eGroup a voice for industry

21/01/2010 - 00:00

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IT takes a group of internet entrepreneurs to come up with a new take on the traditional industry body.

IT takes a group of internet entrepreneurs to come up with a new take on the traditional industry body.

With the launch of eGroup WA Association, some of the state’s most prominent online business owners have taken the first formal steps to create a platform for internet industry development.

The eGroup is different because its primary objective is to share ideas among like-minded professionals. Almost as an aside, its founders – led by the likes of aussiehome.com’s Charlie Gunningham, gooruze.com’s Jackie Shervington, globalmindscreen.com.au’s Stephen Rice, rent.com.au’s Mark Woschnak, storyteller.com.au’s Greg Riebe, boozewatch.com’s Rob Martin, and westjobs.com.au’s David Anderson – hope the new association will function as a voice for industry.

The eGroup will be officially launched on February 3 by iiNet chief executive Michael Malone.

The development is timely, considering business information analysts IBISWorld released a report this week suggesting Australia’s online shopping will to grow by almost 5 per cent in 2010, equating to $20 billion in revenue.

IBISWorld general manager Australia, Robert Bryant, said online sales in Australia currently represented just 5.5 per cent of all retail sales, well below levels in the US and Britain, leaving room for significant growth over the next few years.

“Current lower levels are partially due to the fact that Australian retailers have been slow to offer online sales,” Mr Bryant said.

IBISWorld is forecasting time-poor bargain hunters will continue to flock to e-tailers to meet their shopping needs, resulting in a 2.9 per cent growth in employment for the sector.

As eGroup president, Mr Gunningham said the association aimed to create a local e-business ecosystem to help increase the opportunities for e-business in WA.

“There is already a line up of some very impressive WA e-business successes,” he said.

‘‘What we hope to do is bring together that experience and create an environment which increases knowledge, confidence and success.

‘‘It is also our goal that in the future we will offer mentoring opportunities for aspiring e-business entrepreneurs to help them fast track e-business learnings and therefore better compete on a national and global level.’’

Mr Gunningham said the first challenge was to find e-businesses, as they were across diverse industries and didn’t always have a physical presence.

As such, he said the eGroup WA Association was inviting all past and present e-business entrepreneurs to the sundowner launch, which will be sponsored and hosted by legal firm Freehills, to introduce them to the eGroup.

 

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