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Xero Beautiful Business Fund winners for 2023 unveiled 

Xero, the global small business platform, announced the 28 small businesses and non-profits that have won a share of the AU$ 690,000 global prize pool in the inaugural Xero Beautiful Business Fund.

One of the global winners is a regional New South Wales charity and volunteer organisation, winning a total of AU$70,000 in the Strengthening Community Connection category. 

Launched earlier this year, the Xero Beautiful Business Fund seeks to help Xero’s small business customers boost their growth plans and drive future success. More than 5,500 applications were received from Xero customers across Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the United States and the United Kingdom. 

Joseph Lyons, APAC Managing Director, Xero: “It’s been amazing to see firsthand the incredible work Australian small businesses are doing and what their future aspirations are. They are having a remarkable impact on the wider community in diverse ways, and I am grateful for all of the applicants who took the time to tell their stories. Our local winners are extremely dedicated to tackling challenges head on and generating impact, and I’m very proud that we at Xero can help them on their business journey.” 

The four global winners will each receive a total of AU$70,000, while the remaining 24 winners will each receive AU$20,000 in funding. 

Four Australian businesses were recognised across the categories – Innovating for sustainability, Strengthening community connection, Trailblazing with technology and Upskilling for the future. 

Strengthening community connection: We Care Connect (NSW) 

Taking out the global prize for this category is We Care Connect, a charity and volunteer organisation from New South Wales’ Central Coast and Hunter. We Care Connect tackles childhood poverty in their local region by rehoming quality preloved children’s essentials with families who need them most, positively impacting the lives of around 30,000 families. This prize will fund the purchase of critical items that are rarely donated, like newborn car seats, nappies, cot mattresses and more. 

Innovating for sustainability: Suitcase Records (Qld) 

The Australian small business taking the next step on their sustainability journey is Suitcase Records, a family-run state-of-the-art vinyl pressing plant in Brisbane. Passionate about supporting artists to keep making music, Suitcase Records is also committed to spearheading sustainable ways of manufacturing records. This prize will be used to fund the import of a world first vinyl record bio compound that will reduce the carbon output of pressing records by 92 percent when compared to standard black PVC.

Trailblazing with technology: Natura Pacific (Qld) 

Seeking to innovate through technology is Natura Pacific, a Queensland social enterprise. Natura Pacific connects communities with the natural world through regenerative agriculture. The Xero Beautiful Business Fund winnings will enable Natura Pacific to swap out their 1960’s diesel tractor used for orchard spraying with an agricultural drone. This will reduce their organic spraying time twelvefold – from 24 hours a week to around two hours. Passionate about digital transformation in regenerative agriculture, they plan to leverage their experience and knowledge with other farmers. 

Upskilling for the future: Rattlepod Landscapes (NT) 

Based in Alice Springs, Rattlepod Landscapes provide landscape design, construction services, and community projects to design arid appropriate landscapes to improve livability in central Australia. Retaining staff in a transient environment is challenging for the business, so to improve team incentives the business will use their prize to upskill its staff, setting themselves up for future success and to help deliver the best outcomes for the communities they work for. 

The Xero Beautiful Business Fund was first announced during Xero Day, Xero’s founding day celebrations, on 6 July this year. Applications opened on 23 August and ran for six weeks, closing 6 October. To enter, applicants needed to submit a 90-second pitch video sharing details of their business, the category they were applying in and their plans to use the funding. Regional winners were chosen by a regional judging panel composed of local business and industry leaders, Xero accounting and bookkeeping partners and Xero employees, for a total of 28 winners. A global judging panel made up of global business and industry leaders, technology experts and Xero executives, then selected one global winner in each category from the 28 regional winners. 

For more information and to learn about the winners, visit xero.com/beautiful-business-fund.

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