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Milly chats with WICEF alumna, Iyari Cevallos, about her WICEF experience and her plans for the future

Over a vibrant and diverse career spanning 20 years, Iyari Cevallos has worked leading multidisciplinary teams in large programs within Australasia and internationally, supported organisations facing transformational challenges and started her own consultancy business. The common thread across Iyari's career: the desire to make a positive impact.

In 2020 Iyari joined the Women in Climate and Energy Fellowship to see what this entrepreneurship thing was all about...

Iyari is now working to create accessible and cost effective energy through clean energy community hubs in your neighbourhoods. Bringing community together to tackle climate change locally.

Milly Young, our Fellowship Manager, sits down with Iyari to talk about her fellowship experience and her plans for the future.

Tell us why you decided to take part in the Women in Climate and Energy Fellowship?

As we all know, we have a big problem moving away from being dependent on fossil fuels to provide us with our electricity in Australia. And while we have an abundance of renewable resources here, we struggle to enable access to clean energy to tackle climate change.

Growing up in Mexico I saw what can happen when environmental management is left to Government. Having significant issues with their waterways, air pollution and environmental disaster management. So with my ongoing interest in technology advancements and strong desire to be a part of the climate change solution, I jumped at the chance to get involved in the WICEF program.

What were the highlights of your WICEF experience?

One of the big highlights in my WICEF journey was understanding what the entrepreneurial mindset is all about. This was a bit of an ‘aha’ moment, which made me realise this is exactly what I want to be doing.

What made this program memorable were the people. The upbeat and effective facilitation through the weekly sessions, the guests including funders, start up founders, technical experts and, of course, my fellow WICEF cohort - I still keep in touch and continue to be inspired when we get together.

What has been your biggest takeaway from the fellowship?

A start up idea doesn’t have to be perfect or 'right', because start ups are all about failing fast and persevering. Success comes to those who love a challenge and are passionate about what they want to get involved in or solve.

What’s next for you and how can EnergyLab support you? And, if relevant, where can we find out more?

I’m continuing to prove my product prior to my first grant application. My idea is asset cost heavy so making sure I do ‘enough’ data gathering and analysis for a financial model is vital. I’m also continuing to build my network.

Where EnergyLab can help me is to find my next fellow female partner in crime, technical expert or advisor. I really want to make sure I have a female heavy team in the future and this seems to be a bit of a challenge I need help with. It’s become apparent recently that it’s important to me take some of my fellow likeminded women along on my journey. If this is you or want to know more about what I’m up to, please reach out through LinkedIn or my new website

What’s your advice for women who are starting their journey as an entrepreneur?

This is a journey, which can fit into (usually) a busy life. So if you have a passion – take it on! Break the work down, keep your goals clear, it’s not going to happen quickly, but it will be yours and it will make a difference. An impact which will align to your values, a challenge worthy of your time and effort.

If you are interested in joining EnergyLab's Women in Climate and Energy Fellowship, applications close for our next intake on Sunday 16 May 2021. Be sure to fill out an application form and if you have any questions, email Milly.

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