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2014 Enterprise 50 Awards 

Singapore, 9 April 2014
Celebrating 20 years of visionary leadership and entrepreneurial success

Nominations are now open for the 2014 Enterprise 50 (E50) Awards. The E50 Awards is jointly organised by KPMG in Singapore and The Business Times, the financial daily of Singapore Press Holdings.

Now in its 20th year, the annual awards seek to honour visionary privately-owned companies who demonstrate the true spirit of enterprise in today’s competitive marketplace.

Mr Owi Kek Hean, Deputy Managing Partner and Head of Enterprise Market Segment at KPMG in Singapore, said: "The E50 Awards was first launched in 1995 to recognise Singapore’s next generation of promising and innovative enterprises. The Award has grown over the years and I’m proud to say that it has become an esteemed accolade for local SMEs."

He added: "Success often goes to those high-performing visionary companies who adapt rapidly to changing economic environments. We have watched some of these small businesses thrive and become successful, driven with the same level of passion that they started and still carry forward today."

Mr Alvin Tay, Editor of The Business Times, said: "This year's theme for the E50 Awards is celebrating visionary leadership and entrepreneurial success. These privately-held SMEs have shown that with dedication and passion, they can become as successful as their larger counterparts. The Business Times, KPMG and other event partners look forward to selecting this year's 50 outstanding enterprises and celebrating their success with them."

More than 100 SME owners attended the launch event held at the Shangri-La Hotel earlier today. At the event, Mr Ron Sim, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of OSIM International Ltd also shared milestones of his entrepreneurial journey and how he overcame barriers and achieved success.

Innovation is a key priority

This year’s Budget saw the Government introducing more measures to spur business productivity and innovation with plans for infocomm technology and internationalisation.

The measure of competitiveness among enterprises will increasingly be driven by an enterprise’s ability to innovate and differentiate itself in the pursuit of new businesses.

"Faced with rising cost and manpower crunch, it is important that companies reshape their business models and focus on value creation to stay competitive. Winning the award enhances reputations, bolsters morale, and facilitates the development of strategic business relations," added Mr Owi.

This year, the judging criteria for the E50 Awards sees the continued focus on a company’s efforts to improve productivity and its ability to identify opportunities for innovation in today’s business environment.

Participants will also be evaluated against a rigorous set of quantitative and qualitative criteria. The quantitative factors include financial performance indicators such as operating profit before tax, turnover and profit growth.

The qualitative criteria include management and marketing strategies such as applicants’ business model and their innovations, management ideals and governance, market branding and overall potential.

The judging panel will comprise senior management representatives from KPMG in Singapore, The Business Times, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), SPRING Singapore and OCBC Bank, who returns as the sponsor of the E50 Awards for the ninth year.

Mr Linus Goh, Head of Global Commercial Banking, OCBC Bank, said: "Over the last 20 years since its inception, the E50 Awards has grown from strength to strength, recognising some of the most outstanding businesses in Singapore. As a showcase for entrepreneurial success, the Award has helped to strengthen their brands and propel their businesses to new heights. We look forward to partnering this year’s winners in their business growth as well."

A win-win for NUS students and E50 firms

To ease the application process, the E50 Awards’ organisers are collaborating with the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School to make a limited number of business undergraduates available to assist in preparing the applicants’ business case and presentation.

This takes students out of the classroom for a real look at how real businesses work – and gives businesses a chance to benefit from their academic insights. It also gives the students a good opportunity for exposure to the industry and opens up the possibility of working in the company.

The nominations for the 2014 E50 Awards closes on 30th June 2014. The 2014 Enterprise 50 list will be published in the fourth quarter of 2014 in conjunction with an awards gala dinner.