Six from north make EY Entrepreneur Of The Year short list

Launching the 2017 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year are (from left) Joe Healy (Enterprise Ireland), Anne Heraty (Cpl Resources and judging panel chair), Kevin McLoughlin (partner lead for the EY programme) and Jeremy Fitch (Invest NI)

SIX Northern Ireland entrepreneurs are among the 24 finalists in this year's EY Entrepreneur Of The Year - the 20th running of the programme.

They are Patrick McAliskey (Novosco), Gary and Andrew Irwin (Bedeck Limited), Patrick McCann (Simplyfruit) and Trevor Annon (Mount Charles Group) in the Industry category and Darragh Cullen (Edge Innovate) and Brendan Monaghan (Neueda) in the International category.

Chosen by an independent judging panel of previous winners chaired by 2006 winner Anne Heraty of the Cpl recruitment group, the finalists represent a broad spectrum of sectors from technology, manufacturing and life sciences through to engineering, agriculture and retail.

They also boast a combined workforce of more than 5,000 people and turnover of €475 million.

The theme of this year's programme is “Leading through Change” – in recognition of the significant change within the business community over the past two decades, and the pace at which it continues to evolve to this day.

Finalists in the 10-month development process will benefit from mentoring initiatives, executive education, and an international CEO Retreat to San Francisco later this month, which will represent the largest unofficial trade mission specifically focused on fostering entrepreneurship.

Rob Heron, partner lead for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme in the north, said: “This year's short list is of a remarkable standard, and it is particularly encouraging to see a strong spread of six finalists from Northern Ireland representing a diverse range of sectors.

"I'm delighted to welcome all 24 finalists into the EOY community and wish them the very best in their journey through the programme over the coming months.”

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