Smart50 Awards 2021

We’ll be announcing the Smart50 list and category award winners in a virtual event on Wednesday, December 8. Register now to attend.

Date: Wednesday, December 8
Time: 4:00PM AEDT
Duration: 1 hour

register now

Since its very beginning, back in 2007, the Smart50 Awards have recognised and celebrated the fastest growing SMEs in Australia and we’re excited to bring the awards back this year.

Each year, the Smart50 finalists represent the very best of Australian business. They are the innovators and the job creators, the hard-working community heroes.

These businesses have never been more important to our country as we all face the enormous challenge of surviving and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.


The 2021 Smart50 will recognise businesses on a list of the 50 fastest-growing SMEs, and in the following six categories:

Rising Star Award

Recognises the achievements of high-growth startups younger than three years.

Startups younger than three years are not eligible for the Smart50 list, but can enter into the Rising Star award. Startups more than three years old are not eligible for the Rising Star award but can enter into the Smart50 list and other categories.

Resilience Award

Major award for a business that has shown resilience, adaptability and leadership in the last year.

The Resilience Award is a standalone award and is not part of the Smart50 list. Businesses who are eligible for the Smart50 list (can demonstrate three consecutive years of growth) and other awards below are not eligible for the Resilience Award.

SmartCompany Plus Innovator

Entrants must show initiatives that spark progressive change in their industry or business, original ideas and disruptive strategies.

Smart50 Community Hero

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

Smart50 Retail Champion

Entrants must show innovations in product offer, outstanding customer service, employee care and sales and marketing initiatives.

Smart50 Eco Warrior

Entrants must show examples of initiatives that support anything from energy conservation and waste reduction, to climate action or social responsibility.

Smart50 list

Entrants may apply for the Smart50 list and no award categories.

See our full Smart50 terms and conditions here. 

Get in touch with any questions at [email protected].


The judges (A-Z)

  • Adam Schwab

    Co-founder and CEO, Luxury Escapes
    Adam studied law and commerce at Monash University before becoming a corporate lawyer specialising in mergers and acquisitions at Freehills. At 25, Adam co-founded corporate accommodation and services group, Living Corporate Apartments, and in 2010, Adam co-founded what would soon become the Lux Group. In 2011, Adam co-founded MyTable, which eventually formed part of Menulog.

    Adam is our judge for the SmartCompany Plus Innovator award.

  • Alexi Boyd

    A fully qualified BAS agent, Alexi has over 20 years experience working with small and family businesses in addition to running her own bookkeeping practice. She has hosted her own community radio show and podcast dedicated to small business education and advocacy since 2014 and in 2021, was appointed as chief executive of the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia.

    Alexi is our judge for the Smart50 Community Hero award.

  • Bruce Billson

    Bruce is a former politician who was a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives representing the electorate of Dunkley in Victoria from 1996 to 2016. Bruce served as the Minister for Small Business from September 2013 to September 2015 and was appointed the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman in 2021.

    Bruce is our judge for the Smart50 Resilience Award.

  • Eloise Keating

    Editor, SmartCompany
    Eloise 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. You can follow her on Twitter at @ellykeating.

    Eloise will be judging across the Smart50 award categories.

  • Emma Fawcett

    General Manager, SME at MYOB
    Emma is General Manager – SME at MYOB, leading the team responsible for delivering MYOB’s end-to-end business management solutions to the SME segment. She has extensive experience building high performing teams, most recently in the media industry, establishing scalable processes and driving exceptional business outcomes. With experience in her own small family business, Emma is committed to supporting SMEs as the backbone of the Australian economy, particularly helping them succeed through digitising.

    Emma is our judge for the Smart50 Resilience Award.

  • Jane Martino

    Portfolio advisor, 15xventures
    Jane is chair and co-founder of the globally recognised tech-based not-for-profit Smiling Mind, and is currently consulting to a number of clients across the technology/venture landscape including the Commonwealth Bank’s x15ventures. Jane is a published author, most recently creating a series of five children’s books with Penguin released from October 2020 and throughout 2021.

    Jane is our judge for the SmartCompany Plus Innovator award.

  • Julie Mathers

    Founder and CEO, Flora & Fauna
    Julie is the CEO and founder of Flora & Fauna, the world’s largest 100% vegan store. Flora & Fauna, a certified B Corp, was awarded Best Small & Succeeding Business for NSW at the Telstra Business Awards, Top Sustainable Retailer in 2021 and 2020, Best Small Retailer and Best Online Retailer 2018, and shortlisted as a finalist for Responsible Retailer of the Year at the World Retail Awards 2017.

    Julie is our judge for the Smart50 Eco Warrior award.

  • Lucy Liu

    Co-founder and president, Airwallex
    Lucy is a co-founder and the president of Airwallex, a fintech startup. Previously an investment consultant at the China International Capital Corp (CICC), China’s first joint venture investment bank, she is responsible for overseeing the ongoing business operations within Airwallex. After leaving CICC, Lucy was the director of Hong Stone Investment Development Limited, a Hong Kong based investment company, where she designed and implemented their financial and operational strategy.

    Lucy is our judge for the Rising Star Award.

  • Michel Hogan

    Brand counsel
    Michel is a brand counsel, advising organisations on the risk to their purpose and values of making the wrong promises. She’s a trailblazing thinker and action-focused speaker whose provocative ideas are backed by 30 years in the field, working alongside organisations big and small both in Australia and the US. She has written over 500 articles about brand, including 13 years writing for SmartCompany and is the author of two books — Between Making Money and World Peace and The Unheroic Work.

    Michel is our judge for the Eco Warrior Award.

  • Sarah Mullen

    COO, Adore Beauty
    Sarah is one of Australia’s leading female executives. With a strong fashion and cosmetics background, Sarah is passionate about product, brand, and leading teams to success. Currently COO of online beauty retailer Adore Beauty, Sarah leads the brands, customer service, and operations teams.

    Sarah is our judge for the Smart50 Retail Champion award.


MYOB is a leading business platform with a core purpose of helping more businesses in Australia and New Zealand start, survive and succeed. At the heart of MYOB is a customer base of 1.2 million businesses and a network of more than 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and consultants, for whom MYOB delivers end-to-end business and accounting solutions. MYOB operates across four key segments: Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), Enterprise, Financial Services and Practice.

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