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Best of Business Awards

Shelly Horton at the Telstra Best of Business Awards launch

New Best of Business Awards launched by Telstra

Innovative small and medium-sized businesses that are driving the nation forward have the opportunity to be recognised in a new awards program run by Telstra.

The Telstra Best of Business Awards will celebrate SMBs contributing to solving the major issues of our country while inspiring other SMBs to do the same. 

The program will consist of eight categories with no limit on how many awards a business can be up for. Eligible businesses will contain no more than 200 employees and can either nominate themselves or be nominated for an award.  

An-annually changing category

An-annually changing category, ‘Progressing Australia,’ will be a central feature of the new awards program. This section will have a different topic every year and has been designed to recognise the businesses most proactively solving our country’s issues. Australians will influence the choice of topic by identifying the most critical matters of our country in research conducted by Telstra.

The 2021 focus

The 2021 focus is Local Leadership. This decision comes from research showing that 96 per cent of consumers recognise small businesses as an essential part of the community.  Nominations are open to businesses that are making outstanding contributions by laying the foundations for a thriving community. An entry into at least one other category is required to be in the running for this award.

Diversity and inclusion

The awards aim to give everyone an equal chance for recognition. The Indigenous Excellence award and Accelerating Women award reflect Telstra’s efforts to make the program as fair and inclusive as possible. 

Telstra Consumer and Small Business Group Executive Michael Ackland said, “We are committed to embedding diversity and inclusion and ensuring all business owners from a cross-section of industries, sizes, categories, and locations can enter and are judged fairly. We want to give everyone across Australia the opportunity to be on the main stage.”

Click here for more on the award categories.

Recognition for contribution to Australia

“We know the past year has been challenging for everyone, particularly small to medium-sized businesses. We hope by creating this new program, we will lead a national conversation and shine a light on businesses that are making a meaningful contribution to Australia and provide them with the recognition they deserve,” said Mr. Ackland. 

Telstra Best of Business Awards categories

Building Communities
For businesses working to make a positive impact on culture and society so people from all walks of life can thrive as part of a supportive community.

Championing Health

For businesses focused on innovative solutions, improving health outcomes for every Australian.

Embracing Innovation

For businesses innovating with technology to develop solutions for challenges faced by modern Australia.

Promoting Sustainability

For businesses reducing their environmental impact by driving sustainable change within their industry for a cleaner and healthier planet.

Outstanding Growth

For businesses achieving significant growth and contributing to building a more resilient Australian economy.

Accelerating Women

For businesses actively challenging exclusion and inequality to create meaningful and lasting equity for women.

Indigenous Excellence

For Indigenous-led, owned and operated businesses succeeding through entrepreneurialism, innovation and inspiring the next generation of all Australians.

Progressing Australia

For businesses tackling important issues affecting Australia. Each year the committee will set the theme for the Award in line with the national agenda. Note: Businesses must enter one of the above seven core categories to opt into the Progressing Australia category.

The 2021 topic is: Local Leadership

A category for businesses who are future-focused in their role of building a thriving community of the future. The category champions SMBs who have demonstrated strong leadership in their community by advocating for the skilling and reskilling of the future to sustainably drive economic growth and social cohesion at the local level.


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Georgia Hillier

Georgia Hillier

Georgia is a journalist at Dynamic Business specialising in sales and marketing. She is currently undertaking a double degree in Psychology and Law at university.

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