Xero, the global small business platform, marked day one of Xerocon Sydney 2023 by opening applications for its inaugural Xero Beautiful Business Fund, designed to celebrate small businesses, empower success and help accelerate their growth.
The Fund is open to small businesses across Aotearoa New Zealand, with the opportunity for four Xero small business customers to receive a share of more than $750,000 in funding to support their future aspirations.
Xero announced submissions are now open and there are four categories Kiwi small businesses can put themselves forward for including sustainability, technology, community and upskilling.
Xero Country Manager - NZ, Bridget Snelling says the Xero Beautiful Business Fund is a great initiative for Xero’s Kiwi small businesses to celebrate their hard work and take their business to the next level.
“After a challenging few years for our small business community, we’re excited to be able to support them to further invest in their own future success under these four key categories,” says Snelling.
Alongside Snelling, the local judging panel in Aotearoa New Zealand includes Auckland Business Chamber CEO Simon Bridges, 1Centre Founder & CEO Miriana Lowrie, Plugin Accountant Limited CEO Sue de Bievre, and Xero employee, Maarten Idema.
According to Xero, there are low barriers to entry, and to apply, Xero small business customers will need to submit a 90-second pitch video and complete a brief written form for as many categories as they would like to enter:
- Innovating for sustainability: For small businesses who want to take the next step on their sustainability journey. For example, it could be to move to sustainable packaging, implement energy-efficient equipment or carbon neutral transport.
- Trailblazing with technology: For small businesses seeking to innovate. This could include digitalising parts of their operations or integrating new emerging technologies.
- Strengthening community connection: For small businesses or non-profits who strive to give back to their communities. It could be to contribute to philanthropy, social good, or make an impact on the community in a meaningful way.
- Upskilling for the future: For small businesses seeking to support upskilling for themselves or their employees. This could include access to training and other professional development opportunities.
Each submission should be future-focused and detail how the funding would benefit the small business, Xero states.
Xero CEO Sukhinder Singh Cassidy says, “Supporting and celebrating small businesses and their owners is at the core of Xero’s mission, and we’re energised by the opportunity to empower these companies and trailblazers with funding that can help them achieve the next level of success."
“We already know that so many of our customers embody Xero’s values, and we’re pleased to be awarding funds to help our customers in an area like sustainability or upskilling, where they may not have had the cash to do so.”
The Xero Beautiful Business Fund is open to Xero small business customers in Australia, Canada (excluding Quebec), New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the US, and the UK.
A total of 28 regional winners, one from each region for each category, will be determined by regional judging panels before being put forward to the global judging panel to select the global winner for each of the four categories.
The global judging panel for the inaugural Xero Beautiful Business Fund includes judges who represent accounting, small business and Xero’s global partners: Laurie McCabe, Co-Founder and Partner, SMB Group; Becca McClure, Director of Transformation, BDO Global; Jeanne Grosser, Global Head of Partnerships, Stripe; John Hummelstad, Locatrix CEO; Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Xero CEO; and Nigel Piper, Xero Executive General Manager, Customer Experience.