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Corporate responsibility and entrepreneurship according to Andrew Thomas

Andrew Thomas founded Thomas Duryea Consulting at just 23 years of age, and has grown the business into one of the most awarded IT services businesses in the country in just 11 years, enjoying revenues in excess of $50 million per annum – with plans to double this figure in three years.

Thomas prides himself on a strong commitment to ethics and has built a business that delivers on positive environmental practices and corporate social responsibility. As a result of its founder and CEO’s strong ethics, Thomas Dureya became the first company in Australia to provide a tech solution that achieved a significant cumulative reduction in CO2 emissions, setting the industry-wide benchmark for environmentally sustainable practices in IT infrastructure.

Last year Thomas was named the 2010 Ernst & Young Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and now he talks to Dynamic Business about his achievements and the need for entrepreneurs and business owners to work hard and conduct themselves with the utmost of integrity.

Q. You were young when you set up your business, do you think youth is a benefit or hindrance?

I believe youth is an absolute benefit to beginning life as an entrepreneur. When you are young you are fearless. You have absolute faith that your dreams can come true and have no boundaries or inhibitions. You also have an abundance of energy, which is not only inspiring, but provides you with the get up and go during the good, but also importantly, the bad days.

Being young, you also have far less to lose in the event of failure. Without the typical responsibilities that you collect as you get older, such as family, a mortgage and so on, you can take on more risk and be more courageous in your business decisions.

Q. Where did your belief in ethics and protecting the environment come from?

I grew up in the country. I worked on my parent’s farm as a teenager and I was always taught to work hard, to live with integrity, and to treat others as I would want to be treated. Now I remain a ‘country boy’ at heart; my love for the outdoors, for nature and the wilderness leads me to want to protect it. I want my children’s children to have the opportunity to enjoy the same experiences I can.

Q. What lesson have you learned during your business journey you think all entrepreneurs should know?

There are dozens, but nothing is more important than having a burning desire to achieve your dream. When you want something hard enough, you will find a way to achieve it. Plus having this desire and passion for your business gives you focus and helps you to inspire other people to come along on the journey with you. Nothing is more motivating than a passionate leader.

Q. What are three essential traits you think an entrepreneur needs to be successful?

1/ Passion and a single-minded ambition to achieve your dream
2/ Enthusiasm and the ability to inspire others.
3/ Energy, and loads of it! It is also equally important to be able to regenerate that energy when the going gets tough so you can maintain that passion, day in day out.

Q. What’s your proudest achievement?

I would have to say building Thomas Duryea into what it is today, a thriving business with amazing staff. The team is just as passionate about the business as I am if that is at all possible! We all love what we do and we have fun doing it. I come to work every day with a smile on my face.

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Lorna Brett

Lorna Brett

Lorna was Dynamic Business’ Social Web Editor in 2011/12. She’s a social media obsessed journalist, who has a passion for small business. Outside the 9 to 5, you’re likely to find her trawling the web for online bargains, perfecting her amateur photography skills or enjoying one too many cappucinos. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/dynamicbusiness">Twitter @DynamicBusiness</a>

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