Nor-Shipping and YoungShip are once again looking to shine a spotlight on emerging maritime talent and solutions, with the announcement of the Young Entrepreneur Award 2021 (YEA). The accolade, originally launched at Nor-Shipping 2013, will see individuals and maritime business teams under the age of 40 fighting it out for a title positioning them at the vanguard of the industry – demonstrating their ability to tackle challenges, create opportunity and set new benchmarks. The winner will receive their award on 31 May at the Nor-Shipping Opening Ceremony in Oslo City Hall.
YEA is a standout prize in the industry events calendar. Since its introduction, the initiative has gained a reputation for identifying key individuals, companies and projects who dare to challenge accepted norms – approaching major challenges with new perspectives, energy, and innovations. Previous winners are Tor Østervold, founder of ECOsubsea, Boyen Slat, founder of Ocean Cleanup, Tuomas Riski, CEO of Norsepower, and, in 2019, Agnes Árnadóttir and Espen Larsen-Hakkebo, the CEO and CFO of sustainable tourism operator Brim Explorer.
“In a rapidly changing world, facing huge challenges, but also great ocean opportunities, this award has never been more relevant,” comments, Per Martin Tanggaard, Director External Relations, Nor-Shipping. “YEA is designed to maximise exposure for young businesses, connecting them with the collaborators, investors and industry contacts that can help them transform potential into success. Nor-Shipping is the place for them to access a unique network.”
Tanggaard continues, “As we’ve seen from our past winners, this award gives ambitious entrepreneurs a platform to take their game changing ideas, products and services to the next level. In doing so they positively contribute to our industry, help set new standards, and, in some cases, even change the way we see and approach challenges. We’re delighted to welcome YoungShip back on board and can’t wait to see the people, and concepts, set to compete for YEA 2021.”
YoungShip will head the awards jury, giving careful consideration to a diverse range of nominees drawn from around the world. Entrants should demonstrate an ability to turn challenges into maritime business opportunities, create jobs, enhance efficiency, adopt best practices and address sustainability issues. More details and a call for entries will be announced shortly. The winners will be promoted through both Nor-Shipping and YoungShip’s extensive industry networks, while also receiving exposure with space in Nor-Shipping’s Blue Economy Hall in Lillestrøm during the main Your Arena for Ocean Solutions exhibition, running from 1-4 June.
“Young entrepreneurs are key to helping maritime navigate future challenges and opportunities, but they need the right platforms to showcase their talent, ambition and breakthrough innovations,” says Eleanor Scudder, Secretary General, YoungShip International.
“YEA gives them the head start they deserve. Given the challenges we’re facing we can’t afford to stick to ‘business as usual’ and established ways of thinking – we need bold people, with bold ideas, and that is the essence of this award. Here at YoungShip we’re thrilled to continue our support of this important initiative. We have no idea who the winner will be, but we do know they’ll get a unique opportunity to accelerate their development,” Scudder continues.
YEA 2019 winner Agnes Árnadóttir agrees. She comments, “The award has been fundamentally important to our business. It provided a tangible endorsement of our achievements to that point, while also helping facilitate the next level of development. In effect, it created a new level of awareness and opened doors to potential investors, collaborators and supporters. The association with Nor-Shipping, thanks to its global reputation, was also a real boon. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the initiative to other young entrepreneurs out there. It could be a gamechanger for you and your business.”
Nor-Shipping 2021, which has a focus on the theme of #ACTION in the ocean space, also runs the Next Generation Ship Award and, in a new addition to the programme, the Ocean Solutions Award. All the winners will be revealed on 31 May.