Payoneer’s 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year. And the winners are…

Payoneer is a company for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. For the third year in a row, we’re proud to present the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, which recognize the most innovative and driven members of our community.

What I love most about Payoneer’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards is discovering the stories behind our customers’ successes and having the opportunity to show our appreciation. It is your entrepreneurial spirit that drives us to serve you better, motivates us to introduce new ways to help you grow and reminds us to be true to our company values. After receiving 4,500 applications from incredible entrepreneurs based in 133 countries, we’ve selected these six winners who inspire us most of all. We hope they will inspire you too. Enjoy!

Entrepreneur of the Year

Cecilia Chen
Owner of Mint & Green
Hong Kong, China

Mint and Green is an eCommerce brand that sells carefully selected eco-friendly products. It aims to support and empower a greener vision of commerce and consumption. They sell to consumers all over the world via their own website

I started my eCommerce journey at the beginning of 2018. Starting from scratch with little knowledge or resources, I was able to achieve a great result by the end of the year while running a team remotely. There were countless struggles and setbacks in the process, however, I was determined and committed to my goals and broke through at difficult times. I feel extremely fortunate to be working in eCommerce, one of the fastest growing industries in the world, and to have achieved such amazing the results so far.

When I think about a specific Payoneer value that played a role in my life this past year, passion, specifically a passion to grow my business, helped me achieve my goals. I look forward to learning more and continuing to develop as a person and the business in the coming year.

Innovator of the Year

Maksym Petruk
CEO at WeSoftYou
Kiev, Ukraine

WeSoftYou is a web and mobile development company that partners with businesses and gives digital shape to their ambitions.

When I was 24, after having already worked professionally for more than 10 years, I decided to join the IT industry, but nobody would hire me due to a lack of experience. It was at that point that I knew that I had to create a workplace for myself.

Fast forward one year and WeSoftYou was born. While the company is only 12 months old, we are moving forward with action and humility. There are several Payoneer values that drive me daily. The spirit of inclusion – we work with seven countries throughout the world – has shown me the power of collaboration, and passion (I live WeSoftYou) motivates me to continue to grow both personally and professionally.

eSeller of the Year

Bala Sarda
Founder of Vahdam Teas
New Delhi, India

Vahdam is a premium D2C tea company from India that has shipped to 85+ countries, and the first Indian company ever on Oprah’s Favorite Things.

We at Vahdam Teas are proudly building India’s first home-brand that is going global.

When I look at the list of Payoneer principles, action best reflects my business practices. Every day, I work to inspire others to create a deeper impact in their industry, to try and solve a problem and to empower themselves. I believe that encouraging others to do something positive creates a big difference and has a great impact on others.

Freelancers of the Year

Ayman Sarosh
Content writer & virtual assistant
Islamabad, Pakistan

Ayman is a Top Rated Upwork freelancer who has been creating content for clients all over the world for the past decade.

Freelancing intrigued me back in 2009 when I left my job to pursue a Master’s in Philosophy (M.Phil). Since then, I have never considered going back to conventional jobs (mainly because it means I’d need to get up early and get to work in a presentable state). I’ve been freelancing through Upwork for the past 10 years, which has afforded me the ability to work and support my family, all while living at home and taking care of the kids.

The Payoneer values that I use are action and excellence, which both help me provide my customers with immaculate service. My experience as a freelancer has inspired many in my country, and winning this award helps validate the path I’ve taken. I truly believe that going with your instincts and believing in yourself takes you a long way, no matter what the circumstances may be.

Mario Freira
eTeacher at Tus Clases De Guitarra
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Mario is a professional guitarist, teacher and creator of Tus Clases De Guitarra, an online guitar school with more than 1.7 million followers on YouTube

Tus Clases De Guitarra (TCDG) was born in 2012 as a platform for teaching guitar to all ages and levels. TCDG’s YouTube channel is one of the most successful in the Spanish-speaking world, with more than 1,700,000 followers.

When I look at Payoneer’s list of principles, humility and inclusion seem like the ones that best relate to the work I do. I believe that everyone has the right to learn a new skill, like the guitar, which is why I offer free classes on YouTube to people without economic resources and to those with disabilities. I also use my channel to give many talks for entrepreneurs and I produce many motivational videos.

Affiliate of the Year

Hilman Hutama
Affiliate Marketer
Bandung, Indonesia

Hilman is an affiliate marketer who started his journey with Clickbank and focuses on generating traffic from social media marketing

I started my affiliate journey in 2017. At first, it was challenging for me because there were so many things I needed to learn, like finding a reliable affiliate network, locating good offers, getting traffic, etc.

Excellence and transparency are two Payoneer values that help me in my business, as they help me effectively manage my business and manage my cash flow. As my business has grown, I’ve become more confident in my abilities and I enjoy sharing and teaching new affiliate marketers the skills I’ve learned.


Congratulations to all of the amazing winners and thank you to everyone who entered!