The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ (EOY) programme celebrates its 25th anniversary in Ireland this year and officially opens its call for nominations today. Entrepreneurs from emerging businesses to established and international groups, across all sectors from Cork, are invited to submit their nominations between now and 28 February 2022.
Fermoy’s Brian O’Sullivan, CEO, Zeus Packaging, won the overall EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in 2021 and commented on his experience of the programme:
“Entrepreneurs tend to be obsessive and when we set our sights on a goal, we put all our energies into reaching it. Being named as EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career, validating years of hard work and ambition, and opening up a whole new business network for Zeus.”
John Higgins, Partner, EY Cork said:
“The 25th anniversary of the programme is a fantastic milestone and it’s an excellent opportunity to pause, reflect on and celebrate the truly meaningful impact that a generation of entrepreneurs have made to business and life across the island of Ireland. What we have seen over the last two years in particular has cemented our belief that entrepreneurs are special. Our alumni of over 560 entrepreneurs represent the very best of innovation, bravery and leadership, building world class businesses, creating employment and inspiring others to become change makers in their own right. We start this 25th year of the programme with optimism and a strong belief that the health of Irish entrepreneurship is stronger than ever.
“We are proud to continue to support entrepreneurs who are actively seeking to take their businesses to the next level and we are keen to hear from a broad array of nominees, across industries, age, gender, location and background. I am also personally very excited at the prospect of welcoming another cohort of tremendously talented entrepreneurs to this unique and incredibly supportive group.”
About the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ programme
The programme is open to entrepreneurs from all sectors and growth stages in the Republic and Northern Ireland. The awards programme is divided into three categories – Emerging, Established and International – with eight finalists chosen per category.
This year, the programme’s inaugural EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Sustainability Award will also be presented to one of the finalists, recognising the critical importance of innovation leadership in meeting our collective sustainability challenges. This award will be presented to the finalist who is making the biggest contribution towards environmental sustainability through their business.
John added, “This award will recognise those entrepreneurs that are making a material difference in the critical area of environmental sustainability. Entrepreneurs have always found solutions to our most pressing challenges and the award will acclaim those whose core business ambition is to provide answers to our critically important environmental questions. I am delighted that the EOY programme now has an opportunity to shine a light on those who are innovating to protect our future.”
EOY Judging Panel
The 24 finalists will be selected by an independent judging panel, comprising former winners and chaired by Anne Heraty of CPL Resources plc.
EY is delighted to announce that Aimee Connolly, CEO, Sculpted by Aimee and winner of the 2021 Emerging EY Entrepreneur Of The Year category, will join the judging panel this year.
Speaking at the launch, Anne Heraty, CEO of CPL Resources plc and Chairperson of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Judging™ Panel said:
“I am delighted to welcome Aimee to the judging panel, following her win of the Emerging EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in 2021. Aimee and her business epitomise what this programme is all about – great ideas, expert knowledge and true grit and determination. I have no doubt that Aimee will have invaluable wisdom to share with our next group of finalists.
“While the business environment continues to be challenging, entrepreneurs have been relentless in their pursuit of excellence and in playing their role in strengthening and supporting the resilience of the communities and economies across the island of Ireland in an uncertain climate. We know there are many more brilliant entrepreneurs contributing in this way and we look forward to welcoming the next generation of entrepreneurs to the programme.”
Aimee Connolly, CEO, Sculpted by Aimee commented:
“I am thrilled to join the judging panel for EOY. My experience of the programme in 2021was fantastic from start to finish. What stood out for me as a finalist was the amazing support that I felt from the alumni community right from the beginning. It was a real privilege to be surrounded by people who are continually setting the bar ever higher in business and I’m looking forward to meeting and working with the next group of finalists in 2022.”
The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Ireland programme is supported by Premium Corporate Sponsor Julius Baer International, and Government sponsors Enterprise Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland.
Anyone interested can find out more or complete an online nomination form at www.eoy.ie. Those nominating someone else must do so with the entrepreneur’s consent.