Five top Kiwi entrepreneurs honoured at EY Entrepreneur of Year awards

Five of New Zealand’s top entrepreneurs have been awarded EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

Vista Group co-founder and chief product officer Murray Holdaway won the master category, Brianne West, founder and CEO of zero-waste beauty brand Ethique, won the young entrepreneur category, HMI Technologies chairman Mohammed Hikmet won the technology and emerging industries category, Gavin Young of Trademonster won the services category and Grant Taylor, co-founder and CEO of Rascal and Friends NZ, won for products.

This year’s winners were chosen out of 16 finalists from a range of industries including health, medical, beauty, marketing, design and finance.

Bill Day, founder of Seaworks, and head of the independent judging panel, said there was greater diversity and pace in this year’s finalists and category winners.

“Overall, we’ve seen a change in finalists and category winners that represents New Zealand culture.

“As tech continues to grow and businesses can be taken to the world much sooner than years ago, there is an increasing trend to grow by crowdfunding or investors.

“I’m also noticing that younger people are more likely to swap ownership for speed of growth for their business.

“These businesses are much more likely to have global reach and ability to take their product to the world – the tyranny of distance is overcome.”

Darren White, director of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme, said a trend of social good and sustainability has dominated the theme this year.

“Purpose is more important than ever and this passion is injected into their approach to business – if they grow, their impact grows.

“Year on year, we continue to see more young people telling their story and sharing their ambition; I hope this encourages more young entrepreneurs to apply and be inspired by the likes of the current Entrepreneur of the year, Nick Mowbray, who was 33 when he won.”

The five category winners will go on to compete for New Zealand’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year for 2019 where the winner will compete for the title of World Entrepreneur of the Year in Monaco next June.

Nick Mowbray of Zuru Toys represented New Zealand in Monaco this year.

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