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There’s no doubt that Tamara Trentain has

made a difference to Brisbane-based meal

plan company 5.4 which has soared to success

delivering pre-packaged nutrient-specific meals

to health conscious millennials. Since Trentain

took a stake in the company turnover has

skyrocketed more than 20-fold to $10 million

annually, the delivery network has expanded

beyond Queensland to Newcastle, Sydney and

Melbourne, and the number of employees has

increased from four to more than 100 including

contractors – achievements that have not

gone unnoticed in the international business

community. Hot on the heels of winning a

Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Business Award for small

business growth last year, 5.4 also won a gold

Stevie Award (the equivalent of an Oscar in the

business world) for fastest growing company of

the year.

However, Trentain isn’t coasting on such

success. There’s another important goal she’s

yet to reach. After meeting Richard Branson as

a member of the international Entrepreneurs’

Organisation (she is now president of the

Brisbane chapter), she was inspired by his ethic

to give back and encourages companies she’s

involved with to adopt the Buy One Give One

principle. It’s more than a feel good hand out

once the companies are making a profit. For 5.4

it’s been a commitment since Trentain joined

the business that for every meal sold another is

given to feed children in poverty through their

support of the Hunger Project. Her goal is to

reach 10 million meals – annually! So far they

have reached three million and still counting.

It’s an ambitious goal and Trentain is

determined to reach it but she acknowledges it’s

a team effort and so she has two more critical

goals she brings to every business she works

with – there should be accessible pathways to

leadership and each member of the team writes

a bucket list every year and they help each other

to fulfil it.

Such principles have seen Trentain’s staff

achieve their own goals, whether it’s been to

take a trip, meet a role model, or rise to their

own business success. Her next challenge is

to increase the female membership of the

Entrepreneurs Organisation and she has

initiated an accelerator program to give selected

applicants access to a world of successful

business leaders as their mentors.


Even before Jock Fairweather opened co-working

space Little Tokyo Two in 2014 he had already

run a successful fashion business in Europe with

the cream of couture, including Valentino and

the now head of marketing of conglomerate

LVMH on his board, and before that he had

played representative sport before he left high

school. So you could say he’s a high achiever.

When he returned to Brisbane it was a plan

to help his mates achieve their own unfulfilled

goals that finally took shape in the building that

had housed the Little Tokyo restaurant in Spring

Hill for 50 years. Serendipity played a hand.

When the opportunity to take over the building

came up, Fairweather didn’t hesitate and for eight

weeks he was on site with a mate working around

the clock to complete the refurb. It opened with

10 of his friends and 10 more ‘members’ who

shared Fairweather’s vision for a co-working space

that offered more than just a desk to work from.

Now Fairweather’s Two Group runs four spaces

from Springfield on the city fringe to the CBD

which have become incubators for successful

start-ups – and he’s got Big Enterprise knocking

on the door wanting to be involved.

“In less than three years we’ve had a zero fail rate.

We’ve never had a business start with us and fold.

We’ve had 38 groups outgrow us which means

they have reached more than eight staff so we

can’t host them any more and we’ve facilitated

$50 million worth of projects. In all, we’ve

supported more than 600 businesses across the

four sites,” Fairweather says.

They maintain around a 95 per cent capacity

across their permanent spaces in addition to the

floating ‘hot desks’ on regular rotation for more

flexible members. The Two Group vets members

on personality and passion and staff stay in touch

to ask them what they want to achieve, how

they are going and what they need “and we help

make it happen,” says Fairweather. “That sort of

personal approach doesn’t happen anywhere else.

In one case we facilitated more than $400,000

worth of business for a member in the first week

and over six months they paid probably about

$600 to be here.”

The range of members is diverse, from tech

start-ups to product developers, accountants,

lawyers and artists, and the success stories

growing, prompting the Two Group to ramp up

the services it offers to small businesses with global

aspirations. Its Thunder Lizards program has been

created to provide more structured support, from

mentoring high school students through business

ideas to achieving specific outcomes for small

businesses in return for a percentage of equity.

We have had a zero

per cent fail rate.

We have never had a

business start with us

and fold

BNE May/June 2017 |