EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Launches The 2014 Search For Ireland’s Leading Entrepreneurs

Nominations for the 2014 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ programme officially opened last night as EY kicked off their 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 of Suretank (Louth) and 2013 finalist Caroline Keeling of Keelings (Malahide).

Known globally as the most prestigious business accolade for entrepreneurs, 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” said Partner-in-Charge of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™, Frank O’Keeffe.  “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.”

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” commented O’Keeffe.

The awards programme is divided into three categories – Emerging, Industry and International – with 8 finalists chosen in each category by the independent panel of judges.  Chaired by Padraig Ó Céidigh and made up of former EY 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 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 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.”

Individuals who wish to put themselves forward or nominate an entrepreneur with their consent, can fill out the online nomination form atwww.eoy.ie or call the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ team for further information on 01 221 2250.  The deadline for nominations is Monday 17 March 2014.

The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Programme is supported by Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland, Invest Northern Ireland, The Irish Times and Newstalk.



EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ is an all-island programme.  Nominees must own a minimum of 5% of the company to be eligible to apply, with the exception of publicly listed companies.

A nominee must be a founder/owner who is primarily responsible for the recent performance of a company. The nominee’s company must be at least 2 years old. Nominees must either be Irish or running a company based on the island of Ireland. Founders of publicly listed companies are eligible, provided that the founder is still active in management.  

While the majority of nominations come from the entrepreneurs themselves, anyone can nominate a successful entrepreneur with the entrepreneur’s consent, including employees, company advisors and financiers.   Nominations close on Monday 17 March 2014.


The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ programme (EOY) is a global recognition programme run in 145 cities in over 60 countries.  Currently in its 17th year, the EOY Ireland programme works to recognise, promote and build a supportive community around Ireland’s high-growth entrepreneurs and is considered one of the strongest programmes globally.

This year’s finalists will be announced in April 2014.  Over a six month period, the 24 selected finalists will engage in a strategic programme of activities geared towards accelerating their professional growth and development.  This year’s line-up includes the international CEO Retreat, world-class executive education and a new peer-to-peer mentoring forum Entrepreneurs Anonymous.  The winner will be announced at the prestigious Gala Awards Night held in Dublin in October 2014.

The country winners of the EY Entrepreneur Of the Year™ programme from across the globe will go on to compete for the coveted title of EY World Entrepreneur Of the Year™ at the global awards ceremony held in Monte Carlo in June 2015.  The 2013 winner of the Irish EY Entrepreneur Of the Year™ programme, Patrick Joy (Suretank), will be representing Ireland at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Awards in June 2014.


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