable fibre technology with a recent huge online presence which has led to a surge in popularity for its products.

Prior to founding Enzo, she taught aerobics, started a news agency in collaboration with a post office, and designed baby and gym wear all at the age of just 21! 


Mecca, Cosmetic Cubed

At 28 years old, Jo Horgan had a clear vision to revolutionise the cosmetics industry, and that’s when she started her own company and founded Mecca Cosmetics in 1997, with the aim to produce high-quality cosmetics products in Australia. What started as one store in Melbourne in 1997 has now grown into 104 stores across Australia and New Zealand with more than 4000 staff, with a revenue of A$538 million in 2019. Mecca Cosmetics also expanded into China in partnership with the Alibaba Group.

In 2019, Jo Horgan won the EY Entrepreneur of The Year Australia Award. In 2021, Jo and her husband Peter Wetenhall debuted on the Financial Review Rich List with an estimated wealth of $658 million.


Fernwood Women’s Health Clubs

Diana Williams founded Fernwood Women’s Health Clubs in 1989 with the vision of creating an empowered and exclusive female fitness community that includes everything you need for complete health, fitness and wellness. She opened her female-only gym in  Bendigo, Victoria. Now,  Fernwood Women’s Health Clubs has 70 clubs around Australia and 73,000 members.

With her background in weightlifting,  Diana turned her vision into reality by creating world-class women’s fitness and health, not just in Australia but all around the world. Fernwood offers from  FIIT30 to yoga, Pilates to Tai Chi and Zumba, meditation and mindfulness. It also boasts free breakfasts, hair care products, childcare services while members work out, world-class facilities and so much more!


Sweat App

Next on our list is another fitness brand founded by Kayla Itshines. She worked as a personal trainer before founding Sweat which is one of the most successful fitness apps around the globe. She built Sweat app with a  personal mission to help as many women as possible to achieve their ideal level of fitness and to feel more confident and happy. In October 2022, Sweat app reached 3.5 Million active monthly users.

Kayla is also recognised as one of the most influential trainers in the world and was also featured in the Times list of “30 most influential people on the Internet” in 2016 making her one of the most successful entrepreneurs achieving so much success in the business world.


Laila And Me

Last but definitely not least is Laila and Me - a company offering premium, safe, and healthy alternative dog treats to the preservative-filled commercial treats currently on the market with a mission to educate pet parents about the kinds of dog treats. Melissa Devereaux founded Laila and Me in 2015 after her dog Laila experienced severe allergies and skin reactions from commercial treats sold in the pet market which contain highly processed, preservatives and often misleading packages. 


Are you getting inspired yet? It’s truly amazing how female entrepreneurs have come so far, breaking barriers and inspiring others. This is not an exhaustive list as there are many more Australian business-led out there.

Do you have a favourite female-led brand that has inspired you? Let me know on Instagram here or share them in the comments!

Are you an aspiring female entrepreneur wanting to start your own business? Check out my blog on How to Leave Your 9-5 and Start a Business From Scratch.