Ten country businesses working online and embracing advanced technologies have been named finalists in this year’s Regional Online Heroes awards.
Presented by the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) and Google, the awards look to recognise outstanding regional innovators, whether it be someone using online marketing to attract interstate or international customers, a business adding an ecommerce arm to their bricks and mortar store, or someone managing a remote team through the cloud.
The winner is then partnered with Google and connected with new tools and strategies to further their development.
Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack, a judge in the awards, said advancements in technologies and connectivity in rural and regional Australia have given country SMBs a boost into new and emerging markets across the region and the world.
“In almost every community, no matter its size or location, is a story of unparalleled opportunity, with country people taking their natural resilience and entrepreneurial spirit and turning that into a story of online success and strengthening their community,” he said.
“You don’t have to be in Silicon Valley or even Sydney to make a success of a modern, online business. You can do that from Swan Hill, from South Australia or from the Daintree or the Darling Downs.”
The finalists will attend a masterclass at Google’s headquarters in Sydney before the winner is announced. They will be judged by a panel including McCormack, Birdsnest founder Jane Cay, Robert Ravens, founder of the Bridestowe Lavender estate, John Ball, head of small business at Google, and Jack Archer, chief executive of RAI.
The 10 finalists are:
AGDATA Australia, Toowoomba, QLD – a financial and farm management system
Blackbooks Tea, Cairns, QLD – an ecommerce platform selling tea
Corporeal Health, Northam, WA – navigating the challenges of WA’s geography to provide healthcare services
George The Farmer, Penola, SA – an educational platform teaching kids about agriculture through stories, songs, and apps
Local Farm Produce, Bundaberg, QLD – an online directory for farmers to list their produce direct to consumers
Off The Track Training, Longreach, QLD – helping people in rural and regional areas live active, healthy lives by providing access to fitness programs through video, tele-seminars, webinars, group support and print material
Penny Evans Art, Lismore NSW – Penny Evans is an artist selling her work online
Rabbit Hop Films, Moree, NSW – an independent film production company dedicated to telling stories about the country and the people who live in it
Simply Rose Petals, Swan Hill, VIC – an ecommerce platform selling rose petals
Image: Dan Tarasenko and Zachary Sequoia of Crowd Carnivore. Source: Supplied