When Natalie Bui took over Quest Caroline Springs five years ago, she set herself some ambitious goals.

By year three, she felt ready to showcase her achievements, and hopefully win an accolade, at Melton council’s Business Excellence Awards.

That year, Quest Caroline Springs won awards in the hospitality and tourism, sustainability and business of the year categories. A year later, Ms Bui entered the awards again and won in hospitality and tourism, mayoral achievement and business.

“It definitely boosted our confidence,” Ms Bui said. “But it also just re-affirmed that we can put something back into the community and get recognised for it.”

Ms Bui said that this year she wanted to challenge herself a bit more, and had decided to sponsor the awards and act as a mentor for other local businesses.

“My main goal in having my own business was not just to tick off the goals of what I want to achieve, but what can I do to help others along the way,” she said.

A Melton council spokeswoman encouraged all small business owners to nominate themselves for an award, or for community members to nominate worthy businesses.

She said going through the nomination process was a valuable opportunity.

“Simply by filling out the application questions, business owners become more aware of their strength and gaps,” she said.

Details: melton.vic.gov.au/businessawards