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Start-up connecting SMEs with sustainable suppliers takes out top prize

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
24 July 2020 1 minute readShare

Two sisters have won the inaugural Xccelerate2020 venture program with their innovative start-up aimed to improve the financial wellbeing of small businesses by connecting them with corporate buyers.

An idea conceived by sisters Frances Atkins and Naomi Vowels, out of their passion for promoting sustainable practices, has been crowned the winner of Xccelerate2020 venture program hosted by X15 Ventures, taking home a total prize value of more than $300,000 from CBA and Microsoft.

Their platform givvable helps companies find and source sustainable suppliers and track the impact of their sustainable purchases.

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The CEO and co-founder of givvable, Frances Atkins, said many sustainable suppliers are small and micro-businesses who often struggle to establish relationships with corporate buyers due to lack of access, resources and understanding of corporate due diligence processes. givvable, she noted, is designed to remove these barriers.

“With changing investor and consumer expectations, companies are looking to procure in an environmentally sustainable and socially impactful way,” Ms Atkins said.

 

“There are a growing number of wonderful small businesses out there going to great lengths to embed sustainable and ethical practices into their business.

“Now with the coronavirus pandemic, they are faced with a whole range of other challenges.”

The backing from X15 and CommBank is expected to propel givvable forward in the sustainability-tech landscape, making it easier for businesses to source more sustainably and track the impact of this spending going forward.

“More valuable than the cash contribution, we’re excited by the role X15 can play helping us to experiment and test with CBA as both a potential strategic customer and distribution channel. From that perspective, this is a really unique program, and we can’t wait to get going,” Ms Atkins said.

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givvable was one of four finalists coming out of the Xccelerate2020 program. Others included a digital wallet for people with disabilities, SpendAble; a service that automates invoice processing for small businesses, Link4; and a platform that provides tailored data-driven insights, SenseIQ.

Speaking about the winners, X15 Ventures managing director Toby Norton-Smith said: “givvable founders Frances and Naomi blew us away with the quality of their thinking, the progress of their business and their passion for this space. We’re pumped to be working with them.

“We know the coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately impacted small businesses, but we also know it has forced governments, institutions and corporates to think more acutely about how they source and manage their supply chains — and from that perspective, I think givvable is creating new opportunity for Australian small businesses to streamline and scale their vendor relationships,” Mr Norton-Smith added.

Xccelerate is a fast-tracked program for experienced entrepreneurs and start-up teams to achieve rapid growth through X15 Ventures funding and support, including leveraging CBA group assets and strategic partners.

Start-up connecting SMEs with sustainable suppliers takes out top prize
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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business. 

Maja has a decade-long career in journalism across finance, business and politics. Now a well-versed reporter in the SME and accounting arena, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies and enabling citizens to influence decision-making.

You can email Maja on [email protected] 

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