Slide Show >>
Back in July, we set off on something of a star search looking for the most interesting examples of Asian entrepreneurship. We asked readers of BusinessWeek.com to nominate standout young entrepreneurs, 25 or under. The goal was to identify Asia's new class of business risk takers who were globally aware, Internet savvy, and willing to pounce on a smart idea even if it meant insane working hours, sizable responsibilities, and financial risk early in life.
The response was overwhelming, and 200-plus nominations were narrowed down by a team of BusinessWeek editors to a group of 20 finalists. They hailed from India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Japan. Their business interests ranged from fast-food restaurants to cargo logistics to mobile-phone software applications. While this group of 20 often came from diverse backgrounds—from families of modest means to middle class upbringings—these aspiring startup stars shared a killer work ethic and a burning desire for excellence.
From mid-August until Sept. 15, we offered BusinessWeek.com readers the opportunity to vote for the five finalists they found especially innovative or praiseworthy in some sense. More than 170,000 readers did just that by visiting our special report on entrepreneurialism in Asia and casting their votes (see BusinessWeek.com, 8/21/06, "Asia's Young Entrepreneurs").
One theme that echoes through this special report is the range and quality of entrepreneurial activity across the region. Many of our 20 finalists were able to launch their businesses based on a smart idea, Internet bandwidth, modest start-up money, and sheer determination. In Asia, as elsewhere, the barriers to entry into the business world, even for those barely out of school, have been lowered dramatically over the last couple of decades.
Asia's future as the most economically vibrant region on the planet seems assured with the arrival of this bunch, whether they are still running these businesses a decade from now or doing something else. So please, a round of applause for the five Best Asia Entrepreneurs Under 25, as chosen by BusinessWeek.com readers. To read their profiles, click
here for the slide show