IT solutions provider Enspire was named business of the year at today’s Business3000 awards, also taking out an innovation award, while Illumination and Gerwurzhaus were also honoured.
Business3000 was established in 2002 by senior executives from the private sector, not-for-profits and local government organisations.
The awards aim to recognise the achievements of businesses that operate within the City of Melbourne, and also provide an opportunity for businesspeople to network.
Previous winners include talent management solutions provider PageUp People, which was in attendance at this year’s event to talk up the awards.
Taking out the top award this year was Enspire, an IT solutions provider that prides itself on its flexibility, allowing clients to select the services that best complement their existing investments.
Enspire also won an innovation award, recognised for its “high-grade products and excellent niche market exploitation”.
Enspire chief executive Geoffrey Nicholas emphasised the importance of people within in a business, stating “people matter”.
“We’ve got people that have been with us almost as long as I’ve been there, and they continue to stay… One of the key things behind that is the culture at Enspire,” Nicholas said.
“It’s really [about] understanding your business, where you fit in and where you’re going. Make sure you’ve got the right people in your business to take you on that journey.”
Other award winners included Illumination, Gerwurzhaus and Doxa Youth Foundation, which took out the respective titles of best export, best new business and community responsibility.
Using solar-powered lights referred to as “the Mandarin”, Illumination creates products that replace kerosene-fuelled energy, with a focus on affordability for third world countries.
Illumination was selected for its “diversification through Asia and Africa, and a link to carbon credits, which provide an interesting business model and are purely export-focused”.
Shane Thatcher, chief executive of Illumination, said the company’s goal is to make a mandarin the world’s most affordable solar light.
“If we can replace kerosene and other toxic fuels with cheap, reliable alternatives, we can dramatically change the lives of one and a half billion people living at the bottom of the economic pyramid,” Thatcher said.
“In less than 12 months, we’ve managed to provide safe, cleaner light to enough people to fill the MCG.”
Finally, Gewurzhaus is a retailer of premium herbs and spices, co-founded by sisters Eva and Maria Konecsny.
The company’s unique selling position is its sensory retail experience, where customers can see, smell and self-scoop their selection of spices into specially-crafted spice bags.
Speaking at the event, City of Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor Susan Riley said Melbourne’s “unique style” is attracting more consumers than ever, downplaying the impact of the downturn.
“The number of people using our city on a daily basis has risen to almost 800,000,” Riley said.
“If you can’t make your business work with 800,000 people coming to our city every single week day, best change your business.”