The CEO of the global toy firm ZURU has been named as the 2018 New Zealand EY Entrepreneur of the Year.
The accolade was handed to Nick Mowbray and followed an earlier announcement this year that he had also been named New Zealand Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
His recent win of the EY accolade is the first time in the awards’ history that a young entrepreneur has also won the New Zealand honour and he will now go on to represent NewZealand at the 2019 EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Monte Carlo.
The EY Entrepreneur of the Year is considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious business awards taking place in 145 cities in more than 60 countries. More than 1,500 dynamic business people in Australia and New Zealand have been recognised throughout the program since 2001.
Zuru, which Nick founded with siblings Anna and Mat, is now a +500 million company with more than 5000 employees across 18 countries, producing 500,000 toys a day and distributing to most major retailers in over 120 countries. It’s one of the most recognised names on toy shelves around the world, with brands such as Bunch O Balloons™, X-Shot™, Robo Alive™, Smashers™, 5 Surprise™ and Metal Machines™.
The recent launch of Rainbocorns is also taking the UK – and world – by storm with up to a triple-digit increase in re-orders one month after launch. Almost half a million of the cute animal-themed innovative plush have been shipped across the globe in the last three months, and with sales exceeding expected volumes and targets, there are high hopes for the autumn/winter period.
The 33-year-old’s meteoric rise in the international toy industry is an incredible tale of grit, determination and youthful optimism along with his siblings which began with a vision for starting a toy company.
A decade on, ZURU is now recognised for its agility, creativity and new-age manufacturing techniques, delighting millions of families globally through partnerships with leading entertainment properties, including Nickelodeon, Disney, Universal Studios and DreamWorks as well as successfully building its own global brands. With a strong commitment to the community, ZURU supports Captivating International, local China orphanages and also student development programs in Asia and in New Zealand.
“Although I’m honoured to have won the award, much of our success has been down to our people,” Nick says. “Our team is full of vibrant, intelligent individuals with a passion for doing things better and disrupting the world around them. We greatly value each and everyone one of our team.”