Entrepreneurs are encouraged to follow Brendan's lead in EY initiative

Launching the 2017 EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Belfast are (from left) Jeremy Fitch (Invest NI), Sean Duffy (EOY programme director), last year's winner Brendan Mooney, and Robert Heron (EY tax partner). Photo: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye

THE search has begun to find a successor to Brendan Mooney as Ireland's top entrepreneur.

In October the 49-year-old chief executive of Belfast-based software firm Kainos was named the EY Entrepreneur of the Year at a televised awards ceremony in Dublin attended by more than 1,500 business leaders and guests.

Now the 2017 process has officially opened for nominations, and entrepreneurs have until Wednesday February 22 to submit their nominations, with the 24 finalists then due to be named on April 27.

This year's theme for the EOY, recognised as the most prestigious business accolade for entrepreneurs, is 'Leading through Change'.

EY partner Rob Heron said: “I'm delighted to launch the 2017 EOY programme in Northern Ireland, which is in its 20th year.

"The benefits of participation extend far beyond winning the award in October. The successful finalists will gain national and international exposure, gaining media profile across TV, radio, print and online.

"They will also connect with our exclusive network of over 450 of Ireland's top entrepreneurs and get an opportunity to go on our renowned international CEO retreat which is designed to help Irish entrepreneurs transform their thinking and vision through executive education and hearing from some of the world's leading CEOs.”

He added: “Last year, I was incredibly proud when one of our Northern Irish finalists, Brendan Mooney, emerged as the overall winner and I hope this will inspire the high calibre of entrepreneurs I know we have here to nominate themselves or someone they know this year.”

:: Individuals who wish to put themselves forward or nominate an entrepreneur can fill out the online nomination form at or call the EY Entrepreneur of the Year team for further information on 00353 1 221 2250.

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