The Gold Coast’s best and brightest young entrepreneurs were recognised Friday night at the 2017 Young Entrepreneur Awards at QT Gold Coast, with Grace Loves Lace founder Megan Ziems winning the top gong.
Ziems, who started her Burleigh-based bridal brand in 2010, took home the 2017 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award which recognises the city’s most ambitious young entrepreneur who has cemented their own unique place in the business community.
The judging panel said Ziems is a game-changer who has achieved stellar success and has greatly contributed to the Gold Coast’s economic prosperity.
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“Megan is rapidly growing a profitable global business in an on-trend, niche fast fashion space using an omni-channel approach of great digital activity,” said judge Glen Richards, founder of Greencross.
Also on the judging panel, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Bond University Baden U’Ren agreed, “we need more businesses like Megan’s – a boutique niche manufacturer absolutely killing it, and destined for more.”
Founder of the Young Entrepreneur Awards Camilla Jansen congratulated Megan on the achievement. “Megan is an outstanding business person and role model for other entrepreneurs on the Gold Coast, a truly deserving winner of the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award,” said Jansen.
This year marked the biggest ceremony to date with Gold Coast’s most successful young entrepreneurs receiving awards in front of nearly 300 peers, professionals and executives.
Collectively the Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur finalists boasted a combined turnover of more than $180 million in the last financial year alone, and have created more than 1,000 jobs.
Ms Jansen said and said this year’s line-up of talent was the most impressive to date. “This year was incredibly competitive and showcased a diverse range of talent, every finalist should be congratulated and proud of their achievements.”
City of Gold Coast is a major sponsor of the Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur Awards, and Mayor Tate said it is proud to continue to support the initiative. “The Awards encourage innovation, recognise those who exemplify the Gold Coast’s ‘have-a-go spirit’, and truly reflect the wonderful entrepreneurial spirit of our city,” he said.
Last year’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year Dwayne Martens of Amazonia again took home accolades, winning the 2017 Manufacturing, Wholesale and Distribution award.
Other winners included Tammy Hembrow who has amassed more than 7 million followers on social media and Brad Carr who sold his business Ry.com.au to UK retail giant The Hut Group for an undisclosed amount in August this year.
Here’s a list of all the winners at the 2017 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur Awards:
• Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Megan Ziems, Grace Loves Lace
• Trailblazer of the Year – James Greig, Ivvy / Bloomtools
• Retail & Services – Brad Carr, Ry.com.au
• Hospitality & Tourism – Cameron Bray, Bray Management
• Influencer – Tammy Hembrow, Tammy Hembrow Fitness / Saski Collection
• Manufacturing, Wholesale & Distribution – Dwayne Martens, Amazonia
• Digital Disruptor – James Greig, Ivvy / Bloomtools
• Technology – Kane Sajdak & Bernard Mangelsdorf, BITS Technology Group
• Fashion Design – Megan Ziems, Grace Loves Lace
• Health & Fitness – Leigh Wetton, EMF Fitness Centre / EMF Performance Centre
• Professional Services – John Ramsden, Ramsden Lawyers
• Arts & Culture – Michael Huxley, Huxley School of Makeup
• Marketing, PR & Events – Fady Hanna, Flagship Digital
• Startup – Renee Tocco, Loanezi
• Property & Construction – Nick Ray, One Sector
• Specialised Services – Jeff Stenner, 2J Electrical
• Social Entrepreneur – Jack Corbett & Ryan Tuckwood, ISR Training and Recruitment
• Young Professional of the Year – Paul Billing, TORFX