The Network NZ Business Awards are on the hunt for talented business owners that have invested in developing new products and services and ventures, as well as improving the performance of their people and teams.

Network NZ have opened their first annual New Zealand Business Awards and business owners who have operated their businesses for at least 12 months, can enter up to two of the nine award categories. Finalists in each category are eligible to win the overall 2017 Network NZ Business of the Year Award and/or the People’s Choice Award.

‘The idea for the Business Awards came from our members,’ says Network NZ Creator and Director, Michelle Goulevitch. ‘It’s time to celebrate and recognise their hard work and achievements as small business owners, some of who are doing incredible things.’

Network NZ was founded as a free group in 2012 to connect New Zealand Small Business Owners using an on-line forum, gaining traction enough to launch as a Limited Liability Company in August 2015.

‘On-line communities were only just getting going back then,’ says Goulevitch. ‘It became a way to network with business people without leaving home, share what I was going through with my jewellery business and learn from others.’

Network NZ now has over 3000 members in the free community, 420 Foundation Members and Experts (paid subscribers), over 11,000 fans on Facebook and over 10, 000 followers on Instagram.

Tracy Morgan, Director of Educational resources on-line store, Squoodles, has been a Foundation Member since Network NZ’s inception.

‘I’ve found it absolutely brilliant. Networking is so important for business and it’s professionally run. Even if you’re off-line for a day you can jump back in, connect with the network and quickly see what you’ve missed.’

Awards will be judged by a panel of three judges, selected randomly from a pool of up to 17 experts, sourced from within Network NZ.

Network NZ Judge, sponsor and long-time Foundation Member Jon-Paul (JP) Hale said, ‘I see myself as an early adopter and on-line networks seem to be way New Zealand is moving.’

‘I’ve come on-board as a sponsor and judge because the Network NZ Community has helped me in so many ways – it’s my turn to give back.’

Hale’s Insurance company Willowgrove Consulting is sponsoring the Outstanding Blogger category.

Morgan said that she will be entering this year’s Awards. ‘It gives me a chance to have an in-depth look at our business. Even as an entrant if I get one more person to look at my business, then it’s worth it,’ she said.

Goulevitch said that inclusivity is important to Network NZ. ‘We know there are other Business Awards out there but we’re unique because we’re free to enter and being on-line, the Awards are accessible from all over New Zealand and open to all industries.’

‘We first had the idea for the Business Awards in late 2015 and to now be taking entries is incredibly exciting. It’s amazing to see it all coming together and I can’t wait till October to announce our winners and acknowledge their fantastic achievements – and of course, give away all the awesome prizes from our very generous sponsors.’

How to enter

Businesses can enter the Network NZ Awards by self-nomination completing an online entry form on www.networknz.nz/network-nz-business-awards.html. Nominations will be accepted up until 28th July 2017.

There are nine award categories which include:

  1. Excellence in Business Product and Service Industries
  2. Excellence in Consumer Product and Service Industries
  3. Excellence in Hospitality and Tourism Industries
  4. Excellence in NFP or Charity
  5. Outstanding Start Up Business
  6. Outstanding Sole Operator
  7. Outstanding Customer Service
  8. Outstanding Blogger
  9. International Achievement Award

Judging takes place from the 29th July to 25th August 2017. People’s Choice Voting from 10 am, 3rd September 2017 to 8 pm on 25th September 2017. Winners will be announced live via Facebook at 1pm Friday 6 October.