Nikki Jurcutz & Rachael Waia

City: Melbourne

Business: Tiny Hearts First AidHERO HQ

What: Empowering parents and communities to save lives through first aid.

1. What was the catalyst for launching your business?

We have three branches to our business;
1) Hero HQ – providing workplace first aid
2) Young Hearts First Aid – this sector is just about to launch and will be providing first aid to children in school from prep to year 12 and,
3) Tiny Hearts First Aid – providing pediatric first aid to new and expecting parents.

Ultimately all three division aim to empower the community through quality education in the hope of saving lives through first aid.
The three divisions were born from an industry need. As an Advanced Life Support Paramedic with Ambulance Victoria, Nikki found that people were not responding in an emergency. It wasn’t the case that people were not attending first aid courses, the issue was the way in which first aid training was being delivered – i.e., in a boring, mundane, prefer to scratch your eyes out fashion. We are a GEN Y company. We understand that engagement equals retention and retention of first aid skills means lives are saved!

First aid is a life skill, and everyone should know the basic steps to take in an emergency. We are determined to disrupt an out-dated industry by bringing a fresh, progressive, and innovative approach to first aid, ensuring everyone feels empowered to save a loved one’s life should the need arise.

2. What do you love most about what you do now?

The fact that we can say we are making a difference, and a measurable impact in each workplace, each home and the wider community by ensuring everyone is a first aid hero.

I love working with my sister and our incredible team towards one big goal that see’s us push all boundaries, step beyond the comfort zone and do something that no one else is doing. Together we are starting a movement, and thats something really special. The energy is palpable and super exciting!
3. Describe the biggest setback you faced when establishing your business? How did it affect you and how did you push through?

When first deciding to begin our business venture we thought it would be as easy as to go out, get an ABN, and simply begin educating people in first aid. We were mistaken. To operate as a legitimate education based business in Australia, you are required to become a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) – something that in the end took us two years, sleepless nights, and one roof over our head to achieve.

When audit day came we failed miserably. We were given 20 days to rectify a huge list of issues and a measly 3% chance of becoming an RTO. If we had failed after the 20 day resubmission period, we would be waiting an entire year to reapply. This was not an option, so we worked really incredibly hard to make sure we passed!

4. Everyone has days where they feel flat or uninspired – do you have any tricks or tactics for overcoming these feelings?

Argh the ups and downs of running a business! There are some days that really suck, whether its news of one of your crew leaving the nest, someone trying to imitate your brand or coast on your success or your just feeling overworked, underpaid and unmotivated – its all normal.

We are so lucky that we have each other. We will have a cheeky wine or two to debrief and recharge. The good thing about having a business partner means that usually when I am flat Rach is super motivated and vice versa – so we carry each other when needed. This is also where a mentor can really assist! We have an amazing mentor (Liz Atkinson), who we go to for a range of different things, but we seem to see her the most when we are in a pickle – she listens, helps us find a solution and we leave feeling inspired every time.