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Hunting for New Zealand’s Business Heroes

Hunting for New Zealand’s Business Heroes

The search is now on for Kiwi business superheroes to vie for this year’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year title.

Entries officially open today for the 2005 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award at a launch function in Auckland, with guest speakers Phillip Mills, Chairman of Les Mills Group and 2004 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and David Johnson, CEO of Trends Publishing and inaugural winner of the title Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998.

Now in its eighth year in New Zealand and nineteenth year worldwide, the award programme was launched by Ernst & Young to celebrate the world’s leading entrepreneurs and share their stories to inspire others. Operating in 35 countries, it is recognised as the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs and is the only global business award in New Zealand. Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Director, Carol Campbell, says the award represents a key reference point for New Zealand’s future as a prosperous, creative and innovative nation and a way to celebrate the spirit of Kiwi enterprise. “We’re looking for New Zealand’s business heroes – those individuals who have the ability to identify risks and take initiatives that most of us wouldn’t dream of taking. They are people who lead and inspire others, overcome major obstacles to achieve their success and demonstrate true entrepreneurial flair,” says Ms Campbell. Fitness pioneer Phillip Mills says winning the 2004 title has brought considerable benefit to his business and he strongly encourages other entrepreneurs to enter.

“Winning the 2004 title has had an impact on my business - from customer recognition, to networking opportunities and boosting staff morale. But the benefits come from entering the award, as well as winning. The selection process itself gave me an invaluable opportunity to receive feedback on my business and benchmark myself against other successful businesspeople,” says Mr Mills.

“Entrepreneurs out there need to stand-up and be counted for playing their part in New Zealand’s growth and development,” he says.

Phillip Mills will represent New Zealand and compete against 34 other entrepreneurs from around the world for the title of Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year in Monte Carlo next month. The five categories for the 2005 Entrepreneur of the Year programme are: Retail, Consumer and Industrial Products Services including Financial Business, Property and Arts Technology, Communications & Biotechnology Young Entrepreneur (entrepreneurs aged 30 or under at the time of close of applications), and Master Entrepreneur (for leaders of well established businesses which have a significant commitment to entrepreneurship).

New Zealand’s 2005 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year will be announced at an Award Banquet on Wednesday, 12 October.

Carol Campbell says that receiving an award is more than a night of acclaim at an awards ceremony or a trophy to display in a cabinet.

“The programme is about delivering significant value for all those who enter. Benefits range from local, national and international networking opportunities to membership of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Growth Network” she says.

The winner of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year will represent New Zealand on the international stage at the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year award, to be held in Monte Carlo in 2006. A panel of independent judges from around the world will select one overall winner.

This year the first Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year World Summit was held in Singapore in February. The summit was an exclusive gathering of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year winners from 35 countries, a global alumni that spans nearly 20 years. With a platform of speakers, including former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the aim was to create a platform for the world’s leading entrepreneurs to network and plan their future growth strategy, with particular focus on “Access to Asia”. Ms Campbell says the inaugural summit was a huge success. From 2006 onwards this summit will be held in Monte Carlo, and all New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year category winners will be eligible to attend, in 2006 and each year after that.

45 entrepreneurs have received awards to date in the New Zealand Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award programme. These include: David Johnson (Trends Publishing), Phillip Mills (Les Mills); Colin Taylor (Stirling Sports); Graeme Clegg (BioActive Technologies Ltd); Heidi Ward McGrath (Vetcare Services Ltd); Bill Gallagher (Gallagher Group); Brian Peace (Peace Software); Michael Whittaker (Atlantis Group); Tony Hembrow (Rayglass Boats); Bruce McIntyre (Macpac Wilderness Equipment Ltd); Peter Leitch (Mad Butcher Group); Bill Day (Seaworks); John Hynds (Hynds Pipe Systems); Denis Chapman (Switchtec Power Systems); Jeremy Moon (Icebreaker); and Mike Tamaki (Tamaki Tours) to name a few.
Potential entrants can contact Ernst & Young for more information, phone 0800 368 737, email entrepreneur@nz.ey.com or visit www.ey.com/nz. Applications close on Friday, 8 July 2005.

- ENDS

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