MONACO, June 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Manny Stul, Chairman and Co-CEO of Melbourne-based toy company Moose Enterprise, was this evening named EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016 at an awards ceremony held in Monaco's Salle des Etoiles. Manny was picked from among the 55 country winners from 50 countries vying for the title.
Manny Stul took over Moose in 2000, then an Australian toy company with 10 employees, having already founded and built Skansen Giftware, which listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1993. In his 16 years running Moose, Manny has increased sales by 7,200% and built a global business that is now the fourth largest toy company in Australia and, by sales, the sixth-largest in the US. Moose sells its toys, including the well-known Shopkins characters and Little Live Pets, in more than 80 countries.
Rebecca MacDonald, Founder and Executive Chair of Just Energy Group and Chair of the World Entrepreneur Of The Year judging panel, says:
"Our unanimous decision was reached after long and tough deliberations. Manny was our choice, not only due to his impressive growth, but also because the business he has nurtured has shown sustained global success. His mettle was tested when Moose faced a product recall that would have overcome less resilient and well-managed businesses. All of our finalists were worthy winners and demonstrated so many qualities that we were looking for, including an ability to respond to disruption. However, it was Manny who impressed us most across our diverse judging criteria."
Manny Stul, Chairman and Co-CEO, Moose Enterprise, says:
"I'm honored and delighted to receive this prestigious award for Moose, our employees and for Australia. I was up against an amazing group of entrepreneurs and have been inspired by their stories. We are a company that succeeds by focusing on innovation with integrity and a clear purpose to make children happy. This has allowed us to grow exponentially, while overcoming huge challenges. I'd like to thank EY on behalf of all the entrepreneurs who competed this week."
Bryan Pearce, EY Global Leader – EY Entrepreneur Of The Year, says:
"Manny won over the judges with his story of success from humble beginnings, and his ability to build a global consumer business that has been able to sustain its success over a 16-year period in a very competitive industry. His focus on giving back through the Moose Foundation is also impressive and an increasingly important aspect for so many of our entrepreneurs who compete for this title each year."
Mark Weinberger, EY Global Chairman and CEO, says:
"Moose Enterprise has a very clear purpose at its heart that has guided the company's outstanding growth. It's the ability to combine this purpose with innovation, integrity, determination and grit that makes Manny a truly worthy EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year winner."
About the judging panel
The independent judging panel was chaired by Rebecca MacDonald of Just Energy Group (Canada). Joining her were:
- Rosario Bazán of DanPer (Peru)
- Ivan Epstein of Sage International (South Africa)
- Jim Nixon of Sandvik Venture (US)
- Lance Uggla of Markit (UK)
- Dr. Kar Wong of The Advanced Group of Companies (Singapore)
- Michael Wu of Hong Kong Maxim's Group (China)
Broadcast coverage, an interview with the winner and high-resolution photography will be available to download for broadcast and online use at: https://broadcast.ey.com/stories/9832
Event photography is available at www.ey.com/weoy/eventphotos
Manny Stul, Moose Enterprise
Manny Stul has been described as "a quintessential entrepreneur" due to his tenacity and ability to take a business from the brink of disaster to the highest ranks of the industry. Last year, his company's popular Shopkins characters became "Girl Toy of the Year" at the Toy Industry Association's Toy of the Year Awards in the US.
His first foray into the world of entrepreneurship was in 1974. The child of Polish refugee parents, Manny worked in construction in northwest Australia before starting his first business, a gift company called Skansen. Innovating and changing constantly to adapt to the market's requirements, Manny expanded Skansen into one of the biggest gift companies in Australia and listed it on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1993. "I had no guidance from mentors and entered the business space with no experience," he recalled. "Every decision and opportunity helped shape my skills and showed me in practical terms how to run a successful business."
Moose, the company he took control of in 2000, went through very rough times in 2007 after a product recall. "Everyone said it was impossible to survive the recall, yet we pulled through," Manny said. "Although faced with huge reputational and financial challenges, I refused to be distracted, and over a 12-week period negotiated agreements with local and international governments and trading partners, allowing the business to survive and thrive."
Through the Moose Foundation, Moose Enterprise strives to extend its mission of making children happy in the wider community through philanthropic initiatives that positively make a difference to the lives and well-being of less fortunate children.
Manny shares the company's leadership and ownership with wife and Moose director, Jacqui Tobias and step-son Paul Solomon, his Co-CEO.
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About EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™
EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world's most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential, and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.