Inside Small Business
Top 50 Small Business Leaders 2024

Nominations for 2024 are now closed.

The Top 50 Small Business Leaders report recognises resilient small-business owners who have excelled in innovation, overcame challenges, embraced sustainability and contributed to their local communities.

Discover who made the list and see who will be highlighted for their outstanding achievements.

Every applicant receives a score for each of these criteria based on the information they provide in their application. In addition, every applicant is scored by three judges.

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Nominations open
15 Apr 2024

Nominations closed
10 May 2024

Finalists notified
4 Jul 2024

Report launch party
28 Aug 2024

MEET OUR JUDGES

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Angelique Woodburn

Founder and Director, The Midnight Gang

A former primary school teacher, Angelique began her entrepreneurial career in 2014, founding the Melbourne-made children's clothing label Howi. After its rapid success she sold the business in 2017 and started her new business, The Midnight Gang, after identifying a gap in the market. The Midnight Gang make waterproof bedding that make midnight accidents a breeze to deal with, focusing on high quality and eco-friendly materials whose point of difference is their on-trend prints and designs, helping to remove the stigma that incontinence often brings. The business has won multiple awards, including Roar Awards Business of the Year in 2022, and Angelique was selected as a 2023 Inside Small Business Top 50 Small Business Leader. The Midnight Gang are available nationwide with plans to expand globally.  

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Claudia North

Founder, with Small Business

Claudia is the Founder of ‘with Small Business’ and Co-Founder of Connected Commerce, and has over three decades of expertise in digital marketing and eCommerce. Her first eCommerce venture, established nearly 20 years ago, now operates in over 30 countries and inspired her to create the world's first eCommerce advice platform for small businesses.

As a celebrated author and speaker, Claudia has collaborated with the NSW Government and the National Retailers Association, and her book The eCommerce Growth Framework™ provides practical strategies based on her real-world insights.

With a focus on merging traditional and innovative strategies, Claudia helps brands adapt to the evolving demands of digital consumers. She works with businesses across Asia, North America and Australia, reflecting her deep understanding of scaling small eCommerce businesses.

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Jacqueline (Jaci) Burns

Chief Marketing Officer, Market Expertise

Jaci is a marketing and communication steward, strategist, and tactician. She has over 20 years’ experience in B2B marketing, specialising in services and intangible products. Throughout her career, Jaci has gained national, regional, and international experience, having worked for, or consulted for, large corporates including Deloitte, JLL, and Cushman & Wakefield, as well as emerging businesses and challenger brands.

A fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute, Jaci has degrees in marketing and organisational behaviour. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a certified change practitioner.

In addition to having established her own small business, Market Expertise, Jaci is an extensively published freelance columnist and contributor. Her features and opinions have appeared in Marketing Magazine, CMO Australia, and Mumbrella among others.

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Jacqueline Cripps

Director, Jacqueline Cripps Consulting

Jacqueline is a management consultant and writer who consults across a broad range of industries to strategically transform businesses. Her current portfolio includes Australia, the UK, and the US.  Jacqueline is also an experienced keynote speaker and authority figure on workforce management, particularly the millennial generation. As a ‘millennial translator’, she helps workplaces understand their workforce. Jacqueline has presented keynotes across Australia, Europe and the UK, featured in numerous podcast interviews and published articles in Australian, Chinese and UK publications. She is the author of three non-fiction books, her latest Managing Millennials: Shaping a New Work Paradigm. Jacqueline is an active member of various creative and media groups and is passionate about bringing about positive change, especially through the art of storytelling.

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Pulkit Agrawal

Managing Director, UR Digital

Pulkit has a background in computer networking and has been working in the SEO industry for over a decade and has worked in multiple countries and industries. He is currently consulting through his business UR Digital, focusing not so much on rankings – as many SEO companies do – but more on user experience and the businesses he works with.

Pulkit is also a speaker, advisor for federal government programs and a contributor to Inside Small Business, Entrepreneur.com, Semrush and other publications. Always happy to learn and trade stories, Pulkit is passionate about helping small businesses succeed with SEO and compete with their larger competitors to level the playing field. If anything can be sold legally, Pulkit has most likely marketed it using SEO.

Tim-Ladhams

Tim Ladhams

Editor, Inside Small Business

Tim is responsible for all the content on the Inside Small Business website and the quarterly magazine.

He brings a passion for start-ups and small businesses to his journalism career after a long career – including management roles – in hospitality, insurance and credit management. His experience as a credit manager provided him with first-hand experience of the dealing with the issue that small-business owners regularly cite as their biggest challenge in staying afloat and going on to prosper – getting paid by those to whom they have delivered goods or services! The highlight of Tim’s working year is the enthusiasm with which the Inside Small Business Top 50 Small Business Leaders Report is received by the winners and small-business communities around the country.

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