Stellar cast looks likely for young entrepreneurs summit

The founders of successful start-ups Zambrero, TOM Organic and Shoes of Prey are among the Australian entrepreneurs shortlisted for the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance (YEA) Summit.


The G20 YEA Summit brings together entrepreneurs from the G20 nations to champion the importance of young entrepreneurs and examine the issues affecting them.


Discussion points from the summit will be presented to world leaders during the G20 Leaders Summit.


The Enterprise Network for Young Australians (ENYA) is planning to send an Australian delegation of 20 entrepreneurs to the 2013 G20 YEA Summit, to be held in Moscow in June.


It was announced earlier this month young entrepreneurs who apply for a spot go in the running for a $5,000 business grant. Applications closed on February 18.


Now, ENYA has revealed the 50 Australian entrepreneurs shortlisted for the summit.


The list includes Dr Sam Prince, who founded Mexican restaurant chain Zambrero, which now consists of 26 stores. Zambrero donates the equivalent number of meals sold to the less fortunate.


Another shortlisted is Aimee Marks, founder of TOM Organics, which manufactures organic feminine hygiene products that are biodegradable and don’t carry any harmful chemicals.


There’s also Jodie Fox, co-founder of online design-it-yourself shoe store Shoes of Prey, iSelect co-founder Damian Waller and Shainiel Deo, the man behind the successful Fruit Ninja game.


Fox told StartupSmart it was a “flattering surprise” to be shortlisted for this year’s summit.


“The things I’d be most interested in achieving as part of this summit would be learnings from other countries on fostering entrepreneurship through policy updates, how government and private enterprise were brought on board to effect these policy updates, and anything on speeding up momentum for our domestic community of entrepreneurs to be recognised as a global hub by VCs – without the requirement for our start-ups to head offshore,” she says.


Of the 50 entrepreneurs shortlisted, one will be selected from a public poll, which is open until February 28.


The people’s choice winner, which is based on the highest number of votes lodged, will receive return flights to Moscow from social and ethical investment company Forming Circles.


The remaining 19 entrepreneurs will be chosen by a panel of Australian business leaders including Dr Tom McKaskill and Kerry Chikarovski.


The panel will also choose which entrepreneur receives the $5,000 business grant, provided by Forming Circles.


Liddle is encouraging people to place their votes prior to February 28.


“Now is the time to get your votes in for Australia’s best entrepreneurs, and help send them to an inspirational and life-changing experience,” Liddle says.


Liddle says he’s not surprised by the calibre of entrepreneurs who have put up their hand to attend the summit.


“Most people go for two reasons. One, because it’s an opportunity to brainstorm with some of the best entrepreneurial minds from around the world,” he says.


“There are two major themes [this year] – access to finance and going global.


“The second reason is really networking. A day and a half of the three days is dedicated to networking and building business ideas.


“A lot of the entrepreneurs go to see what they can do with their business globally.”


Renata Cooper, founder of Forming Circles, believes supporting young entrepreneurs is in the national interest.


“[We] believe that these flights and grants will give applicants an opportunity they might not otherwise experience and assist them in turning their ideas into reality,” she said in a statement.


In 2014, the G20 YEA and G20 Leaders Summits will be held in Australia.


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