Michael Malone took out the Australian Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award at a gala dinner in Melbourne last night.
The founder and CEO of the country’s second largest DSL internet service provider iiNet, beat 31 other national finalists to take out the top award.
As the 2011 winner, he will now go on to represent Australia at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Monte Carlo next year, competing with national winners from over 50 countries globally.
Based in Western Australia, Malone said his business inspiration came from a simple desire to provide himself with internet access, at a time when there were no other internet service providers in the area.
Malone established the business in his garage in 1993, and iiNet was publically listed just six years later and is now a leading challenger in the local telecommunications market.
Judging panel chair Raymond Spencer, said Malone was the “role model of an entrepreneur”.
“Like so many entrepreneurs, he started his business in his garage and with determination and entrepreneurial spirit grew it to take on established market players.”
Other 2011 Entrepreneur Of The Year national category winners were:
- Emerging – Brian Siemsen, The Siemsen Group
- Industry – Naomi Simson, RedBalloon
- Services – David McMahon, McMahon Services
- Technology – Matt Barrie, Freelancer.com
- Listed – Michael Malone, iiNet
- Social entrepreneur – Melinda Cruz, Miracle Babies Foundation