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2008 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year announced
Michael Hill from Michael Hill International has been named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year for 2008.
Mr Hill won the overall EY Entrepreneur Of The Year title, joining an elite alumni of past winners.
Mr Hill was selected from a field of five entrepreneurs who were all named category winners last month. The categories are Products, Services, Technology, Master Entrepreneur and Young Entrepreneur.
The five category winners were chosen from a pool of 18 finalists representing 17 businesses.
This year’s overall EY Entrepreneur Of The Year, Mr Hill, was the winner of the Master Entrepreneur category.
On news of the win, Mr Hill said it was “an absolute privilege to win this year’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year.”
“I’m going to give it my best shot for New Zealand at the world awards in Monte Carlo,” he said.
Chairman of the judging panel, David Johnson, who is chief executive of Trends International and who won the inaugural EY Entrepreneur Of The Year in 1998, said Michael Hill ticks all the boxes.
“He’s achieved everything he set out to achieve but what impressed the judges most was a desire to keep setting and achieving goals,” Mr Johnson said.
Michael Hill will represent New Zealand and compete against leading entrepreneurs from 50 countries in the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards in Monte Carlo in May 2009. .
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards Director Jon Hooper congratulated all finalists and category winners.
“In challenging economic times, all of our finalists, category winners and the overall winner have created real value through their businesses with both national and global impact and demonstrate determination, passion and vision,” Mr Hooper said.
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About Michael Hill
Michael Hill – Michael Hill International Limited
Many strings to his bow
You could say concert violinist, world window dressing champion, golf course owner, luxury shipping magnate, motivational speaker, restaurant franchise owner and deer farmer but the minute you hear “Hello Michael Hill” one profession stands out. Jeweller.
And, of course, entrepreneur. Few people anywhere, but especially Whangarei in the 1950s, leave school at 16 to become a concert violinist. At the New Zealand Herald Violin Competition a year later, he failed to win. He was told to forego the bow and take up watch making in the family jewellery business owned by his uncle.
He lasted 3 months watch making but stayed for 23 years—as a salesman and later manager of the shop.
Any one of his cornucopia of business activities lends itself to story-telling, but his path from small town/small shop owner to international jewellery legend is a good place to start.
The watershed moment of entering the ‘big time’ came when, literally, Michael was watching his house go up in flames. He says the thought flashed firmly in his mind that he should make an offer to buy out the family business. Though near penniless after the fire, he found a backer who was willing to put up the necessary capital. His uncle, however, didn’t share in the vision and refused the offer. Undaunted, Michael opened up a smaller and less grand shop in competition. Within 18 months he was outstripping his uncle’s more-established operation.
The simple U-shaped layout and accessible product range set the framework for much bigger takings. He reached 7 shops in 7 years so decided to aim for 70 more in the next 7. Currently the chain has 212 stores—138 in Australia, 52 in New Zealand and 22 in Canada. The aim is to reach the 1,000 level by 2024 by going truly global.
The 2008 category winners are:
The 2008 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards judging panel comprises:
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About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The award makes a difference through the unique way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognises the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognising them through regional, national and global awards programmes in more than 135 cities in 50 countries.
EY refers to all the members of the global EY organisation.