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Search begins for NZ's leading entrepreneur

Search begins for New Zealand's leading entrepreneur

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards celebrates Kiwi enterprise

Entrepreneurs need to be proud of their business achievements and take credit for their contribution to New Zealand’s growth and development, says Vintner George Fistonich, the winner of the 2005 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Mr Fistonich was speaking at the launch of the 2006 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition in Auckland on Friday.

“If you have got a good business that is contributing to New Zealand’s growth and development, it makes good commercial sense to take pride in your achievements and step up to the challenge of an international competition, such as the globally recognised Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

“Whether you win the main title or not, you will find the exposure and experience is invaluable for both you and your employees,” Mr Fistonich says.

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Director, Carol Campbell says New Zealand is a breeding ground for entrepreneurs with thousands of businesses ranging from small ‘start ups’ to global enterprises.

“Entering the competition provides opportunities for enterprising Kiwis to tap into the entrepreneurial network and share knowledge and inspiration with like-minded peers,” Ms Campbell said.

Now in its ninth year in New Zealand and twentieth year worldwide, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year is unique as it is the only global business award in New Zealand.

“We’re looking for people with vision, those who have created success by being innovative and creative in their approach, taken calculated risks, overcome obstacles and inspired others to believe in their vision,” Ms Campbell says.

The winner of the 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards will represent New Zealand at the World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Monte Carlo in 2007.

Guest speaker David Johnson, chief executive of Trends Publishing and inaugural winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (1998) also spoke at the launch event.

“New Zealand needs wealth and positive spirit and an award which celebrates this has to be applauded. There aren’t many events which recognise what a business person achieves. Being part of an event which is so positive encourages you to set the bar higher and grow your business,” Mr Johnson says.

George Fistonich 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 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year programme are:
- Retail, Consumer, Industrial Products,
- Services including Financial, Property and Arts
- Technology, Communications & Biotechnology
- Young Entrepreneur (entrepreneurs less than 30 years of age at time of close of applications), and
- Master Entrepreneur (for leaders of well established businesses which have a significant commitment to entrepreneurship).

New Zealand’s 2006 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year will be announced at an Award Banquet on Wednesday, 11 October.

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, 23 June 2006.

ENDS

About the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® awards programme was created and is produced by the professional services firm of Ernst & Young LLP. As the first award of its kind, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® awards recognise outstanding entrepreneurs who are building and leading dynamic and growing businesses. The program honors entrepreneurs through regional, national and global award programmes in over 150 cities and 35 countries.

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young, a global leader in professional services, is committed to restoring the public’s trust in professional services firms and in the quality of financial reporting. Its 107,000 people in 140 countries pursue the highest levels of integrity, quality, and professionalism in providing a range of sophisticated services centered on our core competencies of auditing, accounting, tax, and transactions. Further information about Ernst & Young and its approach to a variety of business issues can be found at www.ey.com/perspectives. Ernst & Young refers to all the members of the global Ernst & Young organization.

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