Our Deputy Chief Executive, Scott Cain, attended the YBI Entrepreneur of the Year awards dinner at St. James Palace earlier this week. Here are is his thoughts on the event:
Prince Charles. What a splendid fellow. We discovered this week that he’s big fan of Global Entrepreneurship Week too.
YBI is one of the Prince’s Charities, and a mightily inspirational one at that. Having become a Global Entrepreneurship Week host in a bunch of countries - hello Canada - YBI also partnered with us to host its People’s Choice vote for its YBI Entrepreneur of the Year on www.unleashingideas.org. Very popular it proved too with the brilliant Saudi Arabian winner, Ghadah Baaqil, picking up 16,000 votes.
About 50 of us including the finalists - from Argentina, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and, erm, Scotland - gathered at Clarence House, which is the Prince’s house really. It had a warm, homely feel to the place - I think I was born into the wrong class - whilst also feeling swanky. Admittedly when there’s 50 of you in there rooms don’t seem so big.
Lovely food, heart-warming awards and Prince Charles added to the mix. After being introduced to me as the people behind GEW by YBI’s Chief Exec, the Prince volunteered: “Global Entrepreneurship Week - quite a thing isn’t it!”. “Eighty eight countries you say – remarkable,” he added before thanking his team at YBI for their efforts. Global Entrepreneurship Week - not quite by royal approval but enthusiastic support all the same.
For more details on the inspirational finalists got to: www.youthbusiness.org
Global Entrepreneurship Week teamed up with Youth Business International to discover the public’s favourite young entrepreneur of 2009. Last night the winner of the People’s Choice poll was officially announced together with this year’s overall Entrepreneur of 2009 at a prestigious ceremony held at St. James’s palace.
In a landslide victory, Ghadah Baaquil from
31 year old Ghadah runs the first and only centre for autistic children in her city Medina and was chosen not only for improving the lives of autistic children in the city but for her determination in setting up a facility despite widespread opposition and prejudice.
Juan Ramón Nuñez was declared the overall Entrepreneur of the Year and
commended by HRH the Prince of Wales. Juan, 34, was orphaned at the age of one and had to collect and sell cardboard to make a living before managing to set up first a community radio station, and then an audiovisual company.
Juan Ramón was selected by a high-profile judging panel which included Deborah Meaden, entrepreneur and star of BBC series Dragon’s Den. The judges said: “We chose Juan Ramón because he displays a true entrepreneurial spirit of not accepting his lot, striving against adversity and identifying a market and then attacking that market through a scalable business. He is a true inspiration and we wish him success in the future.”
Juan Ramón said: “This recognition is like a stepping stone for me. Its the start of a new phase in my entrepreneurial career.”
Juan Ramón, who suffers from acute heart problems, has been able to create a successful entrepreneurial career which has provided real benefits to his local community. For four years – in the thick of the Argentine economic crisis – he saved every penny he earned as a scrap collector in order to set up a community radio station. Following its success, he was then able to launch his audiovisual operation with the help of Fundación Impulsar, a local organisation which gives funding and mentoring to young entrepreneurs in
Both Ghadah and Juan Ramón embody the very best of young entrepreneurship: Growing local communities, stimulating job creation and providing essential products and services. Congratulations to them both on their world-renowned achievement, which we hope inspires other young people to explore entrepreneurship as an option for themselves.
Tonight Youth Business International will be celebrating the achievements of young entrepreneurs from across the globe at a prestigious awards ceremony held at St.James palace.
The finalists of the Entrepreneur of the year competition will soon find out if they have been selected and the winner of the people’s choice award will be announced officially. The CEO of YBI, Andrew Devenport, will be joining HRH The Prince of Wales in presenting the YBI Entrepeneur of the Year Awards and the ceremony is due to be attended by many well know entrepreneurs including the likes of Dragon’s Den Deborah Meaden, Rachel Bridge, Enterprise Editor at The Sunday Times, Claire Young, entrepreneur and runner-up in the 2008 series of The Apprentice and record-breaking mountaineer Jake Meyer.
The People’s Choice poll will close at 3pm today and with less than 3 hours left it is clear that Ghadah Baaqil of Saudia Arabia is a firm choice to win the People’s Choice Award having received an incredible 16,000 votes to date! Stay tuned for the final results on our blog and please continue to share your thoughts in our forum.
On Nov. 9, GEW launched a poll to find the world’s favorite young entrepreneur with global partner Youth Business International, a not-for-profit organization that supports budding young entrepreneurs across the world.
As part of this year's Entrepreneur of the Year competition, the general public were given the chance to vote for a winner of the new People’s Choice award. Due to phenomenal interest from supporters worldwide, it seems clear today that Ghadah Baaquil of Saudia Arabia, is likely to win.
To date, Ghadah has received 11,500 votes putting her thousands of votes ahead of the competition. Ghadah, the founder of Ghada Medina Autism Centre in Al-Medina, has been nominated not only for improving the lives of autistic children in the city but for her determination in setting up a facility despite widespread opposition and prejudice.
Ghadah has provided employment for 17 women in her centre, two of whom are divorced single mothers, and at 31, she makes an inspiring role model for women. Her success demonstrates that women of all nationalities can be successful entrepreneurs.
To hear Ghadah’s story click here.
Since Monday the GEW website has been flooded with interest in this years Entrepreneur of the Year competition, with people across the world logging on to vote for their favourite to win the People’s Choice Award and have their say about the shortlisted entrepreneurs in our forum.
So far there have been over 21,000 visitors to our YBI competition page all keen to find out about this year’s finalists. According to today’s figures three entrepreneurs in the lead for the People’s Choice Award. In third place Mouneer Al-Kojak from Syria with 373 votes, in second place Juan Ramón Nuñez with an enormous 2,168 votes and head of the poll is Ghadah Baaquil with an impressive 8,630 votes to date!
With four days left to go until a winner is announced anything could happen and the poll is changing hourly! Don’t forget to make your vote at www.unleashingideas.org/ybi. Click now to find out more about Ghadah, Juan, Mouneer and other competition finalists.
Hailing from a wide range of countries these entrepreneurs embody the spirit of enterprise: demonstrating innovation, creating jobs, and helping to develop their local communities. They highlight why helping young people who want to start up a business but lack the means to do so is critically important for job creation and community development.
It has been announced that Deborah Meaden, investor on hit BBC show Dragons’ Den, will be among the judges for YBI Entrepreneur of the Year, the international competition for young business people.
This year’s high profile judging panel comprises of Deborah Meaden, Rachel Bridge, Enterprise Editor at The Sunday Times, Claire Young, entrepreneur and runner-up in the 2008 series of The Apprentice and record-breaking mountaineer Jake Meyer. Together with these three judges, Deborah will be interviewing the finalists from different corners of the globe, to decide who will be this year’s YBI Entrepreneur of the Year. The winner of ‘The People’s Choice Award’ will be announced by the CEO of YBI, Andrew Devenport, together with the overall winner who will be revealed by HRH The Prince of Wales at an awards dinner at St James’s Palace on 16 November.
Deborah Meaden, entrepreneur and star of BBC’s Dragon’s Den, says: “The shortlisted entrepreneurs in this year’s YBI Entrepreneur of the Year competition have done fantastically well so far to turn their idea into a successful business. Let’s celebrate their success – I urge you to watch their videos and vote for who you think should win the People’s Choice award!”.
So don’t wait for the judges to make their decision – tell us who you think should win ‘The People’s Choice award’ now by voting online! Go to www.unleashingideas.org/ybi
The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) will welcome His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, to an entrepreneurial showcase in Vancouver, British Columbia, this Saturday.
Prince Charles will meet with more than 20 young CYBF entrepreneurs from across the country as part of the event that leads into Global Enterpreneurship Week 2009.
"Entrepreneurship defines Canadian communities, and in turn, our nation's financial prosperity. During turbulent times entrepreneurship equals economic recovery," said
CYBF, the official Canadian host of GEW, will be putting on another event on Nov. 16 to kick off GEW in Toronto.
Additionally, Prince Charles will be taking part in the United Kingdom's GEW festivities on Nov. 16 at the Youth Business International awards, which crowns a young entrepreneur from a worldwide pool of candidates.
Avi Creditor works for the Global Entrepreneurship Week planning team and is based in