Wānaka business wins international prize

by Kim Bowden - Nov 16, 2023

A Wānaka business making innovative pendant lights has won a share of the prize pool in the inaugural Xero Beautiful Business Fund.

Buzz Burrows has been crowned the overall New Zealand winner as well as a global winner in the technology category, receiving $70,000 for the achievement.

The company creates unique, high-quality pendant lights, and has its sights set on adding a state-of-the-art laser-cutter to their kit that will allow them to streamline manufacturing and reduce waste.

Owner Tony Burrows, the creative behind the brand, says he is "beyond thrilled" by the double win.

“We’ve tested the market and we are ready to take the business from side hustle to main gig. Because we live a long way from markets and materials, we have to think laterally to be viable.

“Embracing new tech and using it to innovate is a fundamental part of our business strategy. The Xero Beautiful Business Fund will enable us to access digital tools that allow us to explore new materials and new designs.”

Launched earlier this year, the Xero Beautiful Business Fund seeks to help Xero's small business customers successfully boost their growth plans.

Three out of four of the New Zealand winners hail from the deep south.

Alongside Buzz Burrows, Waste management company Kiwi Skips, from Invercargill, won the sustainability category, while the 120-year-old Toko Rugby Football Club won the community connection award.

Each won a share of a $750,000 global prize pool after demonstrating in a 90-second video how they would use the funding to support their future business goals in one of four categories — innovating for sustainability, strengthening community connection, trailblazing with technology and upskilling for the future.

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