Sevva Nelson is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, a talented project and operations manager, and a mother-of-two. She runs IRIS IT: an IT managed services provider supporting small to medium enterprises (SMEs) throughout South Australia. Introduced to computers while working at an accounting firm in Melbourne in the 1980s, programming fast became an area of interest for her.
Returning to her hometown of Adelaide, Sevva became a staff trainer in IT systems before moving on to account and project management roles with software development companies and computer wholesalers including Sybiz Software, where she was promoted to executive director.
After an extensive foray into the food industry establishing a pretzel franchise business, Sevva returned to her roots, taking on various project management roles, before buying IRIS IT (formerly Compunets). She rebranded the business in 2019 and is now spearheading a growth phase for the company.
An active committee member and networker, Sevva is part of local networks including SA Woman, Eastside Business Enterprise Centre and HerTech Path. She enjoys giving back to the community through committee work and speaking engagements
// What do you love most about working for yourself?
I love the challenge of building my business and the autonomy it provides allowing me time to take care of family members when required.
// Why did you decide to go into business?
At this stage in my life, it was now or never, so the decision was made and I wanted to be able to build something up that I would be able to sell at a later date.
// What led you to the career you are in?
Curiosity. In the 1980’s I was employed as an accounts clerk for a very large accounting firm who were very early adopters of computers and technology. When I started, I was seated in front of a machine that I did not know how to operate. I did learn very quickly how to use it, and that is when my curiosity started. I needed to know how this magical machine worked. Soon after, I enrolled in an RMIT programming course and became a computer programmer for the company, my first job in IT. Since then, I have held many other roles in the industry from management, sales and project management in both areas of development and infrastructure. This experience has had an immense impact on my ability to run my company that services and supports businesses with their IT requirements.
// Do you have a fave place to spend summer/go to for coffee/ go to to relax/ go to for food?
My absolute favourite place to just breathe and relax is the beach. It doesn’t matter which beach whether its summer or winter, they both have their beauty, as long as I can see the ocean, hear the ocean, be in it or not, for me this is serenity.
// What advice would you give other women wanting to start a business?
If you do start a business, make sure you do it for the right reasons and with all your heart. There will be highs and there will be lows – count on that, it’s a given. If your venture fails, think about the experiences and lessons gained that you would not otherwise have had and finally keep going, never give up.
// Share with us a quote or mantra you live by…
A flourishing career starts with persistence.
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