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Free entry open for Trades & Women’s Small Business Champion Awards

Entries have officially opened to two prestigious and comprehensive Small Business Champion Awards programmes, dedicated to honouring the best of Australia’s tradies and female-led small businesses.

The 2024 Australian TRADES Small Business Champion Awards:

Especially relevant this year as the nation grapples with a housing shortage and urgent need for more skilled tradespeople, the second annual Australian Trades Small Business Champion Awards pertinently pays tribute to the vital role of small businesses in the trade sector as the backbone of the nation’s construction industry, and a significant contributor to Australia’s overall social and economic prosperity.

The nation’s only recognition awards programme dedicated to spotlighting trades-based small business operators from all corners of every Australian state and territory, the Awards further recognise trades-based small business owners’ invaluable contributions to their local communities and to their fields of specialty – including their encouragement of future generations of Aussie tradies.

From builders and bricklayers to arborists, architects, engineers, commercial cleaners, plumbers, painters, locksmiths, electricians, gardeners, landscapers and surveyors, the Australian Trades Small Business Champion Awards is deliberately diverse in terms of the breadth of represented trades.

Featuring more than 50 award categories and five individual categories – Apprentice Champion, Champion Tradie, Small Business Trades Entrepreneur (aged over 30), Young Small Business Trades Entrepreneur (aged 30 and younger) and Trades Champion Leader – this year marks the second consecutive year of the Trades Awards, created to celebrate and inspire the nation’s most innovative, dynamic, and top-performing tradies.

Recent data indicates that almost two million tradies are actively employed in Australia, but according to various industry bodies, hundreds of thousands more are needed to keep pace with Australia’s housing demand. Furthermore, figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that the vast majority of Australian small business owners are tradies.

“Small business owners in trade industries are crucially important to Australia. Their contributions to this country are simply astronomical and so, it’s in the interests of all Australians to recognise the champions of this sector and in doing so, consider how we can better support them so they can continue to support us,” says Steve Loe, Awards Founder and Managing Director of Precedent Productions – which coordinates the Australian Trades Small Business Champion Awards and the Australian Women’s Small Business Champion Awards.

“The Australian trades sector is arguably amongst the most complex, but it’s also among the most innovative, resilient and certainly hardworking.

“A career in trades typically means early starts, long days, and exhausting labour; and for owners, this is in addition to all the pressures that come with running a small business. It can be a taxing career and those who perform to a high standard ought to be acknowledged in a big way – which is what these Awards are all about,” adds Mr Loe.

The 2024 Australian WOMEN’S Small Business Champion Awards:

This year marks the third consecutive year of the Awards, which spotlight the achievements of some of the nation’s most inspiring women in small business. 

From dentists and disability support providers to accountants, makeup artists, café owners, cosmetic specialists, farmers, fashion designers and financial planners, the Australian Women’s Small Business Champion Awards features more than 65 award categories and four individual categories – Young Small Business Champion Woman Entrepreneur (aged 30 and younger), Small Business Champion Woman Entrepreneur (aged over 30), Australian Small Business Champion Influential Woman and Australian Small Business Champion Icon.

According to Australian Government data, female small business owners currently represent more than one-third of all small businesses; and recently released research from Commonwealth Banksuggests more and more Australian women are choosing to start a small business or side hustle, with women opening up 43.2 per cent of all new business transaction accounts during the 2023 financial year.

Steve Loe says: “We’re in the midst of an age of female entrepreneurial empowerment.

“Despite the current high cost of living and myriad challenges associated with small business ownership at present, Australian women are simply powering through and showing incredible resilience and drive across all industries of the small business sector.

“Precedent Productions has been running the Australian Small Business Champion Awards since 1999 but especially during the past few years, we’ve noticed a steep rise in the success of female-owned small businesses in particular; so much so that we deemed it appropriate to have a standalone awards programme that showcases and honours the truly impressive work of women in small business.

“Perhaps there are elements in the double-X chromosome that gives female leaders a special ‘oomph’, or perhaps it’s lived experience, but whatever the reason, small businesswomen today are shining and deserve to be recognised for overcoming still-existing distinct trials to reach such inspirational success,” adds Mr Loe.

An independent national survey of small business owners, recently commissioned by Precedent Productions found that:

  • Almost half (47 per cent) feel that it is still harder for women to succeed for reasons including the gender financing gap, the ongoing existence of stereotypes in the workforce and balancing home and work life.

Spanning hundreds of small business owners from every Australian state, the survey also found that:

  • More than half (63 per cent) of small business owners work more than five days a week.
  • Challenges associated with staff hire, productivity and high costs are especially impacting trades-based small business owners; with those in the construction industry in particular challenged by matters of industry uncertainty. “You never know what’s around the corner in the construction industry,” one respondent said.
  • 45 per cent of Australian small business owners feel that it is now harder to meet customer-related outputs or delivery deadlines than pre-Covid.
  • 71 per cent feel that they are subject to too much regulation, pay too much tax and are hindered by government more than they’re supported.

·         61 per cent feel they do not get enough government support to take adequate action on matters such as climate change, cyber security, innovation, and local manufacturing. However, the vast majority (74 per cent) would rather purchase supplies from an Australian manufacturer or supplier, even if it meant paying more.

·         Almost a quarter (22 per cent) have implemented Artificial Intelligence (AI) into their operations, with a further 39 per cent seriously considering doing so in the near future.

“From regional and rural areas to the suburbs and capital cities, trades-based and female small business operators from all parts of the country are encouraged to enter the Awards – free of charge – as we strive to celebrate the people behind the small businesses that contribute so significantly to our national economy and help to shape their local communities in so many meaningful ways,” adds Mr Loe.

Shortlisted finalists of each programme will be announced from July.

Winners of the 2024 Australian Trades Small Business Champion Awards will be revealed at a National Presentation Evening Gala event on Friday 23 August 2024; the evening before winners of the women’s programme will be celebrated (on Saturday 24 August 2024).

Known as the ‘Logies of the small business’, both red-carpet gala events will be held at Sydney’s The Star, with more event-specific information to soon be announced.

For more information and to submit an entry form, visit: championawards.com.au/trades / championawards.com.au/womens.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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