EY announces winners of Southern Region’s Entrepreneur of the Year awards

23 August 2018 Consultancy.com.au 4 min. read
More news on

From electronic keep cups and cross-border transactions to preventative mental health programs and Sushi Sushi, digital and social entrepreneurship was championed at the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Southern Region event last night.

Amidst whatever is currently happening in Canberra, industry leaders and start-up founders came together for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards held at the National Gallery of Victoria. The awards are one of the highest forms of recognition for start-ups throughout the country. The awardees will go on to compete against the other regional finalists at the nationals, held in Sydney this October. 

The Entrepreneur Of The Year is one of the world’s most prestigious awards celebrating the brightest minds disrupting businesses in every sector in Australia. The Southern Region is one of five separate areas across the country and encompasses both Victoria and Tasmania. The finalists will go on to compete in Sydney with others from around the country, and the national winners will travel to Monaco for the global 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year awards.  

There were a total of six categories this year spanning emerging, industry, services, technology, social and fintech. The winners who were announced last night were Benjamin Young of frank green, Jo Horgan of MECCA Brands, Anna Kasman of Sushi Sushi, Shaun Holthouse of Catapult Group International, Hunter Johnson at The Man Cave, and Jack Zhang & Lucy Yueting Liu from Airwallex.

“This year’s winners embody success with a purpose,” says EY Melbourne Managing Partner Gerard Dalbosco. “They are disruptors – taking products that are close to their hearts, from wearable technology and healthy fast food, through to cosmetics, nappies and recyclable containers – and delivering solutions that are not only superior in quality, they benefit society and their communities.”

“In each case the winners have identified a problem and devised a solution with potential for growth and scope well beyond their original intent. We are very excited to be a part of the journey of these fast growing companies,” Dalbosco continued.

“It is also very exciting to note that 50% of our Southern winners this year are women – and to announce our inaugural Emerging Female Entrepreneur – Aimee Marks, from The TOM Co. We have established this Award in recognition of the great female entrepreneurs we have in Victoria and in acknowledgement of the additional issues female entrepreneurs sometimes face when building their business." 

EY announces winners of Southern Region’s Entrepreneur of the Year awards

Alongside the seven winners was a non-competitive category which saw Aimee Marks from The TOM Co named as southern Emerging Female Entrepreneur, and Carol Schwartz AM as the southern Champion of Entrepreneurship.

EY Oceania Growth Markets Leader Rob Dalton said, “EY is proud to support growing dynamic businesses through a number of platforms, including the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards.

“This program is the culmination of a knowledge journey, helping start-ups get off the ground and celebrating their growth and success through their entire lifecycle. EY's Entrepreneur Of The Year program plays a significant part in embedding entrepreneurship into society.” 

“We collect and collate critical data on success factors globally, then feed this back to the entrepreneurial community to help these dynamic business people achieve their growth aspirations. This coupled with the wisdom they gain, the mentoring they receive and the connections they make is something that money just can’t buy. I encourage all up and coming entrepreneurs to look into how they can engage with EY’s Entrepreneurship program.”

Commonwealth Bank’s General Manager of Corporate Finance Services VIC/TAS, Todd Roberts, said,“Congratulations to the entrepreneurs who have been selected to go on to compete as national finalists. It is clear we have great entrepreneurial talent and spirit, which is encouraging for the Southern Region’s economic development. Commonwealth Bank is proud to sponsor a program supporting Australia’s top business innovators.”

The global consulting firm launched the EOY awards in 2001 as a celebration and an honour to entrepreneurs across the globe. Today the awards take place in 145 cities around the world which have produced 1,400 EOY alumni. The program honours start-ups whose founders employed ingenuity and perseverance to create and sustain a successful business ventures.