How mold-breakers are transforming the world

Highlights from EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2019

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How a builder of businesses attracts talent

A family legacy that includes the Hyatt hotel chain “puts a burden on trying to achieve within a family of overachievers,” says Anthony Pritzker, Chairman and CEO of Pritzker Private Capital. He pivoted to creating what he calls a “family of companies” — traditional middle-market businesses in manufactured products, services and health care. 

Pritzker Private Capital invests in companies that already have strong management teams, with a particular focus on family businesses undergoing a generational transition. “We’re long-term business holders,” Pritzker says. “We have the ability to create a structure that’s very different from other people.”

An undeniable part of that structure is talent. “To attract talented people, you have to have an ethos behind what you’re doing,” Pritzker says. Market-rate compensation, an inclusive culture and a company that is here for the long term are key.

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The world is facing three big issues today: health, education and shelter.

Rubens Menin

Chairman of MRV Engenharia

How culture creates a total package - Jen Rubio

How culture creates a total package

A broken suitcase sent Jen Rubio, Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of Away, on her journey to transform the travel experience. But she wanted to create a travel brand that went beyond the usual wheels, zippers and warranties.

In just over three years, Rubio and her co-founder Steph Korey have turned their dream into a reality. With over 1 million suitcases sold, Away is now a unicorn (valued over US$1b) that emphasizes its people and culture as much as sales. “Being clear on values is so crucial as you grow so quickly,” she says. “We have made it clear that our people feel empowered, have access to leaders, are encouraged to constantly iterate and be customer-obsessed.”

Her advice to new entrepreneurs? “As a business founder, 99% of what you do is new. Don’t be afraid to say that you don’t know the answer. This can open up new ideas and approaches that you may not have considered.”

How a big brand is navigating Brexit

Lord Karan Bilimoria, Chairman of Cobra Beer Partnership, says he’s always been interested in politics, recalling when he led a consequential debate for Cambridge University against Oxford, opposite current prime ministerial candidate Michael Gove. But being a successful entrepreneur has been his lifelong trade. By the time he was appointed to sit in the United Kingdom Parliament’s House of Lords in 2006, he had turned Cobra Beer into an award-winning brand and household name. 

When it comes to geopolitics and business, Brexit is closest to home for Lord Bilimoria. For many UK-based businesses, “a ‘no deal’ Brexit would prove disastrous,” he says. “A ‘soft’ Brexit, also called the ‘Norway option,’ may work,” but ultimately he would like the UK to remain inside the European Union to continue free trade. He believes globalization has peaked, and with nationalism on the rise, partnership among nations will remain key. 

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You have to build self-confidence every day. The best way to gain confidence is to take that first step — to try it.

Stéphanie Gicquel

Extreme Sports Athlete


How purpose can reveal opportunities

When Natalia Vodianova first started her modeling career at 17, she was overwhelmed by the sudden success after struggling to make ends meet in Russia. But she was heartened by her belief in a higher purpose: “When someone hands you something, you can’t turn it away.”

That search for purpose led her to establish the Naked Heart Foundation after the 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis. She says she wondered what would happen psychologically to those who survived. Believing “play is the most healing experience of all for a child,” Vodianova and her foundation began establishing playgrounds throughout Russia.

Her activism has evolved with the advent of social media, where she can control her message. Her app Elbi allows users to donate to causes via a “love button,” moving philanthropy from the realm of billionaires to everyday people. She is also a strong advocate of the Flo app, which allows women to track their periods and improve their overall health. “We can help women take control and power back,” she says.

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Mold-breaking entrepreneurs celebrate each other in Monaco image

Mold-breaking entrepreneurs celebrate each other in Monaco

The EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Hall of Fame welcomed 57 new members from 47 countries on 5 June 2019. EY Global Chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger kicked off the ceremony, lauding all the entrepreneurs who create not only new ideas, but also hundreds of thousands of jobs. Each of these new Hall of Fame members is a winner of an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ country or regional program, and each will be meeting during the week with an independent panel of judges, who will select this year’s EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winner.

The program also awarded Dr. Liu Jiren, Chairman and CEO of Neusoft Corporation, with its Alumni Special Award for Societal Impact. Neusoft, one of China’s leading IT solutions and services providers, is dedicated to bringing quality health care services to the most marginalized and poorest areas of the world. Its R&D initiatives led to the establishment of China’s first Cloud Hospital, a third-party medical collaboration and health management platform.

Entrepreneurs should share their experience with younger generations. If we develop the next generation of entrepreneurs, this world will become more beautiful.

Dr. Liu Jiren 

Chairman and CEO of Neusoft Corporation


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