HARD on the heels of hosting a major breakfast event with Steve Baxter at City Hall this morning, Brisbane Business News has launched the Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Awards for 2015.
The awards will be held on October 23 and recognise local entrepreneurs who are either at the forefront of innovation, riding a wave of stellar success or just starting out with big dreams and an even greater determination to make them a reality.
They are open to anyone born 1975 or later who founded their business in Brisbane and is still operating there as the current owner.
Managing director of Business News Australia Camilla Jansen says last year's finalists who came from 36 businesses across the city contributed more than $300 million in revenue to the local economy in 2014.
However, the initiative isn't about recognising those who are making millions.
"The awards aim to unearth the talent we have here in Brisbane and to give young professionals recognition and the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and experiences," says Jansen.
"The awards are much more about your potential and point of difference than cash flow, and a great chance to build a network of like-minded people working hard to build their empires."
The award categories are Retail & Services; Hospitality; Digital; Technology; Manufacturing, Wholesale & Distribution; Property & Construction; Professional Services; Marketing & Events; and Social Entrepreneur.
They would not be possible without the support of sponsors including Bond University's Faculty of Business, Telstra Business Centre, HLB Mann Judd, Robina Group, Cullens Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys, and Blue Shadow Group.
At the 2014 Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Awards, Tu Projects founder Robert Rowe took out the top gong.
Ten years earlier, Rowe started his business with $64 in his bank account and a maxed-out credit card.
Rowe struck out on his own after working in his father's shopfitting business during his early 20s.
More than just a shopfitter, Rowe's unique approach has attracted the likes of brands including H&M, Kookai, Ben & Jerry's and Sumo Salad.
"Since launching the business, I have learnt that the success of the business is never a one-man job," says Rowe.
"Winning the award wasn't just a testament to what I have done but what my team has done I wouldn't be where we are if it wasn't for them."
Rowe says it was the first time he had entered the awards.
"There are so many innovative minds in our backyard and not a lot of opportunity to showcase them," says Rowe.
"The Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Awards allowed me to meet with some really talented people who have achieved a great deal and most before they were 30.
"If we show that there's a community of people who have walked the journey and come out better for it on the other side, think of the benefits it could have on the young people who are just starting out. Sometimes you need that one voice saying 'you can do it'."
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