Entrepreneur aims for the stars

Published 5:00am 12 September 2023

Entrepreneur aims for the stars
Words by Jodie Powell

Moreton Bay’s Entrepreneur of the Year didn’t always consider herself an entrepreneur – but she always knew she wanted to open her own business by the age of 30.

Splice Marketing founder and chief executive officer Ellie Bakker, who was awarded the Think2Be Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the second year in a row at the 2023 Moreton Bay Business and Innovation Awards, says working with her parents sparked her passion for innovation.

“I have always had that entrepreneurial drive, but I didn’t consider myself an entrepreneur until someone encouraged me to apply for the (Moreton Bay) award,” Ellie says.

“I’ve always been comfortable with taking risks and thinking outside the box – it stemmed from mum and dad.”

Ethical marketing

Entrepreneur aims for the stars

Since launching healthcare marketing agency Splice Marketing in 2017 at the age of 29, Ellie has grown the business from a one-woman band to a team of more than 20 – with no bank loans and only the first round of Jobkeeper payments at the height of COVID-19.

“I fell into the healthcare space as a marketer and I started to realise healthcare professionals were quite restricted in what they could do in marketing themselves,” she explains.

“I started the business to help improve patient outcomes and access to healthcare services by supporting health businesses in Australia.

“That vision has guided decisions, our direction and informs the way I hire, promote and manage employees.”

As a healthcare marketing agency, Splice focuses on improving people’s lives by ethically marketing medical devices and technologies, health and wellness businesses, and health non-profit organisations.

New business streams

The North Lakes-based business has expanded its horizons beyond Australia, with more than 100 healthcare clients ranging from start-ups to global MedTech companies, from solo practices to large healthcare organisations, those working within existing health systems and those innovating to change healthcare.

Ellie has created two spin-off companies – Splice Consulting, which focuses on business advisory, and Telehealth Mastery, providing accredited medical education; and achieved a growth rate of 260 percent in the first two years of business, followed by an average annual growth rate of 50-70 percent.

“With the healthcare sector, I really have an appreciation of the work they do tirelessly, day in, day out.

“We work to support the profession so they can support their patients.”

Ellie and her team regularly undertake training and accreditation to keep pace with changing regulations and to ensure they can maximise the marketing potential for clients.

“We’re thinking outside the box to look at what can be achieved within that regulated environment.

“Together we have been able to really make a difference and make positive changes in terms of access to healthcare.”

She’s humbled by being named Entrepreneur of the Year and says the honour recognises the work of her team as well.

Team effort

Entrepreneur aims for the stars

“I know the award is recognition of myself, but it’s also a huge credit to my team.

“I want to say a huge thank you to my team and my clients because we’re all on this journey together.”

Ellie says the spirit of communication and collaboration among Moreton Bay’s business community is inspiring.

“I would just like to say a big thank you to the business community within Moreton Bay because there has been so much support and encouragement.

“I was quite isolated for the first two to three years - then impostor syndrome took hold, but someone encouraged me to connect and it actually really did make a difference to talk to people going through the same thing as you.

“I have the greatest admiration for business owners, no matter what their size, because it’s really hard slog.

“You’re building your business for the community – there’s so many moving parts and once you start talking to people everyone’s story inspires you and lifts you up to be the best you can be.”

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