Blown away: Interknit owners Andrew and Kassie Blaszak picked up the innovation gong at the 2019 Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards. Photo: FILE

Awards to mark survival and innovation

February 25, 2021 BY

WITH the aim of recognising the unprecedented nature of last year, 2021 Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards are set to look and feel a little different.

As application open, Commerce Ballarat CEO Jodie Gillett said it’s only natural this year’s awards will need to be different and focus on the businesses who have survived, innovated or thrived in a variety of categories.

“For the first time in our history the awards were cancelled last year and replaced by development and marketing support offered free of charge for our business community,” she said.

“There were businesses able to adapt and thrive, and businesses that worked tirelessly to ensure they simply survived. Both of which, we believe should be celebrated.

“The awards provide an excellent opportunity for self-assessment, promotion, marketing and networking.”

Ms Gillett said the aim of this year’s awards is to not only celebrate local businesses achievements for 2020, from growth to creativity to survival, but also offer them an opportunity to reflect and improve their overall operations.

“Through the process, applicants gain a fresh insight into their operations and are better able to judge their potential for growth and development,” she said.

“For the first time in 2021 in partnership with Runway HQ and Federation Business School the Ready, Set Grow Program will be delivered to our business community.

“It’s designed for business leaders to learn and apply the skills needed to test and validate an idea to grow their business and is practical and hands-on, building the capability to create impact quickly by applying expert knowledge and new skills to real-world business challenges.”

Having previously been a finalist in two categories and winning one, managing director of Interknit Andrew Blaszak said they’re small company of 13 hard workers were absolutely blown away to win.

“It was great as it gives not only us as owners, but the whole company some public recognition for the work that we are doing,” he said.

“When you are owner operators like us and busy juggling a family too, sometimes you get bogged down in the day to day running so the application and judging process was a good way to show us some of our strengths and weaknesses.

“We won a glass trophy that had to be carefully placed and we still proudly display it today.”

To find out more on the 2021 Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards visit

Winners are set to be announced at dinner on 26 August.