Top Entrepreneur Award Goes To 'Community Man'
22 December 2003 at 12:12 pm
David Bussau, the co-founder of the global development organisation Opportunity International – has been chosen as the Ernst & Young Australian Entrepreneur of the Year 2003.
Bussau has been recognised for his role in the formulation of the methodology of Micro-Enterprise Development (MED), for co-founding Opportunity International (OI) and for the enormous impact the organisation has had in empowering more than a million budding entrepreneurs in the developing world to break out of the poverty cycle forever.
This is the first time that the overall winner has come from the ‘Social, Community or Not-for-Profit’ category.
David inherits the mantle of Australian Entrepreneur of the Year form last year’s winner, John Rothwell of Austal Ships Pty Ltd.
Judges found that the impact of David Bussau’s own lateral thinking has now stretched across the globe. Through MED, Opportunity International creates jobs by providing small loans and training to the poor in 27 developing countries, empowering them to start or expand their own small businesses.
By tackling the causes of poverty at the grass roots, this method has proven to be one of the most effective and sustainable ways to fight poverty. In 2002 alone, OI provided more than $200 million worth of loans and created or sustained over 700,000 jobs.
Bussau told the award ceremony in Melbourne that the challenge for himself has been to find ways to release that incredible potential in human beings, to enable that creative force and drive to be expressed.
Earlier at the awards ceremony, Bussau received the national Ernst & Young award for ‘Entrepreneurship in a Social, Community or Not-For-Profit Enterprise’, one of 6 categories recognised on the night.
He was chosen as the Australian Entrepreneur of the Year 2003 from dozens of successful entrepreneurs from all around Australia from all facets of Australian business and endeavour.
Bussau will now go on to represent Australia at the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Monaco in June, 2004.
A panel of independent judges comprising leading figures from the Australian business community selected the winner for each of the categories with one of these winners then selected as the overall Australian Entrepreneur of the Year 2003.
The winners were selected on several criteria: entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, financial performance, strategic direction, personal integrity/influence and national/global impact.
The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program is now in its third year in Australia and is part of the global Entrepreneur of the Year program that has been running successfully for 17 years in the United States and now spans over 35 countries.