Irish Economy Recovering Through Entrepreneurial Businesses

June 12, 2012 /

Ireland must remain optimistic but realistic in terms of its economic future in the face of many economic challenges, however there are better days that lie ahead, with human resources that will empower it to drive change and support the economic recovery – the entrepreneurs.

These were the views expressed by Ernst & Young in advance of its launch of the 2012 Entrepreneur Of The Year™ programme, in Dublin. The statement came as the overall KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index fell to 61.0 in May from 62.5 in April. The index is based on consumers’ views of their future financial condition compared to the past 12 months, their economic outlook for Ireland and employment expectations. The figure is down from 51.7 in April to 50.6 in May.

Frank O’Keeffe, Partner-in-charge of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Programme comments: “Despite the numerous difficulties faced by our island’s economies and business in recent years, Ireland is trying hard to show the first real shoots of recovery. Fuelled by an unparalleled level of dedication and commitment, it is our entrepreneurs who are the true trailblazers and champions who will reignite our economy.”

He continues: “As participants in an increasingly-buoyant export sector who are capitalising upon the presence of a highly-skilled workforce, an open economy and moving with global ambition, Ireland’s entrepreneurs continue to push the boundaries of possibility and deliver a brighter future for all.”

In this, its 15th year, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year™ Programme continues to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of entrepreneurs from across the island.

Ernst & Young’s programme continues to go from strength-to-strength, stimulating economic growth and creating an exciting new vista of prosperity and hope in the process.

The programme also creates an ever-evolving network of finalists, now comprising more than 300 entrepreneurs, which fosters collaboration, provides unrivalled business opportunities and generates a sense of collective pride in each other’s achievements.

Following the announcement of 24 finalists from across the island in May, those short-listed will travel on a CEO retreat to Silicon Valley where they will avail of the chance to further enhance and develop their entrepreneurial skills, increase their business network, share their commercial experiences with local entrepreneurs, and develop lifelong peer relationships with others in the Entrepreneur Of The Year™ community along the way.

In October 2012, all finalists, their guests and other luminaries of the entrepreneurial community will gather at a celebratory Entrepreneur Of The Year™ banquet that will be broadcast to a worldwide audience via RTE Television and online. Here, their stories and achievements will be acclaimed before a glittering array of 1,300 guests, culminating in the announcement of three individual category winners in addition to that of the overall recipient of the 2012 Entrepreneur Of The Year™ accolade.

The overall winner will then go forward to represent Ireland at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ finals in 2013, where he or she will compete with over 55 country winners for this prestigious global title. Most recent winners of the overall award here in Ireland, Joe Hogan – Chief Technology Officer, and Niall Norton – Chief Executive Officer, of Openet, were presented with their 2011 Entrepreneur Of The Year™ accolade by former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, last October. Joe and Niall will now go forward to represent Ireland at the 2012 World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Awards which will be held in Monte Carlo in June.

Established in 1999, Openet was formed in a basement office in Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Square with just two people, and has since grown into a global team of 830 individuals. Openet provides software to communication and media service providers worldwide.
Entries for the 2012 Entrepreneur Of The Year™ can be made in any one of three categories – Emerging, Industry, and International. A nominee must be an owner-manager who is primarily responsible for the recent performance of a company that is at least two years old. Founders of public companies are eligible provided the founder is still active in management, and anyone can nominate an entrepreneur, including the entrepreneur himself or herself, employees or company advisors.

A panel of judges, chaired by Padraig O’Ceidigh, Chairman Aer Arann and recipient of the award in 2002, will select the shortlist, to be announced in May. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year™ programme is supported by The Irish Times, RTE, Enterprise Ireland, Invest NI, Intertrade Ireland and Newstalk.


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