Nominations open for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2020 programme

Now in its 23rd year in Ireland, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2020 programme officially opens today for nominations. Entrepreneurs from businesses of all sizes and sectors around Northern Ireland are invited to put themselves forward to follow in the footsteps of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019, Richard Kennedy of Devenish, and submit their nominations between now and 14 February.

Rob Heron, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Northern Ireland said: “The launch of the programme is an exciting day for all of us here at EY. This year we are keen to see an even broader range and diversity of nominees, across industries, age, gender, location and background. We’ve seen a steady but gradual increase in the number of women nominated in recent years, but we want 2020 to be the year where we see a more significant jump. It’s important to us that the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme accurately reflects the fabric of the entrepreneurial landscape across the entire island of Ireland. That’s why we’re urging all entrepreneurs based in Northern Ireland to consider putting themselves forward, and for people to encourage entrepreneurs in their families and networks to get involved.”


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, Industry and International – with eight finalists chosen per category. 24 finalists will be selected by an independent judging panel, comprising former winners and chaired by Anne Heraty of CPL Resources plc. Anyone interested can find out more or complete an online nomination form at Those nominating someone else must do so with the entrepreneur’s consent.

Speaking at the launch, CEO of CPL Resources plc and Chairperson of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Judging Panel said:  “The launch of the 2020 programme is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate a new group of exceptional entrepreneurs from cities, towns and villages all around the island, who have a huge impact on their communities, on business and on our economies. Over the last 23 years, we’ve seen nominations from every category of business imaginable, and we want this to continue again this year. The diversity of people and types of business is what makes the programme so interesting, and I’m looking forward to meeting a new group of inspiring leaders this year.”

Sligoman Richard Kennedy of Belfast-based Devenish was named as the overall winner at the 2019 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Awards, and will go on to represent Ireland at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Awards in Monte Carlo in June. Galway’s Pat McDonagh of Supermac’s was named Industry Entrepreneur Of The Year™, while Limerick woman Triona Mullane of mAdme Technologies was named EY Emerging Entrepreneur Of The Year™.

What finalists can expect

This year’s 24 finalists will engage in a strategic growth programme over a 10-month period which includes a week-long CEO Retreat to South Africa. As part of this international retreat, the finalists will join a group of more than 100 previous finalists and winners of the programme where they will meet a range of world-class entrepreneurs, businesspeople and academics based in Africa.

The finalists will also be welcomed into a community of 525 peers in the Irish EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ community. To date, more than three quarters (77%) of the alumni of the programme have conducted business with one another. Together, the EOY alumni community generates revenues of €19.5bn, and employs more than 189,000 people across the island of Ireland.

The programme will include executive education sessions; networking fora; extensive media profiling; the annual Gala Awards Dinner. An award is presented for each category, and an overall winner will be announced at the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Awards in October.  The overall winner will represent Ireland at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Awards in Monte Carlo the following June.

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. For further information, please visit

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