2024 Northern Business Achievement Awards

The Northern Business Achievement Awards recognise small-medium enterprises by encouraging business excellence, growth and competitiveness.

Huge congratulations to our 2024 winners: Arts Project Australia, Ruby Assembly and Young Business Achiever nominee Miabella Vaughan. 

At the glittering Grand Finale held on December 7 Arts Project Australia snaffled the award for Outstanding Business Engagement in Community Support, whilst Ruby Assembly took out the award for Philanthropy and Community Service. 

Expressions of interest for the 2024 awards have now closed, thank you for your interest. 

About the Awards

The Northern Business Achievement Awards (NBAA) is a partnership of industry, education, local and State Government and decision makers across Melbourne’s North. The awards recognise the achievement of small-medium enterprises and encourage business excellence, growth and competitiveness.

Each year Banyule, Darebin, Hume, Moreland, Nillumbik and Whittlesea councils each nominate two businesses for the NBAA Business of the Year Award. Each council must also nominate an outstanding young person for the Young Business Achiever Award.

Breakfasts are held quarterly to celebrate the nominated businesses and young business achievers. At each breakfast two of the six councils co-host and present their nominees which includes video presentations and a Q&A session where each of the nominees addresses the audience. The winners are announced at the final breakfast for the year.

Nominations and award process

Businesses

If you are selected as one of Darebin’s Business nominees for the NBAA 2024, you must prepare a submission as part of the NBAA process. The information that you provide for the Darebin Expression of Interest process can be used in your submission to the NBAA. Winners are then selected by the NBAA for the award categories listed below. The NBAA Business of the Year is chosen from the category award winners.

  • Best Start Up Business or Microbusiness
  • Customer Service Award
  • Outstanding Initiative in Manufacturing Award
  • Export Award
  • Human Resources Award
  • Industry Education Engagement Award
  • Innovation and Enterprise Award
  • Philanthropy and Community Service Award
  • Sustainability and Environment Award
  • Technology Business Award
  • Workplace Diversity Award

Young Business Achievers

If you are selected as Darebin’s Young Business Achiever nominee, you must attend the breakfast on 7 March and be part of a Q&A session on stage.

Eligibility criteria

Businesses

  • Must be based in Darebin
  • Must have an active ABN
  • Must be compliant with relevant Council permits (where applicable)
  • Must be implementing a COVID safe plan
  • Must meet all the requirements of the Fair Work Act 2009 and operate in accordance with any applicable code of conduct and ethical standards

Young Business Achievers

  • Must be 25 years or younger
  • Must be either a Darebin resident or working for OR running a business based in Darebin
  • May be a person working in a Darebin business who is achieving great things
  • May be self-employed and running a business in Darebin
  • A business owner can submit an expression of interest for an employee
  • A young person can complete an expression of interest

If you are unsure of our boundaries, please check this Darebin municipality map.

About the Darebin selection process

Businesses and Young Business Achievers submitting an Expression of Interest for the Darebin nomination process will be offered guidance and support by contacting the Economic Recovery Resilience Team on 03 8470 8344.

Expressions of Interest will be assessed by a panel and will be treated confidentially.

The nominated Businesses and Young Business Achiever will be featured in Darebin newsletters and social media.

The two businesses selected as Darebin’s nominees for 2024 will also have a professionally made video to showcase at the NBAA breakfast on 7 March. The videos can also be used in your own marketing.

Key dates for 2024

  • Wednesday 31 January – Darebin Expression of Interest closes
  • Friday 9 February – Business and Young Business Achiever nominees announced
  • Thursday 7 March - Darebin Business and Young Business Achiever nominees presented at the NBAA breakfast
  • Thursday 5 December - NBAA Grand Finale 

All submissions will be treated confidentially.

Frequently asked questions

About the awards

Are there award categories in the NBAA?

When the NBAA have assessed all submissions, winners will be selected for these award categories. The NBAA Business of the Year will be chosen from one of the category award winners.

  • Best Start Up Business or Microbusiness
  • Customer Service Award
  • Outstanding Initiative in Manufacturing Award
  • Export Award
  • Human Resources Award
  • Industry Education Engagement Award
  • Innovation and Enterprise Award
  • Philanthropy and Community Service Award
  • Sustainability and Environment Award
  • Technology Business Award
  • Workplace Diversity Award

What are the benefits? Why should I participate in the awards?

If you are nominated, your business will be featured in a video which will be shown at the NBAA breakfast to around 200 people across Melbourne’s North. You can also promote your business in a Q&A session on stage. Nominees will also be featured in Darebin City Council’s corporate social media channels and newsletters. Taking part in the awards process also provides you with the opportunity to review your business plan and marketing strategies.

If I am nominated as Darebin’s Young Business Achiever, what happens next?

If you are selected as Darebin’s Young Business Achiever nominee, you will need to attend the breakfast on 1 September and be part of a Q&A session on stage. The award winners will be announced at the final breakfast for the year on 1 December.

The expression of interest

How will my Expression of Interest be assessed?

The panel members will individually assess and score each EOI using a scoring matrix. The panel will then come together to discuss the EOIs and select the two business nominees and one young business achiever nominee. The nominees will then be submitted for the Northern Business Achievement Awards selection process.

Will I lose points if I am not a confident writer?

No, you will not lose points as this is not about how well you can write. The assessment panel is interested in your business and why it’s successful and should be nominated for the NBAA. Please make sure that you answer the questions. You can use dot points if you prefer. If you need assistance with your EOI please contact the Economic Recovery and Resilience Team on 8430 8333 or email business@darebin.vic.gov.au 

How will I find out if I have been nominated?

When the selection panel has decided on the nominees, if you are successful, you will be contacted by phone and email. You will also be contacted if you aren’t successful.

About the Expression of Interest for Businesses

I am a sole trader and don’t have employees working in my business. How do I answer the question “How many people are working in the business”?

You can describe other contracts and services that you use to support your business. For example, do you use local suppliers? You can describe other contractors that may support your business.

What information do I need to include in the business overview?

Refer to the NBAA award categories and think about which category the NBAA selection process may decide best fits your business. You also need to tell us what sets your business apart and why your business should be nominated. For example:

  • Describe your business and the key features of your business plan
  • Marketing strategies
  • Customer service
  • Environmental and sustainable business practices
  • Professional development
  • Innovation and technology used in your business
  • Workplace diversity – talk about your employees and recruitment processes

My business hasn’t grown much in the last few years due to COVID, how do I answer the question about “business growth”?

You may like to briefly describe how your business grew in previous years and then how you were able to keep your business going during the COVID pandemic. What did you implement to maintain business operations? What measures did you take to survive? Is your business still in recovery and what are you doing now to continue your business sustainability and growth?

What information do I need to provide to show how my business contributes to the success and vibrancy of Darebin’s business community?

In this section you can talk about local suppliers that you use, and how you connect and network with other local businesses. Do you employ local people in your business and do you support community organisations through sponsorships or other?

About the Expression of Interest for Young Business Achievers

If I am self-employed and submitting an EOI, how do I respond to the question: "Describe the role of the Young Business Achiever and what sets them apart from other employees"

If it is your business, you can explain how you started and have grown your business and the strategies you’ve implemented, for example:

  • What sets your business apart?
  • Why is your business successful?