Search Begins For Ireland’s Next Top Entrepreneurs

Can the north’s next big leader and innovator step forward…

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) programme, themed “Ambition” for 2018, has opened for nominations, and would-be winners from businesses of all sizes from across Ireland can throw their hats in the ring until February 16, ahead of 24 finalists then being named in April.

The successful finalists will have the opportunity to connect, learn and do business with the EOY alumni network, which consists of almost 500 of Ireland’s most successful business people, and have the opportunity to participate in the renowned international CEO retreat which is designed to help them transform their thinking and vision through executive education.

Northern Ireland has provided overall winners of the calibre of Dr Peter FitzGerald (Randox) and Brian Conlon (First Derivatives) in the past, and last year had six finalists (neither of whom emerged winners in any category).

EY hopes northern entrepreneurs again nominate in numbers for what is acknowledged as one of the most prestigious business accolades in Ireland, and individuals who wish to put themselves forward or nominate someone can fill out the online nomination form at

Kevin McLoughlin, lead partner for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Ireland, said: “This is more than just an awards programme, because the benefits of participation extend far beyond October, when we announce the winners.

“The theme of this year’s programme is ‘Ambition’, and we see it as our responsibility to challenge our 2018 finalists and EOY Alumni to re-assess 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.”

The EOY programme is open to entrepreneurs across all sectors on the island of Ireland and is divided into three categories – emerging, industry and international – with eight finalists chosen per category.

Head judge this year is past winner Anne Heraty of CPL Resources, who said: “It’s 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 continue this year.

“I expect to see the calibre of finalists increase once again as we challenge them to improve and push their ambitions beyond what they would usually aim for.”