“If government can give a big enough stage, there’ll be entrepreneurs.” Olivia Lum, Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 and Group President and CEO of Hyflux Limited
With entrepreneurs playing a vital role in creating jobs and boosting economic growth, we talk to some of this year’s winners of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Award about how they would advise governments around the world to support entrepreneurship.
Singapore: Olivia Lum is Ernst & Young’s World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 and Group President and CEO of Hyflux Limited, one of the world’s leading desalination suppliers. It is publicly traded with revenues of US$450m, employing more than 2,300 people in operations and projects in Southeast Asia, China, India, the Middle East and North Africa.
“I always say entrepreneurs like me are like actors and actresses. We like to play on a stage and government is like a stage. So they’ve got to create a stage that is fair and square and big enough for us to dance on. So if government can give a big enough stage, there’ll be entrepreneurs.”
Canada: James Temerty, Founder and Chairman of Northland Power Inc., is the developer, owner and operator of clean and green power-generation projects that currently generate 818 megawatts of electricity and has three more plants with a combined capacity of 446 megawatts under construction.
“Entrepreneurism, by its nature, is something that has to be independent of government. The best you can hope for is that the voting population has the good sense to recognize the politicians that may have an entrepreneurial vision.”
France: Aliza Jabès, CEO and founder of NUXE Group, is the woman who turned NUXE, a small Parisian aromatherapy and phytotherapy laboratory taken over 20 years ago, into a natural cosmetology company that has reported a 10-year run of double-digit growth, the very best in the pharmaceutical sector.
“In terms of company taxation, the government could make further efforts to lower pressure on small companies for which the first years are so complicated. At a more global level, harmonizing European states with the same taxation policy would avoid a lot of discrepancies country by country.”
Ireland: Brian Conlon is the Founder and Chief Executive of First Derivatives plc, a leading provider of products and consulting services to the capital markets industry. The company focuses on financial institutions that work cross-asset, often with multi-system and/or high volume trading activities. It also scopes, designs, develops, implements and supports a broad range of mission critical data and trading systems across front, middle and back-office operations.
“In Ireland, we have a massive need for technology graduates but we’re not getting enough. We have to import them. So I think the government has got to be more tuned to what the market demands.”
Israel: Gil Shwed is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive of Check Point, a global leader in internet security, specializing in network security software, firewall solutions, network protection and security management.
“Governments need to provide open markets, governments need to provide pretty good infrastructure, including connectivity to the internet.”
Jordan: Amjad Aryan is the Founder and Chief Executive of Pharmacy 1, the largest pharmacy chain in Jordan. There are now 53 stores in Jordan, four stores in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and one store in Erbil with further expansion planned. Having equipped each pharmacy with a modern logistics network, Pharmacy 1 applies leading pharmaceutical store management in a sector of the Jordan economy where this standard did not exist prior to 2001.
“Belief in the power of ‘I can’ has been my driver and a driver to a lot who ventured as entrepreneurs. We need to educate our people on entrepreneurship and use successful entrepreneurs as role models in society, for as we all know, success is contagious.”
Mexico: Rodrigo A. Herrera is Chairman and Chief Executive of Genomma Lab Internacional, a leading over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and personal care products company in Mexico with international presence.
“The most important thing I see is that those countries that have more entrepreneurs are the countries that produce more jobs. In the end, that’s the most important thing; to produce jobs.”
New Zealand: Tim Alpe is Chief Executive of JUCY, one of Australasia’s fastest-growing independent tourism companies. Established in September 2001 by brothers Tim and Dan Alpe, JUCY operates over 2,500 late-model vehicles throughout New Zealand and Australia along with JUCY Hotel, JUCY Cruize and will soon be launching the rental business into the US.
“When we started off, it was quite difficult to get funding … [A] lot of young entrepreneurs have struggled in the past, especially over the last couple of years, so it would be great to have some sort of assistance on that level as well, to actually encourage people to go out there and to give it a go and to give them the backing to be able to do so.”
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