Congratulations to Griffith University alumni in the running for the prestigious Cosmopolitan 2017 Women of the Year Awards.

Griffith Business School graduates Sarah Schoeller and Marissa Bowden are founders of the now iconic The Village Markets at Burleigh Heads and are nominated in the category of Entrepreneur of the Year.

Sarah told the Gold Coast Bulletin newspaper about the origins of the markets nine years ago.

“Marissa and I worked together for a finance company in marketing and we used to talk about how the Gold Coast didn’t have a great fashion market,” she said.

“When we were made redundant (during the Global Financial Crisis) we had some time on our hands.We’d been to some great markets in London and Sydney, so we decided to put our own flair on it and focused on local designers, live music and street food.”

The markets have been a huge success in themselves, and designers among the earliest stallholders have also gone on to enjoy business success.

“Peony Swimwear sold their first bikini at The Village Markets and brands like F+H Jewellery are doing so well,” Sarah told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

Femeconomy! founders Alanna Bastin-Byrne, left, and Jade Collins

Femeconomy! founders Alanna Bastin-Byrne, left, and Jade Collins

The pair said they were honoured to have been nominated for the Cosmopolitan awards.

Also nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year are Griffith University communications graduate Alanna Bastin-Byrne and her business partner Jade Collins.

Alanna and Jade are the founders of start-up company Femeconomy!, the business model of which relies on approving and showcasing brands that have women in leadership roles, including on boards and as company owners.

Meanwhile, an entrepreneurial mindset has been essential for Griffith business graduates Yiota and Thessy Kouzoukas, also nominated for the Cosmopolitan awards. TheirSabo Skirtlabel, launched while they were students, has had two runway shows at New York Fashion Week and the pair was recently named on the Forbes 30 under 30 list.

The Cosmopolitan Women of the Year Awards is a public vote. To support our Griffith alumni, vote here before 10 October.