SINGAPORE (Mar 9): David Lee, CEO of IYUNO Media Group, a dubbing and subtitling service provider for movies and videos, was told that his business would not succeed in the United States because it was run by a non-American.

“Everyone told me, no way an Asian businessman can make it in the US,” he told The Edge Singapore in an interview last year. Lee did not pay these naysayers heed and went on to open IYUNO’s US office last year within three days. The business has been winning contracts there ever since.

“You start out with a great idea, and fail. You manage to sustain but when you scale, you fail,” says Lee.

“An entrepreneur’s journey is filled with failures…what determines success is not the failure itself, but what you do afterwards,” he adds.

It is this very trait of grit and determination that won him the Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in Singapore, last year. He is now set to face over 50 contenders for the professional services firm’s global entrepreneur of the year award.

Fellow entrepreneurs who, like Lee, embody strong entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, sound strategic direction and a financial track record in their businesses can now be nominated for this year’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award.

The award serves to recognise the grit, persistence and ambitions of entrepreneurs, to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.

After all, as Max Loh, EY’s Managing Partner for Singapore and Brunei puts it, “it takes a special kind of leader to ignore the critics and transform a blue-sky dream into a reality that contributes value and purpose beyond simple profits”.

“We call these entrepreneurs ‘the unstoppables’ – those whose boundless ambitions deliver innovation, growth, employment and prosperity that transform our world,” he adds.

The Edge Singapore is an official media partner for the 2020 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards.