When Manny Stul took over Melbourne-based toy company Moose Toys in 2000, it had 10 employees and lacked direction and innovation.
Sixteen years later, Stul has turned it into a global business -- the fourth largest in Australia and, by sales, the sixth largest in the United States -- increasing sales by a whopping 7200 percent.
Moose now employs 200 people in Australia, the US, Hong Kong, China and the UK, and their toy range, including Shopkins and Little Live Pets, are sold in more than 80 countries.
For his efforts, Stul was last week named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year in Monaco, selected from 55 finalists from 50 countries. The child of Polish refugees, Stul is Australia's first winner. He was also named as Australian Ernst and Young's Entrepreneur of the Year for 2015.
He has been described as a "quintessential entrepreneur" due to his tenacity and ability to take a business from the brink of collapse to the highest ranks of the industry.
His first foray into the world of entrepreneurship was in 1974, when he worked in construction in northwest Australia before starting his first business, a gift company called Skansen.
Innovating and changing constantly to adapt to the market's requirements, Stul expanded Skansen into one of the biggest gift companies in Australia and listed it on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1993.
Stul said he was delighted to receive the prestigious award for Moose, their employees and for Australia.
"We are a company that succeeds by focusing on innovation with integrity and a clear purpose to make children happy," he said.
"This has allowed us to grow exponentially, while overcoming huge challenges."
Rebecca MacDonald, chair of the World Entrepreneur Of The Year judging panel, said the decision to name Skul World Entrepreneur of the Year was unanimous.
"Manny was our choice, not only due to his impressive growth, but also because the business he has nurtured has shown sustained global success," she said.