2011 BRISBANE YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR REVEALED

2011 BRISBANE YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR REVEALED

FOUNDER of NOJA Power Switchgear Quynh Anh Le (pictured) was announced as the 2011 Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of the Year today at a gala luncheon held at Moda Events Portside.

The Murrarie-headquartered global switchgear product exporter secured the prestigious gong for setting up an export company that turned over more than $40 million in fiscal without assistance from the banks.

Boasting collective annual revenues of more than $195 million and employing 2377 staff and aged 40 and under, the 32 finalists have made significant contributions to the Brisbane economy and are vital parts of its entrepreneurial spirit.

Winner Quynh Anh Le of NOJA Power Switchgear took out the top gong for their numerous achievements throughout 2011 and their Queensland-fighting spirit.

“We had to invest our own funds when we started because the bank wouldn’t give us a loan and going through those stages of the business was difficult,” said Anh Le, one of five directors.

“It wasn’t easy to start the business but our focus was always on building quality products and investing in R&D.”

The 2011 Highly Commended award went to Phillip Di Bella of Di Bella Coffee. Di Bella, who won the coveted award in 2010, forecasts growth of up to 40 per cent during FY12 as the company continues to expand.

“We moved into the Western Australian market six months ago and internationally, our expansion into China and India is going well,” he said.

“China is full speed ahead with 50 accounts so far and 200 outlets planned to open over the next 12 months. In Mumbai, four shops are currently under construction and we’ve secured a Grand Hyatt trial that will start in December.”

The top contenders for the Trailblazer award were car rental company founders David and Richard Eastes of Vroomvroomvroom; video game entrepreneur Shainiel Deo from Halfbrick and 99 Bikes’ Matt Turner.

However, the judges were unanimous with NEXTDC founder Bevan Slattery. The entrepreneur sold PIPE Networks for $373 million to TPG Telecom in 2009. He then floated NEXTDC on the ASX during December 2010.

Awards founder Jason Oxenbridge says the finalists each bring key qualities to their respective organisations.

“Positive stories can often get lost in a haze of negative sentiment and the Young Entrepreneur awards radiate optimism by celebrating the achievements of the next wave of business leaders,” he says.

“We would like to congratulate Quynh Anh Le, and all finalists for their tremendous contribution to the city’s bustling business landscape.”

The awards are a Brisbane Business News initiative sponsored by Telstra, CCIQ, Hynes Lawyers, APN Print and Ruby Public Relations - and are now in their third year. They are a celebration of home-grown success stories – many of whom are operating on the global stage.

The 2011 Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards are a celebration of achievement and this year the finalists were relentless in their pursuit of success. Read how they paved smart paths to success in a special annual edition of Brisbane Business News – out now in more than 500 Queensland newsagencies.

2011 BRISBANE YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR FINALISTS (ALPHABETICAL ORDER)

Jordan Wendall Birchall (Tuckeria); Ben Bradshaw (SponsoredLinX); Lindy Chen (China Direct Sourcing); Brett and Hayley Cooper (Cooper Technologies); Jono and Sam Cottee (Vanguard Clothing); Shainiel Deo (Half Brick); Phillip Di Bella (Di Bella Coffee); Richard Eastes (Vroomvroomvroom); Vanessa Garrard (E3 Style); Marko Grgic (3 Blokes Studios); Kent Grogan (Broo Beer), Llew Jury (Reload Media), Rajan Lashand (Spice Mart), Quynh Anh Le (NOJA Power Switchgear); William Liu (Sono Portside); Paul Mansfield (Weblinc); Kye and Sophie Macdonald (Skye Recruitment); Niall McCarthy (Zova); Don McKenzie (Stream Group); Jason and Dave Narciso (Elixir Coffee); Andrew Northcott (LSA Recruitment); Michael O'Brien (Fresh Events + People); Jodie Parker (Iceberg Events); Dan Petrovic (Dejan SEO); Kelly Quinn (Superfox); Marc Ratcliffe (MRWED Group); Adam Rockett and Chris Ryan (Strike Group Australia); Ben Shipley (Comscentre); Bevan Slattery (Next DC); Matt Turner (99 Bikes); Vu Tran (Go1); Belinda Vesey-Brown (Brio Group); Peter Ward (Wardy IT Solutions); and Brett Wiskar (Speedwell).

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