Editor's message November

RISK and reward – it’s an inherent combination vital to the success of the finalists in this bumper, annual Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur edition.

This impressive line-up of business owners aged under 40, have flipped tradition on its head and trailblazed into untapped markets with their innovative ventures, products and services.

Collectively, the 20 finalists employ around 500 staff and have annual revenues of $92 million.

Prevailing amid adversity is one hallmark, but it’s the entrepreneurial spirit that drives them to achieve. They are can-do people, often brash, but always determined and ambitious – sometimes to a fault.

The Gold Coast is a hot bed of innovative activity and in the stories that follow, you will be inspired by this diverse and eclectic group. They’re infectious, think outside the square and dream big.

When deciding on a winner this year, the judges were unanimous. While consideration was given to the vast and varied nominees across sectors including hospitality, IT, manufacturing, real estate, web marketing, health, construction and retail – the story of two brothers who backed themselves to have their extreme sports fashion label in more than 3000 stores worldwide, was one of the highlights.

Some battled against the odds to build businesses that employ and share the wealth, while others are cracking offshore markets with health products, designer giftware and restaurants.

This year we also added the Trailblazer Award, to pay homage to the individual on the cusp of taking a groundbreaking product to the world stage. And in line with our philosophy to foster and promote innovation, we have also created a ‘ones to watch’ segment, so that regardless of turnover or growth, the opportunity for those emerging entrepreneurs to get their stories told is now possible.

Business News Publications launched the Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur initiative in 2008 and it has since generated incredible traction and sparked the attention of the nation.

When Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan handed inaugural winner Kenton Campbell of Zarraffa’s fame the first Young Entrepreneur of the Year award atop the Q1 building in 2008, the die was cast for its success.

This year Campbell returns, not as a contender, but as a judge.

It’s a truly independent award that continues to thrive on the kudos of the people that represent it – those under 40 businessmen and women that contribute substantially to the local economy, but rarely get the recognition.

The 2010 Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalists and those ‘ones to watch’ feature in the pages that follow.

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