The Payoneer 2021 Entrepreneurship Awards: And the Winners Are…
At Payoneer, we always aim to celebrate entrepreneurs and small businesses everywhere who are changing the world around us. As we strive to help businesses succeed and fulfil their potential, we wanted to take the time to acknowledge those businesses who went above and beyond over the past year.
For the 5th year in a row, the Entrepreneurship Awards are being presented to members of the global Payoneer community who embody our mission and values to make the world a better place. We are grateful to the 3,500 entrepreneurs from 129 countries who shared their stories with us – each of your stories inspires us and motivates us to keep working hard to help more small businesses like you make a big impact on the world.
With that said, it is my honor to present the 5 winners of the Payoneer 2021 Entrepreneurship Awards. I hope you’ll find their stories as inspiring as we did!
Entrepreneur of the Year
“You don’t need to be based in a big city to do big business. We want to inspire bright individuals from small towns to follow their dreams, because if you’re good at what you do, you can succeed while staying true to your roots.”
Launched in 2015 as a pure web development company, Appycodes provides mobile and technology solutions that help small businesses and entrepreneurs go digital. Our services include web development, mobile applications, eCommerce development and much more.
In 2011, I graduated as a Computer Science Engineering student from Siliguri Institute of Technology in India and went on to become a software developer. Three years later, my husband and I decided to move back to Siliguri to build something in our hometown and stay close to our roots.
With no corporate opportunities available in Siliguri, I worked as a solo freelancer working on ad-hoc and acquired clients via freelance portals, and through my commitment to quality and customer service, converted them to high-paying, loyal customers.
Since then, Appycodes has grown to an 18-person agency serving over 80 clients across the UK, U.S., Belgium, France, Germany and Australia. Today, we’re experiencing major growth with year-over-year revenue surging by 190%. Coming from a small town with no sophisticated tech community around us, we’ve strived to excel in what we do by offering the highest level of service, while ensuring our team is 100% home-grown and hired from local communities.
Sociably Responsible Business of the Year
Founder and Owner, Cooper and Gracie Ltd
“I hope to inspire others to take action and show them that one person can truly change the world, disrupt a multibillion-dollar industry and leave a positive impact on so many.”
About Cooper and Gracie
Cooper and Gracie is a cruelty-free, plant based and environmentally aware pet-friendly company set up with strong social and ethical influences.
Cooper and Gracie began when I became a first-time dog owner of Tilba the Vizsla who suffered from itchy skin that derived from insect bites and pollen, which was impacting her happiness. Shortly after, I stumbled upon a solution that now proudly helps many more dog owners.
My goal was to create a cruelty-free product line and help 10 million rescue animals who needed help through donations, funding and building awareness on platforms. We invested heavily into further research and new products and discovered a way of creating home, garden, equine, and poultry products that are environmentally safe, bee-friendly and pesticide-free.
Over the last year, we’ve seen a staggering 300% jump in growth, and we hope to continue growing by increasing our products’ online presence. Today, we have over 30,000 five-star reviews across various platforms with customers documenting life-changing results for their pets.
Disruptor of the Year
“I hope to continue to introduce new brands to the U.S. market and help local manufacturers and brands dominate their product niches there and become the next success story.”
ArcMEAD provides manufacturers and global brands looking to enter the U.S. market with everything they need to get their brand selling successfully online. We partner with select Chinese suppliers and sell on DTC webstores and online marketplaces like Amazon.
I launched ArcMEAD back in 2017, with the aim to help manufacturers and local brands sell abroad and build brand awareness. I originally focused on targeting the U.S. and now I also run five offices around the country with over 100 employees and collaborate with leading platforms such as JD and Shopify to help to recruit sellers.
In 2020, we realized the increasing traffic cost in all marketplaces and heavy penetration of sellers, so we started to work with our supply chains and build DTC webstores. Meanwhile, we incubated many SEO and Google talents, and put more emphasis on our overseas warehouse. During COVID-19, some of our brands experienced rapid growth and our SPA personal care, household and furniture business grew 5x more than the previous year.
With the help of Payoneer, we aim to expand our customer base to more manufacturers and brands and hope to incubate 50 DTC brands with $10M in yearly sales.
eCommerce Business of the Year
Dr. Yasi Herbich
“I encourage others to innovate and reset expectations. Don’t be afraid to go against big brands and create something of your own. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world”.
About Kinder Fluff & Supa Ant
KinderFluff and its sister brand, Supa Ant, are both award-winning brands, dedicated to offering premium quality products such as pillows, pillow cases, and car window sunshades, all at a fair price for consumers who seek baby products that are both comfortable and safe. Our motto is “Because We Care”.
As a new mother, I noticed the lack of quality products on the market and realized that many parents have to make do with what is available to them. At the time, the market was offering low-quality products at an average price or a quality product at inflated rates. I was keen on finding a solution, so I decided I wanted to start selling high-quality products for fair prices and that’s when I came up with my motto “Because We Care”.
I was encouraged to launch newer and better products that never existed before on the market and make them easily available at a fair price. What once was a one-woman army, now has a team across five different continents allowing our business to grow rapidly within just the first 3 months.
After five years, I hit my 7-figure monthly goal and with Payoneer’s help, I saved a ton on conversions, which worked out great because in the beginning, I needed every penny! There’s no doubt that Payoneer was a huge factor in my business’ success.
Freelance Business of the Year
“I hope to influence young professionals to focus on the international market and a career in freelancing. To them, I’d like to say: never stop growing. If you don’t have the bandwidth to do it, start a small agency and is it grows, your business will thrive.”
Totema is a boutique sourcing and recruiting agency based in Belgrade, Serbia. We have a team with extensive experience in lead sourcing, inbound marketing, recruiting process optimization, B2B sales, and more.
After two years as Head of Marketing at a B2B fintech company, I decided to launch my very own agency, Totema, which is both a marketing and recruiting agency with clients based in the U.S., Canada and Germany. I would often hear startups talk about their challenges with recruiting and finding the right talent. We offered one of our clients talent sourcing services and soon enough, they turned into one of our largest clients! Today, 60% of our revenue comes from talent sourcing services and we expect these services to account for most of our sales.
In 2020, I grew my business to 15 full-time and 10 part-time employees, and ever since we signed a couple of new enterprise clients, our ARR increased over 20x.
One of the core values of our team is entrepreneurial spirit – we move fast and need a team that can respond to different types of clients and requests. We take pride in the fact that we can help our clients in more ways than one and if needed, make significant pivots from our regular services.
Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to everyone who participated!