The prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme is open to entrepreneurs across all sectors on the island of Ireland.
The EY Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) programme has officially opened today (9 January) for nominations, and the window remains open until 16 February.
The 24 finalists for 2018 will be announced on 23 April, and will have the opportunity to connect with the EY EOY alumni network, consisting of nearly 500 of Ireland’s most successful business professionals.
Nominations are open to entrepreneurs across the country, and the awards are divided into three categories: Emerging, Industry and International, with eight finalists chosen per category.
More than just an awards programme
Kevin McLoughlin, partner lead for EY EOY 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.”
The 24 finalists will be selected by an independent panel of judges, comprising former EOY winners and chaired by Anne Heraty, CEO of CPL Resources.
Once the finalists are selected, they will engage in a 10-month strategic growth programme, where they will take part in exclusive education sessions, a gala awards dinner and other benefits. It includes the CEO Retreat, which is designed to help Irish entrepreneurs transform their thinking and gain valuable business insights.
The overall winner of the EOY awards will be announced in October, and will represent Ireland at the World Entrepreneur of the Year awards in 2019.
New industries emerging
Speaking at the launch, Heraty said: “Each year, I look forward to the launch of EOY and seeing the exciting new entrepreneurs that we will welcome into our alumni community.
She noted that a number of new industries have emerged over the years “with an increasing focus on the global market, a trend that will no doubt continue this year”.
Harry Hughes of Portwest was the overall winner at the 2017 EOY awards, and he will go on to represent Ireland at the World Entrepreneur of the Year awards in Monaco this June.
Evelyn O’Toole of CLS took top prize in the Industry category, while Jack Teeling from the Teeling Whiskey Company came first in the Emerging category.
McLoughlin urged female entrepreneurs in particular to nominate themselves, “to reflect the wide range of talent here on the island of Ireland”.