1st February 2016

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™2016 Launch


The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ (EOY™) 2016 programme is officially open for nominations. The theme of this year’s programme centres on ‘creating your business legacy’ and is open to entrepreneurs across all sectors. Entries are now open until 29 February with the 24 finalists announced in April.

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton, T.D. said: “Start-ups create two thirds of all new jobs across the Irish economy, and that is why we have put in place a plan to increase the numbers of businesses starting in Ireland every year and the numbers of jobs they are creating. A key part of this is celebrating and recognising the great successes of the amazing entrepreneurs we already have in Ireland. I am delighted to launch this year’s EY Entrepreneur of the Year competition, and wish all involved every success”.

Operating in more than 60 countries worldwide, EOY™ is recognised as the most prestigious business accolade for entrepreneurs. In Ireland alone, it has evolved over the past 18 years into a ten month development programme connecting the best entrepreneurs across the island of Ireland.

Kevin McLoughlin, EOY™ Partner Lead said: I am delighted to launch the 2016 EOY™ programme, which focuses this year on the theme of ‘creating a business legacy’. Findings from our recent EOY™ Survey indicated that one of the main challenges currently facing our EOY™ alumni community is ‘scaling their business’. Taking this insight into consideration, we tailored this year’s programme around a central question ‘what legacy are you creating?’ EY will be helping finalists develop their vision for the future of their business, looking at what resources (e.g. talent, funding), tools and knowledge they will need to grow successfully.”

Who can be nominated?

The programme is open to entrepreneurs across all sectors and growth stages, from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. 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 an independent panel of judges, comprised of former EOY™ winners and chaired by Anne Heraty of Cpl Resources plc. Individuals who wish to put themselves forward or nominate an entrepreneur with their consent, can fill out the online nomination form at or call the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ team for further information on 01 221 2250.  The deadline for nominations is 29 February 2016.

Last year saw finalists from across 8 different sectors compete for the title, with online payments company Stripe emerge as overall winners. Meat production company Dunbia took top prize in the Industry category, while mobile marketing and engagement specialists Brandtone won top prize in the Emerging category.

Urging entrepreneurs to put themselves forward as potential nominees, Kevin McLoughlin said: “Last year’s programme saw an exceptional calibre of nominations, and we are looking forward to welcoming a new cohort of entrepreneurs this year. We would particularly like to encourage female entrepreneurs or those involved in family-run businesses to apply this year”.

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 Boston in the summer. The intensive week will include an executive education series in major US universities, as well as workshops with the CEOs from Boston’s successful start-ups and globally renowned indigenous companies.

In addition to being a great opportunity to celebrate business success stories, this is also a chance for entrepreneurs to benefit from networking with an experienced community of peers. To date, 55% of our EOY™ community have conducted business with one another – demonstrating the advantage of being part of this supportive and prolific professional network.


EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ is an all-island programme.  Nominees must either be Irish or running a company based on the island of Ireland. Nominees must own a minimum of 5% of the company and be primarily responsible for the recent performance of a company to be eligible to apply. 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 29 February 2016.


The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ programme (EOY™) is a global recognition programme run in 145 cities in over 60 countries. Currently in its 19th 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 2016. Over a 10 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 CEO Retreat, executive education and a peer-to-peer mentoring forum Entrepreneurs Anonymous. The winner will be announced at the prestigious Awards Gala held in Dublin in October 2016.

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 2017. The 2015 winners of the Irish EY Entrepreneur Of the Year™ programme, John & Patrick Collison (Stripe) will be representing Ireland at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Awards in June 2016.

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