A gourmet garlic producer in regional New South Wales, an indigenous textile designer from the Northern Territory and a luxury tourism operator on Tasmania’s Bruny Island… This year’s Regional Online Heroes are leading the way in using the web to innovate and grow.
Australian businesses are realising the benefits of getting online, using the internet to reach customers near and far. Research shows that digitally engaged small businesses are more likely to be growing, which is great news for jobs and local communities.
Businesses in regional Australia have much to gain from getting online and many are already using the web in innovative ways. That’s why, for the third year in a row, we’ve teamed up with the Regional Australia Institute to find SMBs that are doing great things online.
In November, we announced the ten Regional Online Heroes finalists:
- The Bruny Island Long Weekend - a boutique tourism provider supporting sustainable tourism on Bruny Island;
- Birth Beat - a midwife using the internet to bring childbirth education to expectant parents across the country;
- Erilan Mastectomy Collection - a unique clothing retailer fitting and supplying prostheses, lingerie and clothing for women who have undergone breast surgery;
- Garlicious Grown - friends producing and selling black garlic products, from paddock to plate across Australia and overseas;
- Graziher - a magazine publisher sharing the stories of women living in rural and remote parts of Australia;
- The Lake House Denmark - a family-owned winery, cellar door, restaurant and café promoting and selling their gourmet products online;
- Magpie Goose - a social enterprise showcasing and celebrating Indigenous culture through its clothing range, designed and created in remote Aboriginal communities;
- One Hour Out - an online travel guide sharing the hidden gems of regional Victoria;
- Pointer Remote Roles - an online platform helping connect businesses with the best person to fill a vacant role regardless of location; and
- VetShop Australia - a one-stop pet and vet shop, stocking a range of products and creating educational videos to help pet owners locally and overseas.
On Friday, these business owners came together for an exclusive masterclass at the Google office in Sydney, where they had the chance to share their stories and develop new digital skills.
Our panel of esteemed judges included The Hon Michael McCormack MP, Minister for Small Business; Jack Archer, CEO of the Regional Australia Institute; Jane Cay, Founder of Birdsnest; David Koch, TV host and business advocate; and Dr Sandra Phillips, Leading Indigenous Scholar at QUT.
We were delighted to announce Magpie Goose as the 2017 Regional Online Hero. Magpie Goose is a social enterprise from the Northern Territory creating bright, bold, statement clothing from fabric designed and hand screen printed in remote Aboriginal communities.
Minister for Small Business, the Hon Michael McCormack MP said Magpie Goose is a great example of how businesses can succeed in regional Australia.
“This year’s entries really demonstrate how small businesses are embracing technological advances and online connectivity in regional and rural Australia to target new and emerging markets,” Mr McCormack said.
More than 100 businesses from across Australia applied, with fantastic examples of how the internet is helping their business grow and prosper.
For more information check out the Regional Online Heroes visit the website. Congratulations again to our amazing online heroes!