EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Launches 2015 Search For Ireland’s Top Entrepreneurs

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ programme officially opened for nominations last night as EY kicked off their nationwide search for Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs at Iveagh House. Hosted by the Minister of State at the Departments of Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform, Simon Harris T.D.; over 100 entrepreneurs attended the national launch event where they joined the 2014 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ winner, Mark Roden (ding*) and 2013 finalist Caroline Keeling (Keelings) to discuss the need for Ireland’s entrepreneurs to internationalise their businesses.

Speaking at the national launch event, Minister Simon Harris T.D. said: “I am delighted to launch this year’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ programme in Iveagh House, the headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Department, through its Embassy network and by working closely with other Departments and State agencies, plays a very active role in promoting the growth of Irish exports by supporting Irish companies to access international markets.  The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ programme is important in promoting entrepreneurship on the island of Ireland and I would like to commend EY for their commitment to showcasing the talents of this country’s leading innovators.”


Known globally as the most prestigious business accolade for entrepreneurs, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ (EOY) Ireland programme has evolved over the past 17 years into a 9-month development programme for the best entrepreneurs across the island of Ireland.  Open to high-performing entrepreneurs from every sector, the programme accepts submissions from entrepreneurs of different growth stages as well as nominations from the general public.


As part of the programme, this year’s 24 finalists will join a group of 120 entrepreneurs, all previous finalists and winners of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™, for a week-long CEO Retreat to Germany.  The intensive week will include an executive education series as well as workshops with the CEOs at the helm of Germany’s most successful start-ups and globally renowned indigenous companies.

The awards programme is divided into three categories – Emerging, Industry and International – with 8 finalists chosen per category.  The 24 finalists will be selected by the independent panel of judges made up of former EOY winners.


This year’s EOY programme brings with it a number of leadership changes. After serving as Partner-in-Charge of the EOY programme for the past 5 years, Frank O’Keeffe will be assuming a new position in the professional services firm as the Head of Assurance.  He will be succeeded by EY’s Head of Tax Kevin McLoughlin and EY Director, Sean Duffy, who will fulfil the positions of EOY Partner Lead and EOY Programme Director respectively.  The long-standing Chairman of the judging panel, Padraig Ó Céidigh will be stepping down to oversee the EOY Alumni Board and steer the future direction of the EOY Alumni initiatives.  He will be replaced by CPL’s Anne Heraty who won EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ in 2006.


EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Partner Lead, Kevin McLoughlin, urged entrepreneurs to put themselves forward as potential nominees: “To sustain the growth of the all-island economy, it is crucial for Ireland’s entrepreneurs to foster global ambitions and reach beyond the Irish and UK markets to sell their products and services. The 2015 programme has been designed to provide our 24 finalists with the tools and knowledge to enhance their growth strategies and successfully expand their footprint in overseas markets; while introducing them to an experienced community of peers to support them on this journey.”


Individuals who wish to put themselves forward or nominate an entrepreneur with their consent, can fill out the online nomination form at www.eoy.ie or call the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ team for further information on 01 221 2250.  The deadline for nominations is Friday 20 March 2015.


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