COALAR Australia – Latin America Young Entrepreneur Award

The COALAR Board is launching the Young Entrepreneur Award to encourage and create an incentive for young, creative and motivated entrepreneurs to deepen Australia Latin America relations. The Award aims to inspire those with existing links to expand their operations, and those without ties to instigate a project or other activity.

The Australia - Latin America Young Entrepreneur Award will consist of two annual awards – one to a young Australian and one to a young LatinAmerican entrepreneur.

This year Kate Bennett was honour to received the Latin America Young Entrepreneur Award on behalf of Somos21. Somos21 is not-for-profit organisation inspiring action and collaborative engagement among young Australian and Latin American professionals to deliver positive personal, professional and social impact.

Kate has been key in developing Somos21 Chapters all around Latin America, encouraging groups of young entrepreneurs to self-organize and providing guidance, know-how and support for their web tools. In México, thanks to a meeting set up by the Australian Embassy, she promoted the concept and inspired the creation of Somos21 México, which mission is to facilitate a collaboration platform between Latin America and Australia to promote high-impact relationships, through networking activities where young professionals can exploit their potential while sharing their common interests (for more information please visit http://www.somos21.org/mexico or https://www.facebook.com/somos21mexico/)

The Council on Australia Latin America Relation’s mission is to enhance Australia’s economic, political and social relations with Latin America. Great strides have been made towards this end and recent years have seen a deepening of the commercial, environmental, academic and cultural relationship. Australian Governments have followed the lead of Australian business by increasing our bilateral and multilateral engagement with Latin America through ministerial visits as well as collaboration in international forums such as the G20, APEC and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. However, there is still considerable work to do to educate Australians and Latin Americans about the rapid growth and potential of our relationship.

Australia's relationship with Latin America continues to grow. Historic numbers of Latin American and Australian tourists and students cross the Pacific each year. Some of Australia's and Latin America's best-known companies have established themselves on both continents, principally in extractive industries, agribusiness and the services sector, but with a growing presence in other sectors. Commercial, environmental, academic and cultural opportunities beyond our regions are also emerging as Australian and Latin American businesses cooperate to meet the demand of the broader Indo-Pacific region. Our Governments increasingly meet and coalesce in international forums such as the G20, APEC, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and—through Australia's observership—the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru).

As the Australia-Latin America relationship has grown, so too has the number of young, creative and motivated entrepreneurs taking advantage of the opportunities it creates. The Awards are intended to encourage these entrepreneurs, recognise their achievements publicly, generate interest in opportunities between Australia and Latin America and promote the benefits of closer ties between the two.