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Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Innovator & Social Impact Leader

The word “no” is not a stop sign, it’s a fork in the road.

Julie Hirsch is an award-winning social entrepreneur and innovator, recognised as Telstra’s Victorian Business Woman of the Year and named on the Forbes 30 under 30 list.

Highly regarded as a leader in impact-led innovation, her passion lies in marrying global problem spaces with customer problem spaces, leading to first-of-their-kind products and services that have social good built into their business model.

A dynamic and uplifting speaker, Julie is passionate about sharing her experience-led knowledge of how innovation, social impact, and entrepreneurial bravery can easily be embedded into commercial, educational, and political environments.

As the Co-Founder of Eloments Vitamin Teas, the world’s first all-natural vitamin tea that invented a patent-pending blending method, Julie created an overnight success years in the making by securing shelf space in 1500 stores within a year of launch. She then became part of the only 2.7% of venture capital funding that went to female founders in 2019.

A recognised global emerging leader in entrepreneurship, Julie is also a Monash Business School Fastrack Coach and is currently an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with AGL Energy’s Emerging Business division, an innovation function dedicated to creating equitable solutions for decarbonising the way Australians live and move.

Julie's entrepreneurial story has been featured in publications such as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Herald Sun.

Current Work

Co-Founder, Eloments Vitamin Teas: Following two years of research, this female-founded business invented a patent-pending blending method that allowed them to combine nutrient-rich fruit and herbal extracts with a beautiful cup of Fairtrade tea, resulting in the world’s first 100% natural vitamin tea.

Tea drinkers and retailers loved the innovation, and Eloments quickly expanded to thousands of stores across 9 countries, raising Series A investment as part of the only 2.7% of VC funding that went to female founders that year.

Co-Founder, Mullin Mulling Spices: While viewing the impacts of climate change on a Fairtrade Collective in Sri Lanka, Julie asked: How can we support farmers in becoming more climate resilient? The GM’s answer was simple: Buy spices.

Planting spices alongside tea in family-owned gardens adds biodiversity and increases resilience against climate impacts. This conversation sparked a journey of ethical innovation that led to launching Mullin, a first-of-its-kind single-serve mulling spice infuser that makes mulling wine as easy as brewing tea. Launched in 2022, this novel innovation was quickly picked up by taste-makers in Australia (Blackhearts & Sparrows) and the USA (Boisson), and is gaining a cult-following of 0% ABV red wine enthusiasts.

Entrepreneur-in-Residence, AGL Energy: As an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with AGL Energy’s Emerging Business division, an innovation function dedicated to creating equitable solutions for decarbonising the way Australians live and move, Julie cofounded Electrify Now - an Australian-first for energy retailers, powered by advanced analytics to unlock the path to electrification in Australian homes.

Thought Leader in Entrepreneurial Bravery and Impact-Led Innovation: Julie is also a Monash Business School Fastrack Coach and is currently an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with AGL Energy’s Emerging Business division, an innovation function dedicated to creating equitable solutions for decarbonising the way Australians live and move.

Julie is a sought-after speaker, grounding her deep understanding of social entrepreneurship with colourful stories of Fairtrade tea gardens and being part of only 1% of female founders who start their businesses under the age of 30. With experience speaking at over 100 virtual and in-person keynotes, interviews and panels, her speaking style is described as “motivating, vulnerable and highly engaging.”

Awards & Recognitions:
- Telstra Business Woman of the Year and the Telstra Emerging Leader of the Year, VIC, 2020
- Forbes Asia’s 30 Under 30 List, 2020
- Most Innovative Company, Victoria; Kochie’s Business Builders 2021
- Melbourne Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Food and Beverage; Business News Australia, 2019

Talking Points

Creating Persistent and Radical Innovation

As Co-Founder of the world’s first 100% natural vitamin team, Julie created a product that was described by Telstra’s HR Group Executive as having the potential to ‘disrupt a whole category’.

Beyond product innovation, Julie will discuss how persistent and radical innovation is possible at every level of business and can lead to opportunities for profit and purpose, as well as empowering staff outside the C-Suite.
Julie’s own businesses have proved by creating an ethical supply chain and patent-pending manufacturing process that are the backbone of their product’s success.

Key Takeaways:
- Creating a culture that fails forward (or the Duvet policy)
- Innovative thinking at every level of business
- Building the confidence to become a challenger

Building Impact at Every Level of Business

Fair and ethical decision making is possible at every level of business. Through both of her businesses, Julie realised that it wasn’t just through their certifications or donations that she could have impact.

Every decision was an opportunity for impact, from the warehouse where the goods were stored, the paper in their office to the farms that grew their tea. This creates a powerful environment for staff and leaders to make positive change within the remit of their role.

Key Takeaways:
- Identifying opportunities for impact from the smallest to the largest decisions
- Creating an ecosystem of empowered staff to make ethical decisions
- Every person becomes a change-maker every time we spend a dollar

Building the Next Generation of Innovative Entrepreneurs

An interactive presentation to inspire the next young innovator, entrepreneur, and social impact leader, tailored for VCE Year 11 / 12 Students in Business Management, or Secondary Students building their 21st Century Skills.

Julie represents the 1% of businesses started by a female entrepreneur under 30, having founded a Fairtrade tea company that secured shelf in 1500 stores during its first year trading, and raised over $1million in equity capital funding.

Your students will enjoy a funny, interactive and educational session that brings to life the concepts in core curriculum through real-world stories told by a Forbes 30 Under 30 list member.

Key Takeaways Include
- Nurturing the qualities to become a successful entrepreneur
- Baking impact into your business model
- How to build entrepreneurial bravery by understanding risk
- Managing Change through stories from the Global Pandemic
- How Julie and her business partner became part of only 2.7% of Venture Capital Funding to go to female founders in 2019, and how we can close that gap

Grounded Sustainability - Trust, Inspiration and Practicality

The sustainability actions of a company heavily influence how consumers choose products, with 61% of Australians saying that sustainability moderately or very much influences whether they buy a product (Capterra; n995). At the same time, consumer mistrust of "greenwashing" is on the rise, and practical complications to implementing sustainability initiatives are slowing down companies from reaching their goals.

With a decade of experience in climate action, spanning environment-NGOs and the for-profit sector, Julie deeply understands both the ambitious vision and complex practicalities of sustainability. Julie began her career in the environment sector, becoming the Deputy Director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Australia's largest climate NGO, and serving 4 terms on the Board of Directors.

After seeing the on-the-ground impacts of climate change on farms in developing countries, Julie became passionate about Fairtrade, the most rigorous certification system supporting farmers and the planet, eventually leading her to found multiple Climate Pledge businesses with ethics and sustainability at their core.

In this interactive keynote, Julie will inspire with climate resilience stories from farming partners in developing countries, motivate with the challenges she has faced in tackling sustainability in her own businesses, and provide a practical framework for the many broad and varying ways that sustainability can be built into your business, from supply chain and packaging through net-zero targets.

Key Takeaways
- Motivate and inspire with on-the-ground stories of climate impacts and resilience, and how your business decisions can make a difference today
- Widen your view of sustainability with a practical framework of varying ways that sustainability can be built into your business, from supply chain and packaging through net-zero targets
- Understand the immense opportunity your sustainability practices have to build trust and transparency with your consumers

International Women’s Day 2024: Accelerating gender equality through economic empowerment

What if we viewed every dollar we spent as a vote for a gender-equal world?

As a female founder of two first-of-their-kind businesses that directly support women farmers in developing countries, Julie is deeply passionate about sharing her experience-led learnings of how economic empowerment will pilot us to a more gender-equal world.

This keynote has been crafted specially to inspire audiences on the 2024 UN International Women’s Day topic: “Count Her In: Accelerating gender equality through economic empowerment”

Your team will enjoy an interactive and practical session that brings to life:
- the power that each of us has with every dollar we spend to accelerate gender equality through economic empowerment,
- stories of how working with Fairtrade has directly impacted the lives of women farmers in developing countries
- Strategies to overcome gender-based barriers by an entrepreneur who joined the only 2.7% of equity capital funding that goes to female founders

Tea Tasting Experience

Enjoy a fun, interactive and inspiring tea tasting with Julie while she shares information on the history and rituals of tea, her own business stories of sourcing the cuppa in your hands, and strategies to find energy and focus amid both the disruption and excitement of your personal growth journey.

Experiment with aromas, textures and flavours and across a variety of small-batch Fairtrade teas while hearing a business journey that spans from the tea gardens of Sri Lanka to major supermarkets in Australia. This guided tasting can be customised based on venue and audience size, including:
1. A plenary set up: a tea station will be set up with pre-brewed pots of unique tea varietials. Julie is experienced at coordinating participants to fill their samples by row, so as not to interrupt the flow of content while ensuring everyone is enjoying their tasting at the right time. Requirements include: a small table near seating to hold thermoses, a cup for each attendee (I will bring tea-infuser thermoses, aroma bowls, and samples)
2. A cabaret set up with tables: As above, or 3 teapots will be needed per table. All pots can be filled with hot water prior to the tasting, as temperature is an interesting element to play with alongside flavour. Requirements include: 3 teapots per table, a 5L or 10L thermos of hot water centrally located in the venue, a cup for each attendee
3. A complimentary sample of 4 Fairtrade teas will be included for each attendee to continue their tea tasting journey at home.
Julie gave us some really important and valuable messaging on the importance of having a strong business purpose, especially if you truly want to make a difference. It’s truly inspiring to hear from a self-made business woman, who has overcome numerous hurdles & challenges to establish a brand/business from scratch and deliver game-changing innovation in an extremely competitive landscape. She was outstanding, where their presentation resonated with the whole audience. Mars Australia

Julie was a wonderful presenter, she was knowledgeable, passionate and opened our students' eyes to the realities of entrepreneurship. The students were highly engaged and enjoyed the presentation. Always the worry when bringing guest speakers into the school is that students wont ask any questions; the students peppered Julie with questions which she handled with ease. We would thoroughly recommend Julie as a presenter.

Mount Evelyn Christian School

On behalf of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, I would like to thank you for officiating as our Master of Ceremonies at the 2022 Queensland AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award (RWA). You delivered an engaging ceremony to a diverse crowd with skill and professionalism. Your personal accomplishments in leading a business that is focused on making a positive community impact exemplifies the spirit of the RWA, and I appreciate your sharing your success story with the finalists and attendees.

Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Julie Hirsch was a professional, inspiring and charismatic speaker. She was flexible and able to adapt her content easily. She engaged a C-Level audience, answered complex questions and maintained professionalism throughout the day.


What really impacted me was that she treated it like a conversation so I was more willing to listen and it wasn't boring. I was surprised to see the lengths and hardships she went through in creating her business. A major takeaway is to be resilient and to not give up. After hearing her, I know that if you ever hear 'no' that isn't a stop or end to something, just an opportunity to create a different pathway for yourself.

St Aloysius College Student

Julie was absolutely fantastic and covered many critical aspects of entrepreneurship from ideation to development to commercialization of product and services in a very interesting way. I found her a knowledgeable, passionate young entrepreneur with so much energy and positivity.

Deakin University Business School

We had the privilege of hosting award winning entrepreneur, innovator and Cofounder of Eloments natural vitamin tea and Mullin Mulling Spices, Julie Hirsch. Julie was so insightful and inspiring about how we can crack the code for gender equity. By combining innovative thinking and an entrepreneurial mindset we can all build the innovations that are essential in achieving a more gender equal future.

Splunk Software

Julie's wealth of knowledge in [innovation] was evident, and she inspired the young people in the room with examples from her lived experience. We have had very good feedback from our students about the session and would love to have her back for our future iterations.

Monash University

As a facilitator and presenter for a Women's Retreat attended by high profile entrepreneurs, I could not rate Julie's presentation, preparation and commitment more highly. The content and training she delivered was powerful, informative and impactful. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her for other engagements. She is fantastic! Our attendees all rated her 10/10.

The Entourage

Julie was a guest speaker at the Digital Innovation Futures Festival. She brought incredible energy, prose and professionalism. Her deep industry knowledge and obvious passion for what she does shone through and inspired the audience. I’d highly recommend her for future events.

The Startup Network
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