Smart50 Awards 2015

Fresh faces honoured in Smart50 class of 2015

Eloise Keating /

Above: The team behind Just for Pets

A host of new faces join the Smart50 Awards this year, with a majority of 2015’s finalists appearing on the list of the fastest growing Australian SMEs for the first time.

This year’s Smart50 features 33 businesses that have made it on the list for the first time, as well as 17 businesses that have been Smart50 finalists in previous years.

As always there is a diverse cross-section of industries represented in SmartCompany’s annual Smart50 awards, from construction and telecommunications, to retail, education and training, and information technology.

The awards, which were presented last night in Melbourne and sponsored by WFI Insurance, recognise Australia’s top 50 fastest growing small and medium businesses.

The combined revenue of the top 50 companies was more than $737 million for the 2014-15 financial year, which compares to $500 million last year.

This year the Smart50 finalists were ranked according to overall growth over a three-year period, which differs from pervious years in which an average annual growth was calculated for a three-year period.

To place on the list, companies must have recorded revenue of more than $500,000 and achieved revenue growth during each of the past three financial years.

Taking out the top spot this year is Hunter Mason, a business that specialises in construction management. Hunter Mason recorded revenue of $11.2 million in 2014-15 and a staggering overall growth rate for the three-year period of 1740%.

In second place this year is Finsure Finance and Insurance, with revenue of $67 million in 2014-15 and an overall growth rate of 819%. Finsure is closely followed by Cohen Handler in third place, with revenue in 2014-15 of $6 million and an overall growth rate of 622%.

AussieCommerce is the Smart50 finalist with the largest revenue, with turnover of approximately $104 million in 2014-15.

Most of this year’s Smart50 finalists are relatively newly established businesses, with 36 out of the top 50 companies having been founded in or after 2008.

The majority of Smart50 finalists are based on the east coast of Australia, with 21 of the finalists hailing from New South Wales and 19 from Victoria. Seven of this year’s finalists are based in Queensland, two are from South Australia and one in Western Australia.

Awards were also presented last night to category winners, with Just For Pets scooping up the award for Top Retailer and sharing the Community Hero Award with My Cube Australia.

TopJuice was named Top Franchise and Catapult won the award for Top Explorer.

This year’s Top Digital Innovator award was presented to Pureprofile, while Broadband Solutions and Vinomofo were inducted into the Smart50 hall of fame as the joint recipients of this year’s Smart & Lasting award.

Attendees at the awards presentation heard a keynote speech from Finder.com.au co-founder Fred Schebesta, and a video address from Small Business Minister Kelly O’Dwyer.

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Eloise Keating

Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.

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