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“Exceptional entrepreneurs look at the world in a different way”

There are millions of successful entrepreneurs in the world. They fuel employment and economies, ease our daily lives and make industries more sustainable. But not all entrepreneurs are created equal.

The truly exceptional ones aren’t just prodigies with an eye for figures and networking skills to match. They look at the world in a different way, spotting not just gaps in the market, but ways in which entire sectors and industries can work differently.

This issue of Exceptional is full of leaders like these. Take Jessica Herrin, a serial entrepreneur who set out to transform the lives of thousands by offering them the chance to define entrepreneurship their way. Her social-selling jewelry company Stella & Dot is successful financially, but has also given women (and a few men) the flexibility to be their own boss and earn money in their own time and at their own pace.

Then there’s Ping Fu, founder of Geomagic, whose innovative 3D-printing software is used to make everything from heart valves to turbine machinery. Having built up the company, she sold it to 3D Systems, where she still works today, finding new uses for this cutting-edge technology.

Another remarkable story is that of Mohed Altrad, EY World Entrepreneur Of The YearTM 2015 Award winner. He has risen above adversity on a journey that has taken him from the Syrian desert, where he was born into a Bedouin tribe, to France. It was there, in 1985, that he bought a near-bankrupt scaffolding company that he has transformed into a business with 170 subsidiaries around the world and annual revenues of more than US$2b.

Elsewhere, we shine a spotlight on the influence of entrepreneurial passion on success. Dr. Ata Atmar has built Bateel into a luxury brand from the unpromising starting point of a Middle Eastern staple food, the date. He has big expansion plans, and China and the US are in his sights.

Another example is George Mullan, who bought a struggling company with three employees and built SIS Pitches into a market-leading global provider of sports surfaces.

There are so many great features in this issue, all with their own inspiring stories and tips. we hope you enjoy reading Exceptional.