Kevin McLoughlin, Partner, EY; Anne Heraty, Chairperson of the judging panel and Jack Teeling, Emerging EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017. (Photo: Naoise Culhane)
The 2018 edition will see the event in its 21st year and nominations are now officially open. The deadline for nomination entries is on the 16 February.
The 24 finalists will be announced on the 23 April and for this year the theme revolves around “Ambition”. The finalists will have a great opportunity to network with the alumni network and take part in the CEO Retreat which helps Irish businesspeople develop their skills in this educational environment.
The Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) operates in 60 countries and is open to all entrepreneurs across Ireland. The programme is divided into three categories: Emerging, Industry, International. Eight finalists are chosen for each category. The winner of the overall EY Entrepreneur of the Year will go on to represent Ireland in the World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Monaco in June.
Kevin McLoughlin, Partner Lead for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Ireland, said: “I am delighted to launch the 2018 EOY programme, which I am incredibly proud to say is in its 21st year. This is more than just an awards programme and the benefits of participation extend far beyond October 2018. The theme of this year’s programme is ‘Ambition’ and at EY we see it as our responsibility to challenge our 2018 finalists and EOY alumni to reassess their vision and goals, helping them to discover unimagined depths to their ability, and set new, more ambitious targets. If we are to continue establishing our path in a new world, we must continue to be bold, forward-thinking and innovative pioneers of ambition.”
Finalists are chosen by a judging panel of former winners and chaired by 2006 winner and CEO of Cpl Resources plc, Anne Heraty.
She said of the competition: “Each year I look forward to the launch of EOY and seeing the exciting new entrepreneurs that we will welcome into our alumni community. It has been interesting to see the number of new industries emerging over the past few years, with an increasing focus on the global market, a trend that will no doubt continue this year. I expect to see the calibre of finalists increase once again in 2018, as we challenge them to improve and push their ambitions beyond what they would usually aim for.”
The 2017 edition saw a huge mix of both male and female finalists across the eight sectors, which employed 5,200 people and created revenues of nearly half a billion euro last year.
Kevin McLoughlin said: “The diversity of participants in terms of industry, gender and location continues to grow each year. This is something we are very proud of. In 2017 30% of our finalists were female, fantastic role models for any young aspiring entrepreneur. I would strongly urge entrepreneurs across all industries and backgrounds, particularly female entrepreneurs, to nominate themselves this year to reflect the wide range of talent here on the island of Ireland.”