Financial Partners International Business Entrepreneurial Award ; Suzaar THE FINANCIAL PARTNERS International Business Entrepreneurial Award went to Suzaar, which produces high-end designer furniture, houseware items and retail fixtures under licence in the mainland. It also has a retail shop and showroom in the country's largest city. 'Suzaar has had steady and growing sales in the mainland,' said Susan Heffernan, founder and managing director of the company. 'Our brand in China - particularly in Shanghai - is becoming well-known as a place to buy cutting-edge designer products manufactured in China.' Ms Heffernan founded the firm two years ago without investment capital. 'The company has developed purely on its own financial success and not on borrowed funds. We are experiencing exceptional growth and financial stability, and Suzaar has more than 80 high-end designer products under development for which we hold the manufacturing and sales licences,' Ms Heffernan said. Suzaar is producing products previously only thought possible in Italy and other parts of Europe. They are being sold in more than 20 cities around the world. In addition to Hong Kong, the mainland and Taiwan, they are available in Australia, Britain, France, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand and the United States. 'We have recently moved our showroom into a more spacious area in downtown Shanghai and have just taken a lease on a larger warehouse to consolidate and store more products,' she said. Ms Heffernan took part in the competition for a variety of reasons. 'I believe that Suzaar's entry into these awards has merit because I have achieved something that other international furniture companies are still only talking about,' Ms Heffernan said. 'It is also interesting that Suzaar's Shanghai showroom is now on the 'tour list' when large international companies come to Shanghai on research trips.' Ms Heffernan took part in the competition to serve as a role model for others. 'I wanted to help inspire young Australian designers to get their products developed in China,' she said. 'Suzaar has a proven track record that shows producing in China can fast-track a designer's products into the world market.' There were other motivations. 'I also took part in this competition because I think it's important to let others know what I have achieved, to possibly inspire them to believe in themselves and feel confident to forge ahead in their industry of interest. I was one of the first batch of Australians to take up a double degree in Business and Chinese in 1991, so those doing this kind of degree can be inspired about their own futures.'