Award win stitches up international success

After huge success in Japan, Singapore and Brazil, local children’s designers Oobi Baby and Kidshas its sights on the US, and says a Sydney business award win helped them crack international markets.

Alex Riggs’ inner west company took out the City of Sydney-sponsored Excellence in Small Business and the Business of the Year awards in 2011. She’s now encouraging other Sydney businesses to enter this year’s NSW Business Chamber Business Awards to help drive them to greater success.

“Winning the awards gave us a lot of cachet and now that we’re preparing for the trade shows in New York, it’s a point of difference that gives the business some gravitas,” Ms Riggs said.

“People are nervous about purchasing from an unknown quantity, but having that weight of an award win behind you gives people more confidence – it demonstrates that you’re a solid and successful business that has received the acknowledgement of its peers. It really adds credibility.”

“I would encourage anyone who runs a small business to go through the application process. It was a good way for us to take a close look at our business and measure how we were tracking.

“It proved to be an excellent company health check that also gave us the confidence to up the ante, push ourselves and set new benchmarks.”

Oobi designs

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City has been supporting local business awards since 2004 and was pleased to again be sponsoring the Excellence in Small Business category.

“Small and medium sized businesses are the engine room of our city, representing 85 per cent of our businesses and contributing an estimated $20 billion to the local economy,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The last census showed 40 per cent of all job growth in metropolitan Sydney took place in the City’s local government area. We want to create an environment where business can flourish and these awards showcase what our businesses are doing well and puts them on a bigger stage.”

Entries for the Sydney City Region of the prestigious awards program are open until 5 June. There are 10 categories in the 2016 Sydney City regional awards:

  • Excellence in Innovation – for businesses that have made significant contributions to their industry through the introduction or improvement of an idea, method, technology, process or application;
  • Excellence in Sustainability – for businesses working to reduce the impact of their operations on the environment or provide products and services that have positive environmental outcomes;
  • Employer of Choice –for businesses that have put in place strategies and initiatives to create stimulating and supportive workplace environments for their employees;
  • Excellence in Business Ethics – for outstanding business people who have achieved business success while acting in an ethically responsible way;
  • Excellence in Small Business – for businesses with less than 20 employees that have attained significant and sustainable growth in the 2014/15 financial year;
  • Exellence in Business – recognises a business with more than 20 full time employees that has attained significant growth and is able to demonstrate strategies that achieved profitable and sustainable growth;
  • Young Entrepreneur – for inspirational young business people who have built a successful business through their own commitment and passion;
  • Young Business Executive – for young business people who have achieved outstanding results in a business environment;
  • Business Leaders Award – for business people and professionals who have provided inspiration to a new generation of upcoming business leaders; and
  • Excellence in Export – for businesses that are forging a strong reputation for Australian products and services in international markets.

Further awards are for:

Local Chamber of Commerce – recognising the achievements of a Local Chamber in supporting their members to maximise their business potential; and

2016 Business of the Year – this award takes into account all other categories and is awarded to a company considered an ‘all-rounder’, with superior performance in all aspects.

Entry to the awards close on 5 June and are subject to NSW Business Chamber’s membership terms and conditions. Finalists will be announced on 23 June, with the Sydney City Regional Awards event on 21 July.

Winners of the Sydney City awards will go on to the state finals of the NSW Business Chamber awards on 25 November.

The City recognises the unique economic importance of our area and has developed a 10 year strategy to strengthen the economy and support business. To help support local businesses, the City runs a number of free programs throughout the year, including Business 101 seminars for small to medium businesses. The City also provides business improvement grants and business events sponsorships. Visit the City’s website for details on support offered to businesses:cityofsydneybusinesssupport