• Katie Whittaker

'Working with values and purpose first': How Kennell&Co is driving business impact

Kerry Kennell is the Director of Kennell&Co, an Indigenous-owned, female and queer-led impact consulting and strategy firm that supports businesses and their teams to make change that shifts their business model to align with their values and purpose. Kerry works through a lens of connection, culture, and empowerment, and is passionate about supporting businesses to find innovative ways to do business in an impactful way.


To celebrate Indigenous Business Month, we spoke with Kerry to hear more about her work at Kennell&Co.


Tell us a bit about you! Where are you from, and what are you passionate about?

I am a Queenslander living on Wurundjeri country in Naarm. My family are Meriam people from Zenadth Kes (Torres Strait) Ugar and Erub islands. Prior to establishing Kennell&Co, I was a civil lawyer and business owner. After growing my first company from $300,000 per annum turnover to $1.2 million (in just over 2 years), I realised I was good at business and I wanted to share my experience and knowledge with others, but this time bringing more warmth and purpose into entrepreneurship.


I have a soft spot for the creative industries and supporting vulnerable communities, serving these communities became my purpose for Kennell&Co. I have spent quality time building rapport with my community so I can work directly with the people I care about, and that is women, First People, People of Colour, and the LGBTQI+ community. I have given over 200 hours in pro bono support during the pandemic, one on one with musicians and vulnerable people, and to the broader music industry with volunteer appointments as a Board Director with Music Victoria and more recently, as a Board Member of the Association of Artist Managers Australia.


I really enjoy the variety in my work, I am often switching hats between working as a consultant, project manager, artist manager. I am super passionate about helping people, and not in a cliche way, it is who I am to my core. My business is built on the values of kindness, inclusivity, culture, empowerment, and connection, and that reflects who I am and what is important to me. I am proud of the impact my work has had on individuals, their businesses, families, and the broader community, and it is passion and fire that keep me going.


Kerry at Kalinya Retreats

What type of services are you offering through Kennell&Co?

I consider myself to be an Impact Consultant. The work I do is business to business and my focus for the next 2 years is shifting to engage with more medium-sized businesses. I offer consultancy to businesses and organisations who are ready for a change in their vision and values, and willing to do the work to have their values reflected in their day-to-day operations, including reviewing their systems, processes, and people they hire. My service is unique to each client and often starts with a complimentary consultation (usually an informal yarn) to understand our client's needs.

For change to be successful, I believe that a collaborative approach is what gets the best results.

So I support the business owner with one on one mentoring to assist them to prepare their mindset and how to use their time effectively to get the work done on their business. My process is unique and sees business owners feeling more focused, organised, and confident about their next steps.


Kerry

What makes Kennell&Co unique as a business? What are the things you do best?

My business is unique because it is led by me, a First Nations, queer woman who is a lawyer, an experienced entrepreneur, and a strong and engaging communicator.

There are not a lot of women like me in Australia. I bring a unique way of thinking but what I actually do best is listen and then ask the right questions to identify areas of focus that my clients hadn’t considered addressing.


B Corps are all about bringing profit and purpose together to prove they aren’t mutually exclusive. What is Kennell&Co’s ‘purpose’?

My core purpose is inclusivity and empowerment, giving my clients the opportunities, confidence, and tools they need to do business their own way.


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