Help us improve the Veterans Employment Program

Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year

This category is open to veterans who own a business (either solely or collaboratively) and have operated this business for at least 12 months. This includes veterans who are self-employed and/or operating as a sole trader.
Nominations can be made by an individual or organisation (including self-nominations).
Question Hints

1. Why did the nominee start/buy their own business?

Some examples could include but are not limited to wanting to:

  • address a gap or niche in services,
  • change or improve the way existing services/products are delivered,
  • address a veteran-related issue or other, social, health or community problem,
  • work for themselves, and
  • work in a job, industry or business of their choice.

2. What does the nominee’s business do?

What services/products does the nominee’s business provide and to whom?

3. What has it taken for the nominee to build a successful business?

Some examples could include but are not limited to:

  • continuously testing business ideas/hypotheses in the market to shape services/products,
  • adapting services/products and/or delivery methods to meet changing customer needs, changes in industry and technology and/or to increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness,
  • providing quality customer service,
  • building and maintaining strong relationships with like-minded business partners/associates,
  • hiring and retaining skilled and capable employees and engaging and empowering them in business decisions and operations,
  • having a clear vision of the purpose and future direction of the business, and ensuring this is effectively communicated, understood and shared by employees,
  • investing in innovation to build new products or services,
  • investing in training and development programs for employees to improve their skills and capabilities and health and wellbeing,
  • establishing an effective and reputable online presence, and
  • regularly reviewing risks and developing contingency plans.

4. What challenges has the nominee had to overcome?

Some challenges could include but are not limited to:

  • building and retaining skilled and capable employees,
  • building and/or diversifying customer bases,
  • rebuilding/refocusing business priorities or direction after market, service or other failures,
  • dealing with significant changes in the industry/market relevant to their business,
  • responding to increases or changes in client/customer needs,
  • responding to increases or changes to industry/business regulations,
  • balancing the need for short-term business foci with the need for informed, long-term business strategies,
  • handling difficult business relationships,
  • having to redesign/redevelop their business brand, and
  • managing their work-life balance,

In considering the challenges that the nominee has faced, you may also wish to:

  • describe the context of the challenges,
  • the actions and the risks taken to address these, and
  • the results achieved.

5. What sets the nominee’s business apart from their competitors?

Some examples could include but are not limited to:

  • introducing innovative or creative business ideas, models or technological capabilities,
  • challenging traditional methods and creating new markets for goods and services,
  • being innovative and adaptive in the way they utilise their employees skills and capabilities,
  • encouraging and empowering employee/s to innovate and collaborate to improve business,
  • a positive business culture which fosters employee development, loyalty and dedication,
  • leveraging relationships with other businesses to improve or create new services and/or save money,
  • constantly evaluating customer needs and how they behave to inform service / product offerings, and
  • having effective customer feedback mechanisms and/or systems that monitor customers’ purchasing/services behaviour and preferences.  

6. What have been the nominee’s business’ key achievements?

Please provide examples of success.  Some examples could include but are not limited to:

  • improved/increased customer satisfaction/outcomes,
  • increased profit margins/business profits exceed losses,
  • increased demand for products/services,
  • building a credible and reputable business identity,
  • introduction of new HR policies, programs or resources resulting in improved employee satisfaction and retention,
  • introduction of employee training or development programs to increase employee skills and capabilities,
  • establishment of new beneficial business partnerships or collaborations,
  • design/delivery of new products/services,
  • outsourcing certain products/services to improve growth opportunities/free up cash flow,
  • maintaining business growth and customer supply and demand in the face of changing markets/new competitors, and
  • receipt of industry/business award/s.

7. How has the nominee personally contributed to their business’ success?

Some examples could include but are not limited to:

  • undertaking personal development/training opportunities or study to improve their business knowledge,
  • displaying leadership to inspire and motivate employees, 
  • joining peer networking groups of other successful business owners/entrepreneurs to establish mutually beneficial business relationships or strategic partnerships,
  • making financial sacrifices (e.g. foregoing a salary) for the sake of establishing their business,
  • risking relationships with investors to build their business, and
  • sacrificing work-life balance for the good of the business.    

8. What are the nominee’s future plans and vision for their business?

You may wish to comment on the strategies that the nominee has in place for future sustainability and growth.
Was this page helpful?