Skip to main content

The Search Is on for Australia’s Most Digitally Innovative Regional Business

September 22 2016

The Regional Online Heroes 2016 competition launches today, seeking the next wave of regional businesses who are using digital tools to grow.

Being a Regional Online Hero could mean anything from using online marketing to attract interstate customers, expanding from a traditional bricks and mortar store to selling online, or managing a team across borders using shared documents on the cloud.

Mr Jack Archer, CEO of the Regional Australia Institute said the competition is a great opportunity for regional businesses to get advice from leading innovators and small business experts such as Google.

“The internet is transforming the way regional Australia does business and opening up new windows of opportunity. We want to identify businesses that are proving location is no barrier and help them to achieve even greater success,” said Mr Archer.

Google Australia and the Regional Australia Institute partnered up for the Regional Online Heroes competition to showcase and support regional businesses that are leading the way.

“Research suggests that digitally engaged small businesses are more likely to be growing, which is great news for jobs and local communities” Mr John Ball, Director of Small Business at Google Australia said.

“We know many regional businesses are doing great things online, so we’ve teamed up with the Regional Australia Institute to identify those Regional Online Heroes.” he continued.

Ten finalists will be flown from their nearest regional airport to Sydney, for a money-can’t-buy masterclass at Google HQ. The masterclass will include lessons in online marketing, tips on creating a great office culture, including to encourage innovation and ideas on how to amplify your messages in the media.

Last year’s inaugural competition brought ten innovative regional online businesses into the spotlight including winner, Alison Shaw of Tambo Teddies.

“Regional Online Heroes 2015 was an incredibly valuable experience – we never really expected that a small business in a tiny outback town of only 380 people could win!” said Alison.

An expert panel of judges will select the 2016 Regional Online Hero, including:

  • The Hon. Michael McCormack, MP, Minister for Small Business
  • Jane Cay, Founder and Director of Birdsnest
  • Robert Ravens, Managing Director of Bridestowe Lavender Estate
  • John Ball, Head of Small Business, Google Australia; and
  • Jack Archer, CEO of the Regional Australia Institute

Entries for the 2016 competition open Thursday 22 September 2016 and close midnight on Friday 28 October 2016.

Any regional small or medium business* that uses the internet to grow is eligible. Finalists will be announced on Monday 14th November 2016.

To enter or find our more about the competition or 2015 finalists, visit our website at:
* While there are many great businesses in capital cities, we’re looking for businesses in regional Australia with less than 200 employees. You can check your eligibility via the terms and conditions.

Media contacts

Regional Australia InstituteLauren Donohoe
M: 0434 083 369
E: [email protected]