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The backdrop was perfect for the illustrious social occasion, as on 17 November some 700 guests from the worlds of business and politics celebrated Germany’s best entrepreneurs at the German Historical Museum in Berlin. This year, FDP party chairman Christian Lindner held a pithy, entertaining gala speech. For the 21st time, the auditing and consulting firm EY (formerly Ernst & Young) selected the best entrepreneurs of owner-managed small and medium-sized enterprises – this year in the categories Digital Transformation, Industry, Services, Consumer Goods/Retail and Start-up. There were also honorary awards for outstanding social commitment as well as for family-run companies.
The well-known television newsreader Judith Rakers moderated the evening with great charm and tongue-in-cheek humour and presented the award to our management board chairwoman Natalie Mekelburger. “I am delighted to receive this award. However, it is very important to me to point out that I have not personally earned this accolade – it really belongs to the employees of our company. Their commitment over the last years has now culminated in this award, which I am very happy to accept on behalf of the company.”
Photos: Ernst & Young GmbH auditing firm
The title “Entrepreneur Of The Year” is one of the most coveted awards an entrepreneur can ever hope to receive worldwide. Past winners include Professor Claus Hipp (HiPP), Götz W. Werner (dm drugstores) and Roland Mack (Europa Park). This time, 29 companies made it to the final. The qualities the high-ranking panel of judges were looking for included entrepreneurial courage, vision, future potential, social responsibility and leadership.
“Every employee should be an entrepreneur”
For Natalie Mekelburger, daughter of the nephew of company founder Fritz Müller, her motivation has always been entrepreneurship and pioneering spirit: “We are not simply satisfied with the existing status quo, but seek to differentiate ourselves in each of our fields of business by creating processes and products that are better than those of our competitors.” Natalie Mekelburger’s philosophy is not to be the only entrepreneur at Coroplast, but that every employee should think like one. “I am therefore providing them with a certain scope for action. If you visit our company you will clearly experience this spirit expressed through the openness and commitment of our employees.” This is the strategy that makes the “Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017” so successful.