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Awards News South Africa

4 small SA businesses win in inaugural Xero Beautiful Business Fund

Global small business platform Xero has announced the 28 small businesses and non-profits that have won a share of the R8m global prize pool as part of the inaugural Xero Beautiful Business Fund.
Constantia Food Club | image supplied
Constantia Food Club | image supplied

There are 28 winners overall, including four South African winners who were recognised for best demonstrating, in a 90-second video, how they would use the funding to support their future business goals in one of four categories - Innovating for sustainability, Strengthening community connection, Trailblazing with technology and Upskilling for the future.

Colin Timmis, Country Manager Xero South Africa said: “The winners have shown an incredible passion and tenacity that’s behind so many small businesses in South Africa. We’re honoured to be able to help these small businesses unlock the next stage of growth. As we acknowledge Global Entrepreneurship Week, this is what it’s all about – working together to help entrepreneurs explore their potential, contribute more to their communities, and help drive the economy forward.”

Launched earlier this year, the Xero Beautiful Business Fund seeks to help Xero's small business customers boost their growth plans and drive future success. More than 5,500 applications were received from Xero customers across South Africa, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

The four South African winners will each receive R250,000 in funding. One of the South African winners, Constantia Food Club – winner of the Innovating for sustainability category – also won a global prize of an additional R545,000, for a total of R795,000. The South Africa winners are:

Innovating for sustainability

Constantia Food Club is a food-buying club that connects small local growers and producers directly with customers in Cape Town. Constantia Food Club aims to support local regenerative farmers to help reduce biodiversity loss, promote sustainable food production and create a decentralised food system. They plan to use the fund to help build a new clubhouse, where they can serve more customers and provide additional support to growers and their local environment.

Courtney Atkinson, co-founder of Constantia Food Club said: "It's been inspiring to see how our work is connecting more families with small food producers and farmers, and creating a healthier, more sustainable food system. This funding from Xero will help us grow not only our own operations but also those of the Food Club network — unlocking exponential change. We’re so excited to pursue this next stage in our business.”

Strengthening community connection

The Oranjezicht City Farm Market in Cape Town connects small-scale organic farmers and food producers to thousands of customers. The Xero funding will enable the development of a ‘how-to guide’ to starting a farmers market as an online tool for supporting the emergence of farmers markets in communities across South Africa.

Trailblazing with technology

Mygrow provides a software solution based on neuroscience that builds emotional intelligence in employees, psychologically reconfiguring teams for optimal performance. They’ll use the Xero funding to speed up the evolution of their AI functionalities to assist in developing, measuring, and tracking emotion-based soft skills. This will help them more effectively deliver on their vision of building an emotionally intelligent world.

Upskilling for the future

Curate is reshaping the landscape of photography and videography content creation using a technology-enabled platform that connects content creators and clients. The Xero funding will help them provide equipment, training workshops, and educational material through a more automated technology platform, providing creatives with resources to upskill and better execute projects.

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