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 accelerate their growth. The initiative is now open for submissions with more than $460,000 in funding available to support the future aspirations of small businesses globally.
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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 and will recognize companies who are eager to take the next step in various aspects of their business.
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 digitalizing parts of their operations or integrating new emerging technologies.
- Strengthening community connection: For small businesses or nonprofits 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.
“Supporting and celebrating small businesses and their owners is at the core of Xero’s mission, and we’re energized by the opportunity to empower these companies and trailblazers with funding that can help them achieve the next level of success,” said Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Xero CEO. “We’re pleased to be awarding funds to help our customers to take their next step in areas like sustainability or exploring new technologies, where they may not have had the cash to do so.”
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.
For small business customers in the US, $12,500 is up for grabs for one winner in each of the four categories, with an additional $30,000 available should a US winner receive a global prize. Short listed applications from small business customers in the US will be judged by a regional judging panel, which includes: Steve Cassingham, Sustainable GOAT CEO; Lil Roberts, Xendoo Founder and CEO; Andrew Harrison, BMO Head of US Digital Partnerships; Ramon Ray, Publisher and Entrepreneur; Ben Richmond, Xero US Country Manager; and Kelly Hierlmeier, Xero Senior Account Manager.
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