Business News

The search for Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs begins again this year

By Business & Finance
29 January 2014
EY launch 2014
Patrick Joy, Suretank; Caroline Keeling, Keelings; Frank O ‘Keeffe, EY at the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014 launch.

Nominations for the 2014 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme officially opened last night as EY kicked off its nationwide search for Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs.

Over 100 entrepreneurs attended the national launch event held at the EY offices on Harcourt Street, Dublin, where they heard about the significant benefits of being part of the programme from the 2013 overall winner, Patrick Joy from Suretank and 2013 finalist Caroline Keeling of Keelings.

As part of the programme, this year’s 24 finalists will join a group of 150 entrepreneurs, all previous finalists and winners of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year, for a week-long CEO Retreat taking place between Seattle and Vancouver. The intensive week will include world-class executive education sessions as well as master classes with renowned entrepreneurs and CEOs of some of the world’s biggest multinationals.

“The CEO Retreat will be centred on ensuring Ireland’s best entrepreneurs are fit for future growth and job creation, enabling them to step back from their fast-paced lifestyles to look at their future in the most constructive and strategic way possible,” partner-in-Charge of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year, Frank O’Keeffe said.

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Ireland programme has transformed over the past 16 years into an intensive development programme for the best entrepreneurs across the island of Ireland.

“With the recent exit from the bailout, Ireland has emerged from economic austerity to a business landscape with sizeable opportunity,” O’Keeffe said. “Our mission for this year’s programme is to assist our 2014 finalists and wider community of entrepreneurs in building a strategy that will keep them ahead of the curve and truly prepare them for the opportunities that economic recovery will bring, in Ireland and globally.”

The awards programme is divided into three categories – Emerging, Industry and International – with eight finalists chosen in each category by the independent panel of judges. Chaired by Padraig Ó Céidigh and made up of former Entrepreneur Of The Year winners, the independent judging panel includes Denis O’Brien, Anne Heraty, Liam Casey, Jerry Kennelly, Terry Clune, Brian Long, Ed Harty, Michael Carey, Pat McDonagh and representatives from InterTradeIreland, Enterprise Ireland and Invest  Northern Ireland. Open to high-performing entrepreneurs across the island of Ireland from every sector, the programme accepts submissions from entrepreneurs of different growth stages as well as nominations from the general public.

Speaking at last night’s national launch event, Frank O’Keeffe urged entrepreneurs to put themselves forward as potential nominees. “The benefits of being involved in this programme aren’t limited to the winners. Every finalist is inducted into our influential community of over 350 previous finalists from across the island. This close-knit network of entrepreneurs provides unrivalled support and mentorship from the very best in their peer group as well as access to a worldwide network that is indispensable to any entrepreneur with global ambitions.”

To put yourself forward or to nominate an entrepreneur, fill out the online nomination form at or call the EY team for further information on +353 1 221 2250. The deadline for nominations is Monday 17th March 2014.