Monday, April 22, 2024

BioPak CEO awarded 2024 Australian EY Entrepreneur of the Year

Global sustainable packaging enterprise BioPak’s CEO Gary Smith, has been named the winner of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2024 Australia, announced at an awards ceremony in Sydney on 20 March.

BioPak CEO Gary Smith.

Selected from a group of 16 finalists, recognised for their purpose-driven entrepreneurial spirit, Mr Smith was acknowledged for pioneering a movement in the sustainable packaging industry – showcasing unwavering dedication, innovative spirit, and commitment to driving positive change through his company, BioPak.

Mr Smith was also named Industry category winner, alongside three other impressive Australian entrepreneurs.

Finalists were judged on their demonstration of entrepreneurial spirit, national and global impact, strategic direction and purpose, with Mr Smith commenting on the significance of these awards in recognising the work of BioPak and its global community.

“I am truly proud and humbled to accept this award,” Mr Smith said.

BioPak Biocane Takeaway BioCup, Cup Tray, Burger Box.

“BioPak started with two people, a trestle table and a dream. Almost two decades later, our task force and BioCrew is now 200 + strong, underpinning a workforce and culture that drives innovation, champions growth, and celebrates creativity. Our purpose and vision have always been to create a world without waste – and we will continue to change behaviour, disrupt industries and influence policies for the better.”

EY Australia Partner and Entrepreneur of the Year Australian Program Leader Russell Phillips commended Mr Smith’s achievements.

“Gary absolutely embodies the Australian entrepreneurial spirit. He combines vision and innovation with action, transforming ideas into successful businesses,” Mr Phillips said.

“Thanks to Gary’s inventiveness, dedication and relentless enthusiasm for positive change, BioPak has revolutionised the foodservice packaging industry and accelerated its movement toward the circular economy in Australia, New Zealand and beyond. By celebrating Australia’s best and brightest, and the incredible and lasting impact they create for communities across Australia, we are helping to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Linda Brown, chair of the independent judges, President of Torrens University and former Australian Entrepreneur of the Year winner in 2021, commended Mr Smith and said, “The Entrepreneur of the Year awards allow us to showcase the best of Australia’s entrepreneurial spirit. For Gary, this spirit has been evident throughout his life. After finishing school at the age of 17, he founded his first business. And with persistence, hard-work and a bold vision, he has since gone on to build nine successful, dynamic companies.”

“Gary is an inspiring, resilient and forward-thinking leader. In a time of significant change, we need people like Gary with the drive, determination and vision to help solve our greatest challenges, shape new industries and reimagine a better tomorrow.”

EY has long recognised the potential of entrepreneurs. Since 2001, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year program has recognised ambitious leaders who build and sustain successful, dynamic businesses that leave a lasting positive impact in the communities in which they operate.

In Australia, there are over 1700 entrepreneurs in the Entrepreneur of the Year Alumni community.

As the Australian winner, Mr Smith will travel to Monaco in June to compete against national winners from more than 60 countries for the chance to be named 2024 EY World Entrepreneur of the Year.

Technology winner: Marc Washbourne, Co-founder and CEO, ReadyTech (Eastern Region)
Industry winner: Gary Smith, CEO and Co-Founder, Biopak (Eastern Region)
Service winner: Anthony (Tony) Routledge, Managing Director, AVI (Western Region)
Emerging winner: Rachel Brimblecombe, Founder and Managing Director, Better Rehab (Eastern Region)

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