28/11/2008 - 06:58

WA's Rod Jones named top entrepreneur

28/11/2008 - 06:58

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Western Australian-based Rod Jones, founder and managing director of education services provider Navitas, has been named this year's Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

WA's Rod Jones named top entrepreneur

Western Australian-based Rod Jones, founder and managing director of education services provider Navitas, has been named this year's Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Mr Jones won the prestigious title ahead of 24 other regional winners from around Australia and will head to Monte Carlo next year, along with entrepreneurs from more than 50 countries, to represent Australia at the 2009 Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

In the mid-1990s, Mr Jones founded the innovative education business Navitas, establishing private colleges on university campuses to provide English language tuition and transition support for international students.

Today, the company is the largest provider in Australia of university pathway education, teaching more than 12,000 students on campuses at 10 universities around the country.

It is also the largest provider of English language programs to international students, teaching about 16,000 students each year.

Ernst & Young Oceania area managing partner and chief executive Australia, James Millar, said Mr Jones joins a remarkable alumni of entrepreneurial winners in Australia and from around the world.

"We believe that entrepreneurship is vital in ensuring our businesses, communities and societies continue to thrive, prosper and transform," Mr Millar said.

Jack Cowin, chairman of the 11-person national judging panel, said Mr Jones' leadership and entrepreneurial spirit, together with the innovative model, had positioned Navitas as a "substantial and highly valuable international provider of education services".

Other Western Australian winners at the awards include Torsten Ketelsen, managing director at GMA Garnet Group, who won the Technology and Emerging Industries award, and Mark Newbold, founder of Strategic Marine, who won in the products category.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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