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Businesses of Tomorrow are in Good Company

11 April 2017 at 4:58 pm
Wendy Williams
A social enterprise that connects those who can give with those in need has been named as one of the top 20 businesses of tomorrow.

Wendy Williams | 11 April 2017 at 4:58 pm


Businesses of Tomorrow are in Good Company
11 April 2017 at 4:58 pm

A social enterprise that connects those who can give with those in need has been named as one of the top 20 businesses of tomorrow.

Giving platform GoodCompany was chosen from almost 2,000 applications as a “high potential business of tomorrow” as part of Westpac Businesses of Tomorrow program.

In total, Westpac recognised 200 businesses, with a collective turnover of approximately $2 billion per year, “that have the drive to boost the nation’s future as Australia transitions to a services and knowledge-based economy”. Of those 20 businesses were highlighted for high potential.

Westpac Institutional Bank chief executive Lyn Coble said the calibre of applicants, which were chosen based on criteria including business purpose, contribution the community, current strengths and vision for the future, had been “extremely high”.

“These are leaders with a strong sense of purpose and the capability to think differently about meeting customer needs that exist today and those that may be needed in the future,” Cobley said.

Judge and Westpac Business Bank chief executive David Lindberg said GoodCompany had made a significant impact.

“As Australia’s first unified workplace giving and volunteering rewards platform, GoodCompany has made a significant impact on the Australian not for profit sector,” Lindberg said.

“Through making it easy and empowering staff to give their time, talent and donations to causes in need, GoodCompany helps make a positive impact to the lives of many Australians.”

GoodCompany CEO Ash Rosshandler said they were honoured to be included in such an “impressive cohort” and he credited the win to the hard work of his team as well as support from key corporate partners and thousands of charities around the nation.

“I guess we’re trying to think about it as a win for everyone,” Rosshandler told Pro Bono News.

“It is a really good chance to acknowledge a lot of the corporates who have been on the journey with us a long time and all the charities that have been with us, some have been with us over 10 years now.

“So it is interesting to work at something for about 10 years and then be recognised as a business of tomorrow.”

Of the 200 businesses chosen for the award, technology businesses made up 40 per cent, with health and education businesses each making up 9 per cent of the list.

Lindberg said the list represented the diversity of Australia with “large and small, new and established businesses, across all industries and sectors”.

“It’s pleasing to see strong representation among service-led sectors such as health, professional services and technology, all predicted to have strong growth over the next 10 years. These businesses demonstrated the potential for a higher purpose,” he said.

Rosshandler said it was “critical” for social enterprises and organisations in the social sector to be included on the same platform as other corporates.

“Hireup [was] in the top 20 and within the top 200 there was The Difference Incubator, and Who Gives A Crap, and there were probably eight or nine organisations that could probably class as social enterprises. I think it is really important,” he said.

“Even at the summit they had people on stage, a few of the business leaders and it is important that people from the social sector are there peppering them with questions, saying: ‘You know great, let’s look at tomorrow and how can businesses be a force for good and how can they help’.

“I think that voice is really important and I think what Westpac has done by including us in the top 20 is really acknowledge that it is important.”

As part of Westpac Businesses of Tomorrow, the top 200 businesses gathered at a summit in Sydney alongside business leaders, to network, share knowledge, and collaborate on the future of Australian business.

Lindberg said “truly remarkable things” happened when businesses come together.

“We know that networking and collaboration are among the top drivers of business success,“ Lindberg said.

“Bringing together 200 businesses that all have the potential to shape our nation’s future presents an opportunity for the Australian business community. We are helping the next generation of Australian businesses to thrive and succeed in a changing world.”

The top 20 high potential businesses also participated in a tailored mentoring program with influential business leaders including Carla Zampatti AC, Ita Buttrose AO OBE, John Eales AM, Tim Fung and Andrew Vesey.

The 20 businesses will receive a tailored $100,000 professional services package and a global study tour in the USA and China.

Rosshandler said they were “really excited” to be mentored by Simon Cant.

“He is the CEO of Reinventure, and he also was one of the founding partners of SVA,” he said.

“He has got a great social bent and a great commercial understanding and good on tech side, so we spent our three hours [of] mentoring walking around Sydney, down at the Rocks, we did a walk and talk, and he is just lovely. We are hoping that leads to good things.”

Rosshandler said his “vision for tomorrow” involved scaling the organisation, which facilitates workplace giving, donating via credit card, fundraising and skilled and general volunteering opportunities for businesses and individuals.

“We hope to scale the workplace giving and volunteering platform,” he said.

“We’re really enthusiastic and excited by the Giving Australia report that shows that 80 per cent of volunteers donate and, when they do, they give twice as much, so the more that we can unlock that for the corporates and for the charities and all our partners the better.

“So we’re really looking to scale that here in Australia and also we’ve got an office now in New Zealand, and seeing where else we can take this. We just bought the url too. So [there] was a theatre producer in New York [that] had been holding it, it was the ‘good company’ as in the theatre company and we reached out and we talked about what we’re trying to do and he said ‘well that sounds like a better use of it,’ than his plans were.

“So we’re expanding internationally and also looking at how else can we grow.

“I look forward to sharing our journey as a winner of this prestigious award.

“The recognition and tailored prize package will enable us to achieve even more for the community. To date we’ve engaged over 50,000 people in delivering nearly $8 million to charity as well as over 177,000 in volunteer hours. We’re only just getting started.”

Wendy Williams  |  Editor  |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the not-for-profit sector and broader social economy. She has been the editor of Pro Bono News since 2018.

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