With strong demand for Australian products and services around the world, many small businesses are taking advantage of opportunities overseas. Businesses can now enter the 2016 Australian Export Awards, the national program that recognises Australian businesses for their export achievements and contribution to Australia’s economic prosperity.
State and territory winners progress as national finalists, from which one category winner will be crowned the Australian Exporter of the Year. The awards focus on the strength of businesses based on their international growth, marketing and financial strategies.
Last years small business winner was b.box for kids, a Victorian company founded by Dannielle Michaels and Monique Filer. The pair launched the business in 2007 as they endeavoured to make parents’ lives more convenient with innovative and high quality baby products. The company has since been successful in gaining support in different retail sectors including baby stores, homewares, gift stores and pharmacies.
The company’s winning products include a patented diaper wallet and sippy cup, both of which have been commended for design and innovation at the 2010 and 2013 Australian Business Awards.
During 2014 and 2015, b.box for kids increased exports by 93 percent and foreign sales accounted for 71 percent of their total annual revenue. The company’s exports to over 20 countries with strong markets in South Korea and the USA.
Working to stregthen their exporting efforts, b.box for kids continues to invest significantly in growing internaitonally. They recently rebranded to introduce multilingual packaging and instructional leaflets, an online shopping cart platform in multiple currencies, a dedicated website for the USA market, and invested in a warehouse management system to process and track orders across time zones.
The company has used collaboration to boost their international profile by partnering with The Honest Company, a USA-based business co-founded by celebrity Jessica Alba, to create exclusive versions of its diaper caddy.
Judges commended b.box for kids’ growth in China and the USA, as well as its commitment to excellent product design, noting its positive contribution to Australia’s international reputation for quality.
The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), and CPA Australia partner to present this national program, one of the longest running business awards programs in Australia and now in its 54th year.
The program is made possible through the collaboration of all the States and Territories, who each independently run their export awards programs. The Awards operates as a two-tier process: exporters first achieve state distinction through their local State and Territory export award program. Local winners then progress as national finalists and are benchmarked against their peers across the country, with winners receiving national recognition for their international success.