Australia’s top entrepreneurs for 2022 (according to EY)

27 February 2022 2 min. read
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The Australian finalists for the 21st edition of EY’s Entrepreneur of The Year program have been announced, with the six founders and CEOs to now compete for a spot in the global final.

Professional services firm Ernst & Young has revealed its national finalists for this year’s coveted ‘Entrepreneur of The Year’ award for Australia, with the winner to be announced in April ahead of June’s world final.

The finalists will be looking to emulate Moose Toys chief executive Manny Stul, Australia’s sole global winner, with the title last year going to South Korean biopharmaceutical company founder Seo Jung-Jin.

Australia’s top entrepreneurs for 2022

The six Australian regional winners this year include; Izhar Basha, founder and CEO of EHPlabs (NSW); Linda Brown, President & CEO of Torrens University Australia (SA); Doug Fitch, Global CEO of Agworld (WA); David Fogarty, the CEO and Director of The Davie Group (SA); Sean Parsons, CEO & Managing Director of Ellume (QLD); and One Stop Warehouse and Discover Energy co-founders Anson Zhang and Jeff Yu (NSW).

This cohort will now compete for the national title, to be awarded following a final round of interviews to be carried out this month before an independent judging panel chaired by Lucy Turnbull. According to a global criteria, the six finalists will be judged on their demonstration of entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, personal integrity and purpose-driven leadership, value creation, strategic direction, and national and global impact.

There will also be a People’s Choice award up for grabs for the first time, with the public given the opportunity to vote for their favourite finalist. Fogarty of The Davie Group, the producer of the popular lock-down brand of wearable blankets Oodie, is likely a front-runner, while supplements brand EHPlabs reaches a community of more than 90 million social media users – its founder Basha having already taken home a Sydney Young Entrepreneur award in 2020.

“They demonstrate the drive and determination that it takes to disrupt and transform their respective industries,” EY Entrepreneur of The Year program leader Justin Howse said of the finalists. “It takes willpower, imagination, and a certain amount of courage to look beyond the status quo and create next-generation offerings and contribute to the momentum that will push industry forward into the future, especially in these uncertain times.”

Howse noted that the participants would join an EY Entrepreneur of The Year alumni network of like-minded and talented entrepreneurs, numbering more than 1,400 in Australia alone – just one of the sixty-plus countries where the program operates.

Previous winners of the Australian title include Jo Horgan, founder of cosmetics and beauty retailer Mecca, Andrew Bassat of jobs site SEEK, and multi-billionaire Atlassian co-founders Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes.