Sunshine Coast StartUp in running for International Business Award

Local Sunshine Coast start-up Many Small Things has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Asia-Pacific Shared Value Awards, being held in Melbourne later next month.

Many Small Things was founded in early 2018 and works to promote and support purpose-driven business and economies, and is proud to be both the only Queenslander and small business amongst the finalists.

“We are so honoured and excited to be shortlisted for the Shared Value Awards. It’s another piece of the puzzle that helps put our work and Sunshine Coast regional business on the national map,” said Founder and Principal Laura Harkins-Small.

Shared value has rapidly grown from a global idea to a form of best business practice. It is increasingly being adopted by leading global and Australasian companies and focuses on business strategy that enhances an organisation’s competitiveness while addressing social or environmental issues in their local region.

“A lot of people think innovation is just about digital or tech, however this is not the case. Shared value and sustainable business are being proven as a ground-breaking way to do business and we aim to put the Sunshine Coast at the front of that trend and help businesses take advantage of the global opportunities that come with it,” said Ms Harkins-Small.

“We are seeing a world-wide trend where the relationship between business and communities are shifting; from skyrocketing inequality, plummeting trust in institutions, to the rise of the gig economy, industry disruption and issues-based politics – all of this presents both significant risk and significant opportunity for business.

“We help businesses make sense of these challenges and develop solutions that not only benefit the business in a sustainable and responsible way but also the people and communities it works with.

“Increasingly I think organisations are starting to understand that having profit as a sole motivator isn’t sustainable for the business or society. It’s the good that businesses do – the way they contribute to the local community, the way they help their employees thrive, the way they minimise their impacts on the environment – it’s these things that help build new markets, improve customer loyalty, employee engagement and maintaining a licence to operate.

“A lot of the businesses we’ve engaged with are already thinking in this way but they need support to think more strategically about how they do this work and help to facilitate collaborations to maximize their impact,” she said.

Many Small Things is a social enterprise based on the Sunshine Coast offering bespoke consultancy services, along with working to develop a regional network of like-minded businesses. More information can be found on their website

Now in their third year, the annual Shared Value Awards is run by the Shared Value Project, the peak practice body for shared value in Australasia. The awards, this year, are being held on Thursday 18 October at ZINC at Federation Square, Melbourne, celebrate the individuals and organisations who are leading the shared value movement in the region. It is shared value’s night of nights. More information can be found on the Shared Value Project website:

The Awards selection committee included:

Dr Ken Henry AC, Chairman, NAB;

Romilly Madew, Chief Executive Officer, Green Building Council of Australia;

Sandra Martinez, CEO, Nestlé Oceania;

Ann Sherry AO, Chair, Carnival Australia;

Steven Spurr, CEO, Edelman Australia; and

Peter Yates AM, Chair, Shared Value Project (Selection Committee Chair)

For more information contact:

Laura Harkins-Small

Principal - Many Small Things