2020 Resilience Awards

This year we are suspending our usual Smart50 Awards to do things a little differently, and to recognise that how we do business has changed in fundamental ways, perhaps even permanently.

In the inaugural SmartCompany Resilience Awards, we want to celebrate the businesses that have withstood the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and spotted new opportunities; that have deepened their ties to their communities; that have put their people first.

We will be recognising businesses in four categories — Adaptation, Community, People and Agility — which you can read more about below.

Our shortlists have been revealed — meet our shortlisted businesses here.

SmartCompany Resilience Awards categories

Resilience is about problem solving and flexibility. It’s about rebounding from disappointments and being able to roll with the punches. It’s absorbing the unexpected and being present to new possibilities and connections. This year we will celebrate Australia’s SME community recognising achievements in the below categories.

Adaptation: This award will celebrate a small business who has innovated. This could be the gin distillery turned hand sanitiser business, the restaurant turned food delivery service, the clothing manufacturer making PPE.

Community: This award will celebrate a small business who has been able to support and stay connected their community as part of their response to COVID-19.

People: This award will highlight a small business who found ways to support and stay connected to their team in the face of lockdown. How did your business embrace remote working? What strategies did you find to support your employees wellbeing? How did you make a difference to those families in your organisation juggling home schooling?

Agility: This award will showcase those business who grew their retail e-commerce offering or moved digital first offering in response to COVID-19.

View our full terms and conditions here.

The four final category winners will be announced on Tuesday, 15 December. Category winners will be invited to participate in a roundtable discussion event in 2021 to share their stories and provide advice to fellow small business owners.

SmartCompany Resilience Awards judging panel

A high profile judging panel led by the SmartCompany editorial team will shortlist five nominees from each category.

  • Kate Carnell AO


    Kate Carnell is the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, leading the organisation and is on the board of the Australian Climate Change Authority. Kate was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2006 for her services to community through contributions to economic development and support for the business sector, knowledge industries, the medical sector and medical technology advances.

  • Peter Strong


    Peter Strong is the CEO of the Council of Small Business of Australia and has been in this role since June 2010. The role requires advocacy for the small business community and representation of issues from members to politicians and government agencies. Peter owned and managed Smiths Alternative Bookshop in Canberra from 2005 to 2013.

  • Alborz Fallah


    Alborz Fallah spent just $35 starting his caradvice.com.au blog in 2006 while a student at the University of Queensland, and sold a stake in the business to Nine Entertainment years later for $35 million. He currently works as a journalist and internet entrepreneur with a key interest in shaking up categories dominated by traditional media.

  • Adrian Towsey


    Adrian is the Area Vice President for Emerging, Small & Medium Business at Salesforce Australia. For over 20 years, Adrian has worked introducing technology to small businesses across ANZ, Asia and India. He’s passionate about making small businesses successful and empowering them with the tools to be small giants.

  • Eloise Keating


    Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Prior to joining SmartCompany, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry. Eloise has degrees in media and communications, marketing and business management, and political science.

Nominations close midnight Thursday, 19 November at midnight.

Shortlist announced Monday, 7 December, winners announced Tuesday, 15 December.