Media OutReach – 23 August 2023 – Xero, the global small business platform, marked day one of Xerocon Sydney 2023 by opening applications for its inaugural Xero Beautiful Business Fund, designed to celebrate small businesses, empower success and accelerate their growth. The initiative is now open for submissions with more than S$620,000 in funding available to support the future aspirations of small businesses globally.
Xero Beautiful Business Fund is open to Xero small business customers in Australia, Canada (excluding Quebec), New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the US, and the UK and will recognise companies who are eager to take the next step in various aspects of their business.
There are low barriers to entry, and to apply, Xero small business customers in Singapore will need to submit a 90-second pitch video and complete a brief written form for as many categories as they see fit:
Innovating for sustainability: For small businesses who want to take the next step on their sustainability journey. For example, it could be to move to sustainable packaging, implement energy-efficient equipment or carbon neutral transport.
Trailblazing with technology: For small businesses seeking to innovate. This could include digitalising parts of their operations or integrating new emerging technologies.
Strengthening community connection: For small businesses or non-profits who strive to give back to their communities. It could be to contribute to philanthropy, social good, or make an impact on the community in a meaningful way.
Upskilling for the future: For small businesses seeking to support upskilling for themselves or their employees. This could include access to training and other professional development opportunities.
Each submission should be future-focused and detail how the funding would benefit the small business.
“Supporting and celebrating small businesses and their owners is at the core of Xero’s mission, and we’re energised by the opportunity to empower these companies and trailblazers with funding that can help them achieve the next level of success,” said Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Xero CEO. “We’re pleased to be awarding funds to help our customers to take their next step in areas like sustainability or exploring new technologies, where they may not have had the cash to do so.”
For small business customers in Singapore, S$15,000 is up for grabs for one winner in each of the four categories, with an additional S$40,000 available should a Singapore small business winner receive a global prize. Shortlisted applications from small business customers will be judged by a regional judging panel, which includes:
Tan Chee Wee, Executive Director of Advocacy and Policy, Singapore Business Federation
Alan Chang, Managing Director, Singapore Corporate Services
Alicia Pan, Co-founder, Yoga Movement and Director, Strong Pilates Singapore
Koren Wines, Xero Asia Managing Director
Nachi Leong, Xero Asia Onboarding Specialist
The four Singapore winners, along with the category winners for the other six countries (28 in total), will be put forward to the global judging panel to select the global winner for each of the four categories. The global judging panel for the inaugural Xero Beautiful Business Fund includes judges who represent accounting, small business and Xero’s global partners: Laurie McCabe, Co-Founder and Partner, SMB Group; Becca McClure, Director of Transformation, BDO Global; Jeanne Grosser, Global Head of Partnerships, Stripe; John Hummelstad, Locatrix CEO; Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Xero CEO; and Nigel Piper, Xero Executive General Manager, Customer Experience.
For full submission criteria and details, please visit the
website. Submissions will close on 6 October 2023. Winners will be announced later this year.
Appendix – About the Judges
Koren Wines, Asia Regional Director, Xero
Koren was appointed Xero’s regional director for Asia in 2022. She is responsible for driving Xero’s growth in Asia, working closely with leading financial institutions and governments in the region to bring value to the small business and partner community.
Koren joined Xero as senior partner marketing manager in 2017, establishing Xero’s global sales enablement function, and has since held other global leadership positions at Xero. Prior to joining Xero, she was chief operating officer at DCCS Australia. Koren holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Psychology) from Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne.
Alicia Pan, Co-owner, Founder and Director, Move Repeat
Alicia Pan is a singer/songwriter-turned-entrepreneur, and is the co-owner/founder and director of Move Repeat, a collective of specialist boutique fitness lifestyle brands dedicated to delivering exceptional experiences across select modalities. Committed to quality, sustainable growth and brand excellence, it currently houses two of the hottest fitness-lifestyle brands, Yoga Movement and Strong Pilates Singapore.
Her leadership and dedication continue to propel these brands towards even greater heights, solidifying her role as a driving force behind the success of Move Repeat and its mission to uplift both individuals and businesses alike.
Tan Chee Wee, Executive Director, Singapore Business Federation
Tan Chee Wee leads in advocating for the interests of the Singapore business community. He works with trade associations and chambers, government, private sector players and institutes of higher learning to spur capability building in businesses in digitalisation and business transformation. He has also spearheaded efforts to resolve long-standing issues on fair tenancy and platform workers’ financial and welfare protection.
Prior to joining SBF, Chee Wee spent more than 20 years in the Singapore Public Service with the Infocomm Media and Development Authority (IMDA) in various leadership roles, including director of Corporate Planning & Research, director of Digital Literacy and head of the Singapore Film Commission. Chee Wee continues to be dedicated to Singapore Public Service in his role by safeguarding the rights of Singapore’s business community.
Alan Chang, Managing Director, Singapore Corporate Services
Alan is an adept professional with 20 years of combined audit and accounting experience in Singapore and Malaysia. He advises businesses pursuing IPOs on the Hong Kong and Singapore Stock Exchanges across IT, manufacturing, property, investment, retail, and logistics industries.
Besides SCS, Alan also plays other important roles. For example, he co-founded RF Group and helped set up a fintech-focused licensed fund management company in Singapore. Alan is also an independent director for several SGX-listed companies while holding a non-executive director position and serving on the IPO and audit committee for a HKSE mainboard listed company. He is the director and treasurer of Ambulance Wish Singapore, and independent director of the Singapore Taekwondo Federation.
Alan’s passion allows him to advise clients across ASEAN on digital transformation in accounting and business process improvement matters of their business.
Nachi Leong, Xero Asia Onboarding Specialist, Xero
As a Small Business Specialist in Xero, Nachi works with small and medium-sized enterprises across different industries to figure out the best strategies for their organization.
Nachi enables small businesses to work smarter and quicker with cloud accounting. She reduces roadblocks that small businesses may face in their journey by educating them about how to leverage digitalisation and serves as a contact point for customers to bring more value to their businesses.
Her role as an onboarding specialist at Xero has helped countless businesses take the first step to get on board cloud accounting and kickstart their digitalisation journey with ease, allowing them to sustain their businesses in the long term.
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