At the Regional Leaders Business Forum with Premier Minns

Following another success at the Northern Rivers Business Awards, Zepto was invited to the Regional Leaders Business Forum and Q&A with the NSW Premier.

As a northern New South Wales business, we are proud of Zepto's regional roots. While not every Zepto team member lives in or around Byron Bay anymore as we've grown, the Northern Rivers flow through all of us, connecting our people with the company's birthplace.

It's a great source of pride to be a Northern Rivers business following in the footsteps of the local successes that came before us. And as Business NSW's 2022 New South Wales Business of the Year, we're paving the way for the success stories of the future to follow. We are energised and inspired every day by our engagements with the Northern Rivers Business NSW community.

Zepto was Business NSW's 2022 Business of the Year in large part due to the leadership of CEO Chris Jewell. So it was with great satisfaction that — at the Northern Rivers Regional Business Awards in Ballina on 16 September — we welcomed the news that Chris was named Outstanding Business Leader for 2023. The Northern Rivers Business Awards celebrates the innovation, resilience and dedication of businesses across the region.

Check out all the finalists here.

In the wake of that honour, we were thrilled to receive an invitation to the Northern Rivers Business Hub for a Regional Leaders Business Forum and Q&A with NSW Premier, The Hon. Chris Minns MP, The Hon. Janelle Saffin MP, and The Hon. Rose Jackson MLC.

Attended by Zepto's Head of Government & Marketing, Emily Curlewis, and hosted by the irrepressible Jane Laverty, the event provided a forum for discussions of the multiple challenges and opportunities of the region still recovering from the devastating floods of January 2022. Despite the ongoing challenges, Laverty described the Northern Rivers as being on a path to regional resurgence. It was a sentiment echoed by Janelle Saffin.

"We survived. Now we need to thrive."

The Hon. Janelle Saffin MP

The importance of regional areas to the state's prosperity was not lost on the Premier. Minns pointed out that one-in-three people in NSW live outside Sydney, and stressed how important it is for his government to spend time in the regions consulting with local businesses and people.

Some informative Northern Rivers economic data points were shared at the forum including:

  • The population grew 12.2% over the past decade.
  • The working-age population will increase by 17,000 by 2041.
  • Between 2016 and 2021, employment in the Professional, Scientific & Technical Services sector grew by a whopping 29%.


We are delighted to have played a small part in that growth since our foundation in 2018.

"Zepto has transformed from a relatively simple Fintech, to a world-class payments technology company creating better ways to pay. Zepto now processes some AU$50 billion of real-time, account-to-account payments annually," says Chris Jewell.

"I believe Zepto can be the 1% of the 1% — a true ‘Unicorn’. It's a privilege to lead a business that unlocking value for its customers by delivering on our mission to create a better way to pay. It's even more rewarding doing it in a way that remains true to our humble beginnings in Byron Bay," adds Jewell.

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