Four from the north make EY Entrepreneur of Year short list

Announcing the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year finalists are Kevin McLoughlin, Sean Duffy and judging panel chair Anne Heraty

Four Northern Ireland entrepreneurs have been named among the 24 finalists in this year's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme.

They include Vita Liberata founder Alyson Hogg in the International category, Catherine O'Neill from Belfast-based engineering firm Amelio Group in the emerging category, and both Jack Dobson (Dunbia) and Terry Knox (CD Group) in the industry section.

Chosen by an independent judging panel of previous winners chaired by 2006 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year winner Anne Heraty, the 24 finalists represent a broad spectrum of sectors from technology, manufacturing and life sciences through to engineering, agriculture and health & beauty.

And the finalists also boast a combined workforce of more than 5,000 people and turnover of €1.5 billion.

EY's Kevin McLoughlin, partner lead for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme, said: “The programme continues to unearth companies that are excelling on a remarkable scale and this year's programme has attracted an exceptionally high calibre of entrepreneur.

"It is particularly heartening to see the diversity within this year's short list, including a number of strong female candidates and entrepreneurs under the age of 30. We look forward to welcoming our new finalists to the EOY network and continuing our work to support entrepreneurship across the island of Ireland.”

As part of the six-month development programme, the 24 finalists will join 100 entrepreneurs – all previous EY Entrepreneur Of The Year finalists – for a week-long retreat to Berlin and Munich next month.

Focused on the future of industry, the retreat will include executive education with the European School of Management and Technology, site visits to the biggest names in German industry, including the BMW headquarters, and masterclasses with the decision makers at the helm of Germany's most successful start-ups and globally renowned indigenous companies.

The short-listed entrepreneurs will vie for the title of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year at the awards dinner in Dublin in October, when each will vie to follow in the footsteps of 2014 winner Mark Roden (Ding),


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