The shortlist of Irish nominees for the annual Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year„¥ Award, was announced today in Dublin. In total, 24 Irish entrepreneurs have been selected from sectors as diverse as Food Processing, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Software and Digital Media, to compete for this year¡¦s title. This year¡¦s nominees represent a broad nationwide spread, split 50:50 between those based in Dublin and those based outside of the capital and confirm the pattern of previous years of vibrant entrepreneurship right across the country.
The four IIA members nominated are: Electric Paper, IrishJobs.ie, HostelWorld.com and Connect Global Solutions
The Entrepreneur Of The Year Award is part of a global recognition programme, to identify, salute and support entrepreneurs. The programme is currently run in over 34 countries, across six continents and in 2003 more than 9,000 entrepreneurs will be nominated on the 6 continents of the globe.
With one of the highest per capita entry rates in the World, the Irish programme, in its sixth year, is run in association with The Irish Times and RTE and supported by Enterprise Ireland and Shannon Development. Previous Irish winners include Denis O¡¦Brien, Moya Doherty, Eddie Jordan, Martin McVicar and Padraig O¡¦Ceidigh.
The shortlist is decided by an independent panel of Judges and comprises eight nominees for each of three categories ¡V
– Emerging Entrepreneur Of The Year
– Industry Entrepreneur Of The Year
– International Services Entrepreneur Of The Year
The winner for each category will be announced at an Awards ceremony in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin on September 25th and from these sectoral winners, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2003 will be selected.
Category: Emerging Entrepreneur Of The Year
Eugene McGinty CEO Connect Global Solutions
Ray Nolan & Tom Kennedy Directors Hostelworld.com
Bobby O¡¦Reilly Chief Executive The Farm Media Group
John O¡¦Dea General Manager Caradyne
Martin McMahon Managing Director Vector Workplace
John O¡¦Sullivan Managing Director Aircoach
Maria Mahon Chief Executive IrishJobs.ie
Conor Foley Managing Director Sports Spread
Category: Industry Entrepreneur Of The Year
Kieran Keenaghan Managing Director Banagher Concrete
John Boyle Managing Director Boyle Sports
Gerry McCaughey CEO Century Homes
Mel Bendon Managing Director Glenmar Shellfish
Michael B. Lynch Managing Director Lynch Hotel Group
James M. Sheehan Founder Blackrock Clinic
John Concannon Managing Director JFC Manufacturing
Mary Ann O¡¦Brien Managing Director Lily O¡¦Briens
Category: International Services Entrepreneur Of The Year
Dr. Joe McBreen Managing Director Connaught Electronics
Jonny Parkes Managing Director Electric Paper
Sean Melly Chief Executive e-Tel
Gerard J. Barry Chief Executive Officer The Fintrax Group
Michael O¡¦Rourke & Leonard Ryan Joint MDs Setanta Sports
Liam Shanahan Managing Director Shanahan Engineering
Peter Conlon CEO Xsil
Michael J. Burke Managing Director Chanelle Group
Commenting on the 2003 shortlist, Enda Kelly, Partner, Entrepreneur Excellerator Team, Ernst & Young: ¡§The talent, vision and passion exhibited by each of the shortlisted nominees, in their respective businesses, is exceptional. Each of them, in their own way, serve as both inspiration and motivation to those considering becoming entrepreneurs and carry on the proud tradition of entrepreneurism in Ireland. On behalf of Ernst & Young, I¡¦d like to wish each of the nominees well in their bid to become Entrepreneur of the Year 2003¡¨.
Each of the nominees will enjoy the benefits of the programme¡¦s ¡¥value in participation¡¦ ethos, which aims to provide tangible value to their businesses through practical business support tools to build and sustain growth, valuable counsel and access to networking opportunities with entrepreneurs in other markets for tangible commercial benefit. Nominees will also have access to EOY connections, a password protected website, which will allow them to gain global profile for their business and product portfolio with an elite global entrepreneurial community, share knowledge and form cross market partnerships.
These unique features to the programme were developed for Ernst & Young by Greg Byrne, the Firms Marketing Director, who welcomed ¡§RTE¡¦s decision, this year, to broadcast three half hour TV programmes devoted to the eight nominees in each of the three categories, in advance of the Awards broadcast on September 25. This will significantly contribute to the programme¡¦s objective of identifying, saluting and rewarding these great individuals, our finest national resource¡¨.
The audience base of the Entrepreneur Of The Year broadcasts has grown rapidly. Last year, on it¡¦s second only showing, just under 21% of all Irish viewers were tuned to the Awards Broadcast.
This year¡¦s judging panel is made up of business leaders, representatives from the public sector and previous winners;
Denis O¡¦Brien Chairman
Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 1998
Padraig O¡¦Ceidigh Managing Director, Aer Arann
Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2002
Pat Maher Director, Enterprise Ireland
Maurice Pratt Managing Director, Cantrell & Cochrane
Brian McCarthy Managing Director, FEXCO
Ernst & Young International Services Entrepreneur Of the Year 2002
Kevin Thompstone Chief Executive, Shannon Development
Angela Kennedy Managing Director, Megazyme International Ltd
Pat McDonagh Riverdeep Group
Master Entrepreneur Of The Year 2000
The Irish Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2003 will go forward to represent Ireland at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Event in Monte Carlo next year.