Kiwi entrepreneur Bill Buckley, representing New Zealand at the global Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year competition, missed out on the top spot to James Mwangi of Kenya's Equity Bank.
Mwangi is CEO and managing director of Equity Bank, the largest bank by customer base in East and Central Africa and the largest African majority-owned company in the region.
Buckley, the founder and sole owner of BSL Buckley Systems Ltd and Buckley Systems International, was named the 2011 Ernst & Young New Zealand Entrepreneur and went on to compete at the world awards this month against 58 others.
In 1986, he launched Buckley Systems, which now has offices in Auckland and Boston.
BSL manufactures and supplies precision electromagnets to the majority of the world market for use with such technologies as computer chips, flat-screen televisions, whiteware, medical systems and particle accelerators.
According to Buckley, between 80 to 90 percent of all electromagnets and ion beam hardware supplied by the middle-tier providers to the big name brands come from BSL. Everything it manufactures is exported to clients in the US, Britain, Europe, Japan and other Asian destinations.
Buckley reckons the company's market share is fairly safe due to its reputation and quality product, and the fact that its specialist knowledge would make it extremely difficult for anyone else to replicate what it was doing.
“For anyone to be serious opposition to me would cost them a lot of money. What I can do for $1 million would cost them $10 million."