Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur Awards Highlight Local Talent: Sophia Rizzo, Glitter Girl Shines Bright

Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur Awards Highlight Local Talent: Sophia Rizzo, Glitter Girl Shines Bright

By Glitter Girl

Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur Awards Highlight Local Talent: Sophia Rizzo, Glitter Girl Shines Bright

Now in their 16th year, these awards continue to be the place to discover the next wave of the Gold Coast’s young business talent.

Last year, the top prize went to Dr. Anuj Gupta and Mannu Kala of Covax Australia, now KnG Group, joining an illustrious list of winners. This list includes Jason Daniel of LSKD, Tomas Steenackers of National Veterinary Care, Megan Ziems of Grace Loves Lace, and Tammy Hembrow of Tammy Fit.

It’s anyone’s guess who will be crowned the 2023 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year tonight when the city’s finest young business minds converge on The Star for the gala dinner event.

**The Youngest Nominee: Sophia Rizzo of Glitter Girl**

Among these exceptional entrepreneurs, one name shines brightly – Sophia Rizzo of Glitter Girl. At just 15 years old, Sophia stands out as the youngest nominee and finalist in a field where competitors have 20 years more experience than her. This achievement is nothing short of monumental and serves as a testament to her extraordinary journey.

Sophia Rizzo’s Glitter Girl venture began in 2017, fueled by a $2,000 startup investment when she was only 10 years old. Today, at 15, Glitter Girl boasts an annual turnover of over $350,000 and has expanded its offerings from eco glitter to vegan cruelty-free makeup, sparkly accessories, and fashion for sparkle lovers worldwide. With more than 200 retail stockists across Australia and New Zealand, Glitter Girl has become a sparkling empire.

**A Remarkable Journey: Sophia’s Advice to Young Women**

Sophia Rizzo’s journey is not only inspirational but also empowering. Her advice to other young women embarking on their entrepreneurial journeys is clear: “Believe in your dreams, have a go, and don’t fear failure. If you believe in yourself and put in the work, anything is possible. Making a mistake or encountering setbacks are just opportunities to learn. Don’t let them discourage you from living your best sparkly life.”

Sophia’s story reminds us that age is no barrier to success, and passion combined with determination can lead to remarkable achievements. Her entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering belief in herself have not only set her on a path to success but have also become a guiding light for other young women aspiring to follow their dreams.

Despite a more challenging economic environment in 2023, this year’s finalists achieved a combined turnover of $244 million in FY23 and continue to employ thousands of people.

Notably, almost half (46 percent) of the finalist companies in tonight’s awards have at least one female founder, a proportion that far exceeds national averages for business ownership and leadership.

Camilla Jansen, founder of the Young Entrepreneur Awards, is excited to host this iconic event once again. She highlights the remarkable success of the Gold Coast’s ambitious young founders who are pushing forward like never before.

“I know that the road ahead will not always be easy, but what I love most about these events is the community that it builds, bringing together founders from so many different industries and stages of their journeys with such diversity of backgrounds and ideas,” she says.

“Over the years, entrepreneurs have been giving invaluable support to one another, and close friendships have been formed as we continue to encourage entrepreneurship as a natural career choice for the youngest in our society to believe in their own ideas and capabilities to act on them.

“Congratulations to all the finalists, and a massive thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate.

“We aim to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship on the Gold Coast that will help attract more talented founders and professionals, creating a more vibrant business ecosystem.”

Jansen also thanks the event’s corporate sponsors: Maserati, City of Gold Coast, MGI, Coraggio, VentureCrowd, and iVvy.

Gold Coast Lord Mayor Tom Tate acknowledges the rise of the coast’s star from startups to recognized global brands.

“Take just one look at the talent listed in this year’s Gold Coast Young Entrepreneurs Awards, and you know the future is bright,” he says.

“Smart minds, incredible innovation, and a burning desire to drive change – that’s what inspires the young leaders of today.

“As we know, the winners will go on to represent the coast at the national finals. Just being nominated is a huge honor, and in my eyes, you are all winners when it comes to driving greater economic opportunities for your enterprise.”

Aside from the two major awards of Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Trailblazer, the gala will span a range of sectors with 14 different award categories, including:

– Digital Disruptor
– Finance
– Food & Beverage
– Health & Medicine
– Hospitality & Tourism
– Marketing
– PR, Media & Events


Meet the 2023 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur Awards Finalists (in alphabetical order):

Michael Luker – Ace Health Centre

Satnaam Singh – Alchemist Academy

Will Hawkins – Appifany Australia

Sky Kolade – Association of Professional Builders

Bernard Mangelsdorf – BITS Technology Group

Michael McGovern – Black Hops Brewery

Drew Pollock & Brodon Hirst – Clarity Technology Group

Katie Jones – Country Girl Management

Parham Hamidian, Alenka Tomse, & Shawn Maftounian – D’ La Rosa

Kristie Baird – Drip IV

David Lethbridge – DGE Electrical Services

Monique Jeremiah – Diversity Models

Jackson Earngey – Earng Media

Barratt Kennett – EFCOMM Sales and Marketing

Emilly Hadrill – Emilly Hadrill Hair

Courtney Scott – Empowered Living Choices

Sterling Ririnui-Sheddan & Dillon Adams – Fastway Enterprises

Dayle Filliponi – Filliponi Finance Solutions

Nova Jane – Fitcover Group

Beau London & Zac London – Frase Skin

Joel Prokic, Matthew Nikolai & Jason Smit – G1 Asset Management

James Carney, Alec Carney & Paul Carney – Gemelli Group

Diogo Giglio – Giglio Construction and Development

Sophia Rizzo – Glitter Girl

Luke Ridden – Granddad Jacks Craft Distillery

Natalie Durack – Happy Hounds Dog Walking and Pet Sitting

Lincoln De Assis Neto & Kevin Berot – Here Agency

Michael Huxley – Huxley Group

Rebecca Dickson & Rebecca Tarrant – LightLab Beauty

Diana Awad – Linked Financial Services

Stacey Hollands – Lust Minerals

Brodie Cook & Roger Cook – Lucent Globe

Mike Kellett – Macro Mike

Jared Ooi – Maco Electrics

Luke Morgan – Mayfair Marketing

James Marshall – MWM Advisory

Damien Svarcas – My Gutter Guards

Adam Jarrett & Shane Berland – Nexus Sports Nutrition

Jasminne Hirstic – NGO Training Centre

Katie Bryan – Propeller Advisory

Sam Moore – PYRA

Heidi Rein – Rawlicious Delicious

Paul Billing & Alexandra Rofe – Send Payments

Leo Plaza & Broden Johnson – Spruces

Daniel Herr – Tech Help Direct

Dayna Cooper – The Jefferson Restaurant Group

These awards continue to spotlight the talent, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit that make the Gold Coast’s business community thrive. It’s a celebration of those who are making a difference, driving change, and shaping the future.

As the night unfolds, the Gold Coast’s most promising young entrepreneurs will be honored for their achievements and contributions to the business world. This event promises to be a testament to the region’s entrepreneurial energy and resilience, reminding us that the future is indeed bright on the Gold Coast.


About Glitter Girl:

Glitter Girl is a beloved brand that offers eco glitter and sparkly makeup products for all glitter lovers. With their range of high-quality and vibrant eco glitter and makeup, Glitter Girl encourages individuals to express their creativity and shine with confidence. All Glitter Girl products are eco-friendly and made with love for the planet and the glitter lovers who adore them. For more information, visit

*By Matt Ogg*
*Published on October 6, 2023*

“Among these exceptional entrepreneurs, one name shines brightly – Sophia Rizzo of Glitter Girl. At just 15 years old, Sophia stands out as the youngest nominee and finalist in a field where competitors have 20 years more experience than her. This achievement is nothing short of monumental and serves as a testament to her extraordinary journey.”


Glitter Girl was launched in 2016 by a (then) 9-year-old Aussie girl with a love of all things sparky who dared to dream up a brand that was truly inspiring and magical.

With the goal of sparking joy, providing inspiration, and encouraging creativity while being environmentally mindful, Glitter Girl created a range of ethically sourced and eco-friendly make-up and glitter products for all sparkle lovers.

In a few short years, with the help of family, the Glitter Girl brand has blossomed into a multi-faceted business supplying loose eco glitter, vegan and cruelty free make-up and sparkly accessories to customers all around the world and more than 60 retail stockists across Australia and New Zealand. 

The Glitter Girl ‘Wearable happiness’ fashion range was launched in 2021. As with all her products, Glitter Girl only works with factory partners that uphold sustainable and ethical practices and have globally recognised certifications to ensure Glitter Girl products are made with respect for the environment and in ethical working conditions.

Tag us in your socials for a Repost and if you are looking for Glitter Makeup ideas and inspiration, check our Instagram page for loads of Photo’s and video’s

GG loves you & you were born to sparkle.

Proudly Australian owned family business.

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Join the #GlitterGirlTribe and share Glitter Girls vision in “Spreading Happiness, one Speck of Glitter at a time.”

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