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Vero Excellence In Business Support Awards Winners

Thursday 21 July 2005

Winners Of Vero Excellence In Business Support Awards

The winners of the inaugural Vero Excellence in Business Support Awards were announced at a gala dinner at The Small Business Expo on July 21. Created by business support sector specialist Sarah Trotman, the awards recognised the best in business support and those organisations that contribute to small business growth.

Nine winners were presented with awards including: Gosling Chapman for its work helping businesses build capability; Business Network International for its business referral service; National Bank (Business Banking) for its small business services; the Open Polytechnic for its contribution to tertiary training; the Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern) for its business services; Venture Taranaki for economic development initiatives across a wide range of industry sectors; and the Department of Labour for its employment agreement builder.

Two individuals, Heather Douglas and Sir James Fletcher, also received awards for their personal contributions to business support. The Vero Overall Excellence in Business Support Award went to the Lower Hutt-based Open Polytechnic.

The winners were selected from 32 finalists ranging from multinationals to sole traders, and web page designers to banks, publishers and education providers.

Sponsored by Vero, the Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and The Small Business Expo, the awards were evaluated by the New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation, a not-for-profit charitable trust set up to help improve the overall performance of New Zealand organisations.

NZBEF staff took the finalists through a comprehensive process of evaluating their businesses, products and services, with finalists assessed on leadership and planning, customer and market focus, provision of business support, evaluation and improvement, and results.

New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation CEO Mike Watson said he was very impressed with the quality of applicants for the awards and with the range and quality of the business support services available.

“It was great to see so many key providers of business support services entering the awards in their inaugural year.”

More than 400 business owners and influencers attended the awards announcement and gala dinner. Organiser Sarah Trotman congratulated all the winners and commended them on their excellence in the vital area of supporting and facilitating business growth.

Trotman said the creation of the awards was about encouraging the evolution of business support services and products that really add value to small business owners.

“With over one third, 37 per cent or $27,000 million, of the economy’s output generated by small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in 2003, a figure forecast to rise, those organisations which offer quality business to business products or services are essential if the national economy is to prosper,” she said.

“The biggest inhibitor to growth for small businesses is that the owners are time poor and spend too much time working in their business rather than on it. The awards benchmark and give a mark of quality to organisations which legitimately add value to business owners – be they in banking and financial services, telecommunications, IT, human resource issues, business mentoring, government, business and advice support or marketing.”

Roger Bell, Chief Executive of Vero, the foundation sponsor of the Awards, said Vero was pleased to be involved in setting up a recognition framework that celebrates the best in business support.

“It is certainly time we celebrated the very best on offer to the small businesses of NZ, often described as the backbone of the New Zealand economy. To do so in a public way will foster excellence and ultimately support economic growth,” he said.

"For Vero, recognising and developing excellence in others is strongly linked to our vision to be a world class company. The business excellence criteria that define the world class practices we aspire to have a relentless focus on improvement. Our excellence-related sponsorships are part of our commitment to continually improve Vero‘s contribution to developing our community.”

Vero Excellence In Business Support Award Winners: Overall winner Open Polytechnic – tertiary training

Business (< $10m t/o) One to one offering Gosling Chapman – for business capability building

Business (< $10m t/o) One to many offering Business Network International – as a business referral service

Corporate (over $10 million turnover) National Bank (Business Banking) – small business services

Not for Profit Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern) – business services

Education Provider Open Polytechnic – tertiary training

Local Government Venture Taranaki Trust – economic development

Government Department Department of Labour – employment agreement builder

Individual Heather Douglas (from Home Business New Zealand) Sir James Fletcher (for Business in the Community)

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