The Smart50 Awards

Since 2007, the Smart50 Awards have delivered national recognition to the fastest growing businesses across Australia.

For 2022, we’ve partnered with Employment Hero to will shortly announce:

The Smart50 List which recognises the fastest growing SMEs in Australia; and

The Smart50 award categories which celebrate specific business achievements.


Back to SmartCompany


Platinum Sponsor
Employment Hero is the world’s leading HR, payroll and benefits platform. The award-winning employment software helps launch businesses on the path to success by powering more productivity every day. Employment Hero services over 80,000 businesses, collectively managing over 750,000 employees. Its core platform reduces admin time by up to 48 per cent. Learn more.


Silver Sponsors

Fifo Capital
Fifo Capital offers finance solutions, built specifically for your business. Our mission is to make it easier for businesses to do more business. Since launching in Australia in 2007, we’ve supported thousands of businesses with more than $2bn. Fifo Capital was recognised as a 2022 finalist for Lending Innovator of the Year at the Fintech Awards, and in 2020 was named Best Working Capital Solution Provider – Australia at the APAC Business Awards. Learn more


Aiven provides managed open source data technologies, like PostgreSQL, Kafka, and OpenSearch, on all major clouds. Through Aiven, developers can do what they do best: create applications. Meanwhile, Aiven does what they do best; manage cloud data infrastructure. Aiven enables customers to drive business results from open source that trigger true transformations far beyond their own backyard. Learn more.

Blue Rock
BlueRock is a multidisciplinary entrepreneurial advisory firm helping business owners operate and grow successful businesses and achieve their personal goals. It is a tech-led, impact-focused company that always strives to do better, placing great importance on innovation and creating strong communities through the Be BlueRock Foundation and certification as a B Corporation. BlueRock’s experienced people are the trusted partner for over 7,000 clients Australia-wide, providing them with all the tools they need as they embark on the adventure of business. Learn more.

We Make Online Videos (WeMOV) is a video production company that specialises in making corporate communication videos, animated explainers, online advertising, aerial cinematography, property development videos and profile videos for Australian businesses. Learn more.



Back to SmartCompany

The Categories

People Power Award

Sponsored by Employment Hero

This award will celebrate a business that demonstrates an enlightened and supportive approach to its people and culture.

Innovator Award

Sponsored by BlueRock

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

Resilience Award

Sponsored by Fifo Capital

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

Rising Star Award

Sponsored by Aiven

This award recognises the achievements of high-growth startups.

Community Hero

This award will celebrate a small business that has supported its people, clientele or wider community in a productive, uplifting or charitable way.

Retail Champion

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

Sustainability Award

Entrants who can show examples of initiatives that support or promote energy or water conservation, waste reduction, climate action or environmental advocacy.

Marketing Award

An award for a business that can inspire great marketing from others by demonstrating how it implemented creative marketing to launch new products, build brand awareness or find new audiences.

Regional Award

Entrants from regional areas that have made significant impact to their community by supporting local organisations or boosting economies with jobs and opportunities.


Jane Lu
Jane Lu Showpo
Jane Lu
Founder and CEO

Jane started Showpo in 2010 in her parents’ garage. With no experience or money, just her laptop and two shelves of clothes, she grew Showpo into a global fashion brand that sells to millions of happy customers around the world.

Jane is also a massive advocate for small business and women in business. She started the group Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine which now reaches over 165,000 women globally.

Jane is our judge for the Retail Champion award.


adam schwab
Adam Schwab Luxury Escapes
Adam Schwab
Co-founder and CEO
Luxury Escapes

Adam is the co-founder and CEO of Luxury Escapes, a global online travel business with almost 500 team members across four continents. Adam has also been the Executive Chairperson of Bookwell, and is a director and angel investor in Bluethumb and has written for Crikey and SmartCompany since 2005.

Adam is our judge for the Innovator award.

Alexi Boyd COSBOA
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 Community Hero award.

Eloise Keating SmartCompany
Eloise Keating

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.

jane martino
Jane Martino Smiling Mind
Jane Martino
Chair & Co-founder
Smiling Mind

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 Innovator award.

Michel Hogan
Michel Hogan  
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 Sustainability award.

sarah mullen
Sarah Mullen Adore Beauty
Sarah Mullen
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 Retail Champion award.

Wayne Morris Fifo Capital
Wayne Morris
Fifo Capital

As CEO of Fifo Capital, Wayne is passionate about helping Australian businesses grow, by making better, smarter finance solutions more accessible. Wayne is a leading expert in supply chain and alternative finance. He has provided insights at parliamentary hearings and is regularly consulted by the AFR as an expert on working capital solutions. Wayne is constantly challenging businesses and governments to look beyond ‘vanilla’ forms of finance and move towards more scalable, future-proof solutions to create greater stability and resilience across the business sector.

Wayne is our judge for the Resilience award.

Alex Hattingh Employment Hero
Alex Hattingh
Employment Hero

Alex Hattingh is the Chief People Officer at Employment Hero. Alex has over 20 years of experience in partnering with leadership to establish and continuously improve company culture and employee experience. She derives energy from driving organisational excellence and building high-performing work environments. Alex’s roles have covered international Fortune 500 companies, through to home-grown Australian start-ups. Her experience spans OD Consulting in Sydney, to Generalist and Leadership HR roles in New York, followed by HR leadership for the Asia Pacific region with bases in Singapore and Australia. Alex thrives in an environment that is results-driven and dynamic; where employee success, achievement, collaboration and agility are highly valued.

Alex is our judge for the People Power award.

julie mathers
Julie Mathers Flora & Fauna
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 Sustainability award.

Adriarna Nunn
Adriarna Nunn Cobild
Adriarna Nunn
Head of People & Culture

Adriarna Nunn is a big exponent of the idea that without challenge, there’s no change. She’s driven by the task of subverting conventional workplace practices, rewarding teams on merit and performance rather than tenure, and appreciates the positive impact she can make towards creating communities of engaged, productive and happy people. Adriarna believes that replacing outmoded management theories with innovation and inclusion, leads to healthier outcomes and her mantra, in a nutshell, remains always, People First.

Adriarna is our judge for the People Power award.

ben cairns
Benjamin Cairns Matilda Bay
Benjamin Cairns
Head of Marketing
Matilda Bay

Benjamin has a passion for the Liquor and FMCG industry. Based in Melbourne, Australia, Benjamin has experience in creating brands, telling stories and bringing ideas to life.  He’s worked with mainstream to underground brands from local to global.  Benjamin’s creative flair has helped spearhead innovative NPDs and memorable campaigns.

Benjamin is our judge for the Marketing award.

ben tyers
Ben Tyers The Local Rag
Ben Tyers
The Local Rag

Ben is the founder of The Local Rag, and also Managing Editor of Thrillist Australia, Thrillist’s first international edition. A combination of growing up in regional Victoria, and working in lifestyle publications for the best part of the last decade gave him the idea to launch The Local Rag, a guidebook to exploring the best that regional Australia has to offer.

Ben is our judge for the Regional award.

Christina Gerakiteys SingularityU
Christina Gerakiteys

Christina Gerakiteys is a catalyst for change, alchemising impossible to possible through the unleashing of human potential and is on a mission to enable the enablers to empower and inspire leaders to have maximum impact. Christina is a sought-after speaker, facilitator, and program designer, creating interactive educational experiences driven by design thinking, purpose, engagement, and play. Christina works with startups and is proud to be an ambassador for Tech Central.

Christina is our judge for the Rising Star award.

nate sampimon
Nate Sampimon Riparide
Nate Sampimon
Co-founder & CEO

A long-time member of Melbourne’s startup community, Nate founded co-working space Inspire9, venture accelerator Angelcube, and is now focused on Riparide, a fast-growing travel startup operating across Australia, New Zealand and the US.

As Riparide’s co-founder and CEO, Nate helps people escape the daily grind and find fulfilling moments in nature. The company celebrates the power of short nature escapes, shaping the way people discover adventure in regional areas.

Nate is our judge for the Regional award.

Priyanka Ashraf
Priyanka Ashraf The Creative Co-Operative
Priyanka Ashraf
The Creative Co-Operative
Priyanka Ashraf, founder of The Creative Co-Operative, is promoting anti-racism through storytelling and entrepreneurship in a bid to “write intersectionality back into society”, and was a winner of the Smart2021 Community Hero Award.
Priyanka is our judge for the Regional award.
Steph Claire Smith Keep It Cleaner
Steph Claire Smith
COO and co-founder
Keep It Cleaner

Steph is the COO and co-founder of Australian health and wellness app, Keep it Cleaner (KIC). She’s incredibly passionate about using her past experiences with toxic diet & exercise culture to help others build a healthy relationship with food and exercise. Steph has owned multiple successful businesses, is a proud mum to her son, Harvey, host of the KICBUMP podcast, co-host of the KICPOD, author, has over 80 health food products stocked in supermarkets across Australia through a separate business venture which licences the Keep it Cleaner brand.

Steph is our judge for the Resilience award.

Laura Henshaw Keep It Cleaner
Laura Henshaw
CEO and co-founder
Keep It Cleaner

Laura is the CEO and co-founder of Australian health & wellness app, Keep it Cleaner (KIC). Her mission is to help others embrace self-acceptance and make sustainable changes towards a healthier, happier lifestyle. Laura has a monthly column with Vogue Australia and has been invited to share her advice with the likes of body+soul, The Project, Women’s Health, ELLE, Yahoo and the NZ Herald. Laura is the co-host of KICPOD, author, health & wellness and business keynote speaker and has over 80 health food products stocked in supermarkets across Australia through a separate business venture which licences the Keep it Cleaner brand.

Laura is our judge for the Resilience award.

SmartCompany Plus

Sign in

To connect a sign in method the email must match the one on your SmartCompany Plus account.
Or use your email
Forgot your password?

Want some assistance?

Contact us on: or call the hotline: +61 (03) 8623 9900.