International youth business entrepreneur of the year - Business Works
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International youth business entrepreneur of the year

Andrew Devenport, CEO, Youth Business International The Entrepreneur of the Year has just been named by Youth Business International (YBI) at the global 2013 Young Entrepreneur Awards ceremony in London. Sharad Tandale, who comes from the Vanjari, an economically marginalised community of farmers in India, has been named this year's overall winner.

Sharad, 32, was forced to break down barriers in his tribal community and overcome his familyís opposition to his entrepreneurial ideas when he founded his engineering start-up, Innovation Engineers & Contractors. He was selected as the overall winner from a tough field of over 80 entrants from countries around the world. The judging panel who selected the winner Ė following a rigorous interview process and review of comprehensive evidence - included Karen Lynch, CEO of Belu Water, and Justin Shinebourne from Awards supporter, Barclays.

Of the Vanjari community, less than 1% of people start up a business. Sharad broke rank, getting a government scholarship so that he could obtain an Engineering degree before setting about pursuing his dream of running his own firm.

growing 2500% and employing 175 people

At first, no bank was willing to finance him. However, in 2010 YBIís Indian member, Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust, was impressed enough with his dedication and determination to award him a loan of $20,000 for materials and equipment. In just three years Sharad has built a successful company - growing it by 2500% so that it now employs 175 people and provides a range of services not normally offered by small businesses to meet the needs of underserved small towns and rural areas in India.

"I want to boost the spirit and the belief of the local community that nothing is impossible in the world if you try hard," said Sharad. "Life is tough for everyone where we live. My employees have helped me reach and touch success not just for me but for everyone! Thank you to everyone who has supported me, including YBI and Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust."

Prince of Wales' charities - helped create 125,000 entrepreneurs

The YBI Young Entrepreneur Awards aim to promote youth entrepreneurship, celebrate the achievements of young entrepreneurs around the world and show how they can contribute to local communities. Sharad and the winners of the other Awards categories met His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who is President of YBI, this week as part of the YBI Global Youth Entrepreneurship Summit, which culminated in the Awards. YBI is one of the Princeís Charities, which have helped create more than 125,000 entrepreneurs in the UK and overseas and given business support to 395,000 people.

Sharad Tandale

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales said, "I have long been inspired by the winners of the Young Entrepreneur Awards, held by my Youth Business International. From China to Sri Lanka, these talented entrepreneurs show us what can be done with a small amount of money and the right kind of support. As it becomes ever more difficult for young people around the world to find meaningful employment, the winners of the Young Entrepreneur Awards act as powerful role models for other young people who might not otherwise have considered setting up their own business."

"The calibre of all the finalists was superb, but Sharad had the edge across the board, particularly due to the employment opportunities he has created," said Andrew Devenport, Youth Business International Chief Executive. "Laying the foundations of his business with integrity and ensuring his workforce is happy are central to his success going forward. He is exactly the kind of role model other young people in India and, indeed, around the world need to see recognised."

Sharad trumped Prinson Thuraiaiya from Sri Lanka and Huaping Yang of China to the overall Award. The category winners were:

  • Woman Entrepreneur of the Year: Godavari Satpute, India
  • Start-up Entrepreneur of the Year: Nimali Gunawardana, Sri Lanka
  • Environmental Entrepreneur of the Year: Karma Yonten, Bhutan
  • Mentor of the Year: Mohan Singh, India.

"We are more and more impressed each year by the young people who compete in the Awards," said Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Retail and Business Banking at Barclays. "Itís a privilege to hear their exceptional stories. At Barclays, we, like YBI, believe a three-tiered support package of mentoring, access to finance and business training is the key when building high-growth-potential businesses that make significant contributions to local economies and communities."

For more information about The Prince's Youth Business International and the Awards, please visit:

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