We are well aware of how precious time is to someone running their own business. That is why our nomination process is designed to be as quick and easy as possible for all categories and nominees.

If you have any questions please give us a call on +353 (0)1 221 2250 or email us on


Take five minutes to fill out a nomination form on Nomination forms will be subject to an initial screening process by our independent assessment panel, which may include a follow-up phonecall. We ask for basic information – contact details, brief company description and topline financial data. All information is kept strictly confidential and is only shared with the EY interviewers and our independent judges.


The deadline for submitting nominations for the 2018 programme will be announced early 2018.


If successful, the Entrepreneur Of The Year team will schedule an interview with senior EY personnel, and a comprehensive and confidential report will be written on you and your company for submission to the judges.


After carefully reviewing these reports, our independent judging panel will meet in April 2018 to decide who our 24 finalists will be for 2018.

Each entrepreneur will be placed into one of three categories by our independent judging panel.


1)   Emerging Category

Nominees in the Emerging category run businesses that have been trading for a minimum of 2 years. They are high-potential, dynamic, resourceful and “ones-to-watch” for the future.


2)   Industry Category

These entrepreneurs are significant employers on the island of Ireland and are mainly focused on the Irish and UK markets. They are market leaders in their sectors.


3)   International Category

The International category consists of entrepreneurs who are global players. Their companies operate in multiple markets across the globe and can be headquartered here in Ireland or overseas.


Am I eligible?

• EOY is an all-island programme

• Nominees must own a minimum of 5% of the company (publicly listed companies will be assessed on a case-by-case basis)

• Nominees must be primarily responsible for the recent performance of a company

• Nominees must either be Irish or running a company based on the island of Ireland

• The nominee’s company must be trading for a minimum of two years (companies with a long R&D process pre-commencement of trading are dealt with on a case-by-case basis)

• If nominees have previously applied and not been shortlisted to the final 24, our judging panel welcome and encourage them to apply again. Some of our previous finalists, and even winners, have successfully been invited into the programme after multiple applications.


Who can put forward a nomination?

Anyone, including employees, company advisors and financiers, can nominate a successful entrepreneur, with the entrepreneur’s consent. Many of our nominations come from the entrepreneurs themselves.



Judging Criteria

When reviewing the judging reports, our judges are looking for evidence of eight specific entrepreneurial traits:

• Entrepreneurial spirit and vision
• Financial performance
• Innovation
• Strategic direction
• Sustainability and growth in employee numbers
• Industry impact
• Community impact and personal integrity
• Risk management

A full list of our judges can be viewed here!

Finalists’ Benefits

• Membership of our EOY Alumni community
• Media profiling opportunities across print, TV, radio and online
• An invitation to join our CEO Retreat in San Francisco
• Bespoke EY Entrepreneurial Services Workshops with EY Partners
• In depth profiling on our website –
• Business development opportunities with our sponsor agencies
• A table of ten at our EOY Gala Awards Dinner 2018

Our overall winner will be chosen from one of our 3 category winners; Emerging, Industry and International.

He or she is declared EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ for 2018 and will go on to represent Ireland at the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ in June 2019.

Nomination forms for 2018 will be available in early 2018. Watch this space!