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Four entrepreneurs named winners of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2023 Singapore awards

Felicia Tan
Felicia Tan • 5 min read
Four entrepreneurs named winners of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2023 Singapore awards
This year's winners are from a mix of industries including advanced manufacturing and new media and entertainment. Photo: EY
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EY has named four entrepreneurs from four organisations as the recipients of the firm’s 22nd EY Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) 2023 Singapore awards.

The entrepreneurs are:

  • Phyllis Ong, group CEO, Armstrong Industrial Corporation Limited, named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year – Advanced Manufacturing;
  • Althea Lim, cofounder and group CEO, Gushcloud International, named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year – New Media and Entertainment;
  • Yvon Bock, founder and CEO, Hegen Pte Ltd, named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year – Consumer Products; and
  • Olive Tai, cofounder and managing director, Synagie Group Asia and Europe, named EY Entrepreneur Of The Year – E-commerce Services.

One of the winners will be named the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2023 Singapore. He or she will represent Singapore at the annual EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ (WEOY) award in 2024 to compete with contenders from over 60 jurisdictions.

Singapore’s representative to the WEOY award will be announced at the EY EOY Awards Gala on Nov 27. Minister for Manpower and second minister for trade and industry, Dr Tan See Leng will be the guest of honour at the gala.

The winners were chosen out of close to 100 nominations by an independent judging panel, based on their merits in fulfilling the four globally benchmarked criteria, which are entrepreneurial spirit, growth, purpose and impact.

See also: Yvon Bock, founder of Hegen, named EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2023 Singapore

Chairperson of the judging panel, Nanofilm’s founder and executive chairman Shi Xu, said that this year’s four winners “clearly demonstrate strong business acumen and innovation paired with passion and purpose”.

“Whether it is breaking new grounds in traditional industries or charting unknown territories in emerging sectors, the winners have been bold with their vision in growing a business that not only responds to but creates new market demands locally and abroad, while making an impact on the wider communities that they serve or operate in,” he adds.

Liew Nam Soon, EY Asean regional managing partner and Singapore and Brunei managing partner, Ernst & Young Solutions LLP, explains how the winning entrepreneurs embody this year’s theme of “The Art of Entrepreneurship”.

See also: Sustainability and AI are pivotal trends for businesses to watch: EY’s Liew

“It is noteworthy that the entire class of EOY award winners this year are women entrepreneurs. Women make up half the world’s population and therefore must – and can be – a vital part of the solutions that address the needs and demands in the marketplace for a better working world. This year’s outstanding entrepreneurs demonstrate the artful balance of passion, tenacity and courage to continually push the boundaries of status quo in their fields, taking the Singapore brand beyond our shores,” he says.

“As we celebrate their exceptional achievements as entrepreneurs, let us also acknowledge their lifelong roles as daughters, mothers and sisters, and the inspiration they bring to breaking gender barriers and advancing gender equity,” he adds.

Honorary awards

In addition to the four winners, EY has awarded the Asean Entrepreneurial Excellence award to Tan Sri Sir Jeffrey Cheah KBE AO, the founder and chairman of Sunway Group in Malaysia

The honorary award, which does not see the recipient competing for the EOY Singapore 2023 title, recognises successful Southeast Asian businesses that contribute to the economy and community in the region.

Ho Bee Land also received the honorary EY Family Enterprise Award of Excellence The award recipient is jointly selected by knowledge partners, Business Families Institute @ Singapore Management University and the INSEAD Wendel International Centre for Family Enterprise.

“Tan Sri Sir Jeffrey Cheah KBE AO’s story exemplifies how sustainability and profitability are complementary, evidenced by how he transformed Sunway City Kuala Lumpur, which was previously an 800-acre tin mine, into Malaysia’s first integrated green township. Under his astute leadership, Sunway Group continues to integrate technology and sustainable innovations into its business and is today a leading conglomerate with diverse businesses,” says EY’s Liew.

“Beyond building a successful business, Tan Sri Sir makes quality education and world-class expertise affordable and accessible in Malaysia through the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, which has disbursed education scholarships and grants exceeding RM670 million ($193.7 milion) in 2023,” he adds.

On Ho Bee Land H13 -

, Liew also noted that the company, which is widely recognized as a developer of luxury homes and a creator of sustainable sanctuaries, has “successfully preserved its company and family values while maintaining the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit over generations”.

“Its core belief – ‘built to last’ – not just in the real estates that they develop but also in nurturing a family enterprise that will last through generations, is admirable. Beyond building a high-performing business, Ho Bee Land is also committed to various charitable causes that uplift communities and create a caring and inclusive society,” says Liew.

The Singapore Exchange S68 -

(SGX) Group continues as a partner of the EOY awards for the fourth year running.

“We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the winners of this year’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards. It is truly inspiring to see these remarkable female entrepreneurs being recognized for their exceptional talent and dedication to their visions. At SGX Group, we believe that entrepreneurship is a powerful force that drives innovation and economic growth, and these winners embody this spirit. Their success not only contributes to their respective industries but also strengthens our local business community, fostering a culture of innovation and resilience that we are proud to be a part of,” says Pol de Win, senior managing director and head of global sales and origination, SGX Group.

The Edge Singapore is one of the official media partners for the awards.

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