As well as setting up and managing Australia’s most successful fitness brand, owning 20 franchises with her brother, and being a mother of three young children, Jacinta McDonnell’s entrepreneurial spirit has led to the development of several other business and personal ventures over the past 12 months, making her an inspiration to Australian business women.
Working with her brother Justin, Jacinta McDonell launched the highly successful US franchise Anytime Fitness into Australia in 2008. With over 2700 clubs and 2 million members’ worldwide, it has become the quickest growing segment of the world’s fastest growing fitness chain, and is Australia’s number one health club chain.
Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Anytime Fitness prides itself on providing members with convenient and affordable fitness options in friendly facilities which feature top-quality exercise equipment. Members can work out anytime in any of the 2700 clubs worldwide with one low monthly rate. State-of-the-art security and surveillance systems ensure member safety at the clubs even during unstaffed hours.
In 2014 Jacinta personally raised over $100,000 for The Hunger Project Australia, which could be used to provide 200 communities with the ability to purchase food-processing equipment, provide 2,000 people with microfinance loans that are often used by communities to buy seeds and fertiliser, and train up to 50,000 rural villagers on agricultural practices.
Jacinta then went on a mission to Malawi, Africa to see firsthand what these funds could achieve. Her experience highlighted the shocking struggle of many Malawians who experience a five-month food gap every year. She witnessed work in Malawi that promised to end hunger by 2030 through changing the mentality of villagers from a hand-out to self-sufficiency.
Jacinta said, “It is by changing the mentality from one of scarcity to feeling empowered that real change can happen”. Jacinta and her team, work tirelessly to find, fund and support work that delivers this vision.”
After her trip to Malawi, Jacinta started her own foundation, the Human Kind Project.
The Human Kind Project is completely registered with the ACNC and as a DGR2 status foundation looks to raise funds for and on behalf of worthy and like minded not for profit organisations.
“Human Kind Project is an organization invested in mindset change, our focus is to end inequality within the global community,” said Jacinta. “We do this by questioning the status quo, inspiring those who can effect change and by throwing light on the limitless possibility of the human kind.”