Copenhagen, 12 June 2018

Monaco attracts entrepreneurial winners from 50 countries

EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year

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Entrepreneurs and innovators from near 50 countries are heading to Monaco for EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year this week. The Nordic national winners at this event, organised by EY, span from an international fish feed manufacturer and a supplier of industrial components and systems to a provider of HR and payroll services and a company designing and implementing environmentally friendly energy solutions.

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year, the world’s largest programme of its kind, is in its 32. season. EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year, taking place from June 13-17 in glamorous Monaco, is the culmination of this year’s regional events in close to 150 cities and national finals in 50 countries.

“The program’s purpose is to identify and inspire the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. Such people are fundamentally important to the economy, providing jobs and leading innovative and competitive companies, says Søren Smedegaard Hvid, leading the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program in Denmark.


These are this year’s Nordic winners, representing their respective countries in Monaco:

Sweden: Claes Mellgren och Per Olof Andersson från AQ Group in Västerås

Their company AQ Group has 5,100 employees, a turnover of SEK4bn, is available in 12 countries and is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. Today, the company is one of Scandinavia's leading suppliers of industrial components and systems.

With a clear leadership style Claes and Per Olof have lifted the company from a modest position to an impressive turnover and growth. Despite hard competition and price pressure, this year's Swedish winning duo has built a corporate group that has generated positive results for 92 consecutive quarters.

Norway: Hans-Petter Mellerud from Zalaris in Oslo

Mellerud can boast an exciting development for the company he is leading. Since its inception in 2000, Zalaris has developed into a company with operations in Northern and Central Europe, the UK and Ireland, India and Thailand. By offering a wide range of cloud-based services, including human resource management and payroll, performance management, retirement, travel registration, time management and recruitment, Zalaris is in the midst of the international trend of digitizing HR services.

The company was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange in 2014. More than 1.3 million people (including German Chancellor Angela Merkel) receive salary and personal services from IT systems managed by Zalaris every month. The company has 830 employees in 13 countries.

Finland: Vesa Korhonen from Nocart Oy in Lahti

The core of Korhonen's success story is to support sustainable development. Nocart Oy, founded in 2010, is implementing and designing energy solutions and power plants based on renewable energy and local energy sources. In many cases, they replace an expensive and polluting energy solution with an environmentally friendly alternative. Korhonen, through his business, promotes sustainable development, particularly in Africa and South East Asia, which currently account for about 95 per cent of the company's turnover of USD37 million in 2017, a growth of 146 per cent from previous year.

While climate change, conflicts and lack of education cause poverty, access to energy can help people to adapt to and mitigate them. Nocart powers the world with green energy from multiple sources to enable sustainable and flexible use of locally available sources of energy. The company is leading the way to new clean energy markets by breaking traditional technology barriers and finding new ways to operate with energy technologies. Powering the world’s 1.2 billion people without access to electricity is a business area with a strong growth potential and Nocart is a forerunner in it.

Denmark: Hans Erik Bylling, owner of Aller Aqua A/S

Aller Aqua manufactures and sells fish feed to over 60 countries – last year more than 155,000 tons – and is in many ways a pioneer when it comes to markets and products. Cooperation and investments include difficult markets and as a strong innovative company, Aller Aqua has made sound investments, which are now paying off.

Aller Aqua has a long and impressive story dating back to 1910 and the family owned business is today run by third generation with fourth generation already playing an active role – which in itself is a great accomplishment. Aller Aqua sees potential and opportunity globally – whether it is in Norway, Germany, Egypt or China.


The theme of this year's world finals is how the world changes when the boundaries between different industries are blurred and companies transcend old limitations and borders. The finalists can take part in seminars on how digitalisation affect consumers, cities and healthcare and what this means for their own businesses. The program also includes lectures with Peggy Johnson, Vice President, Business Development, Microsoft, Jeremy Gutsche, CEO, Trendhunter.com and Elle Macpherson, Founder, WelleCo. The world final concludes as one of the participants on the evening of June 16 win the award EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018.

For media inquiries, please contact:

  • Denmark: Michael Basland, (+45) 2529 3047
  • Norway: Kris Lunde, (+47) 916 69 000
  • Sweden: Stina Gustafsson (+46) 73-355 06 31
  • Finland: Laura Uttu-Deschryvere, (+358) 40 717 6415

Find more info on World Entrepreneur Of The Year.

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