EY selects 24 finalists to battle for Entrepreneur of the Year award

Over 120 nominations received for the awards, which are now in their 24th year

The shortlist for the 2021 EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards has been announced with Camile Thai founder Brody Sweeney and the team behind athleisure brand Gym+Coffee among the 24 finalists selected to compete across three categories.

They have been chosen from more than 120 nominations by an independent judging panel chaired by 2006 winner Anne Heraty, chief executive of CPL Resources.

Now in its 24th year, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards programme works to recognise, promote and build a supportive community around Ireland’s high-growth entrepreneurs.

The shortlisted entrepreneurs represent a large number of sectors, including retail, consumer, technology, health and leisure. Collectively, their companies generate annual revenues in excess of €1.325 billion.


"This year's finalists highlight the vibrant diversity of the entrepreneurial landscape across the island of Ireland, with sectors including technology, consumer, leisure and healthcare all represented, as well as our highest ever proportion of female finalists which is great to see," said Roger Wallace, partner lead for the Entrepreneur of the Year programme.

The finalists in the emerging category are: Niall Horgan and Diarmuid McSweeney, Gym + Coffee; Lisa and Vanessa Creaven, Spotlight Oral Care; Aimee Connolly, Sculpted by Aimee; Chupi Sweetman, Chupi; Roisin Molloy, TriMedika Limited; Conor and James McCarthy, Flipdish;Xuemei Germaine, MicroGen BioTech and John Browne, Kastus.

The finalists in the industry category are: David Henderson, Tobermore Concrete Limited; Dominic Walsh, HSL – Hospital Services Limited; Brody Sweeney, Camile Thai Group; Joseph Doherty, Regen Waste; Fergus Naughton, Ross Engineering Services Limited; Jim Darragh, Total Mobile; Oonagh O'Hagen; Meaghers Pharmacy and Michael McKinney, Inishowen Engineering Manufacturing Limited.

The finalists in the international category are: Brian O'Sullivan, Zeus Packaging; Peter Foley, LetsGetChecked; Michael Burke, Chanelle Pharma; Colin Lynch, EPS (Electronic Product Services Limited); Karl McHuge, Atlantic Dawn Unlimited; Kevin Brennan, Modubuild, Jacqueline O'Reilly, KonFloor IRL Limited and Brian and Jackie Reid, Deli Lites (Ireland) Limited.

The shortlisted entrepreneurs will vie for the title of EY Entrepreneur of the Year at an awards ceremony in Dublin in November. The winner will go on to represent Ireland at World Entrepreneur of the Year finals in June 2022.

Last year's overall winners was Nicola Mitchell, founder and chief executive of Irish agrochemicals company Life Scientific, a firm that makes generic versions of major branded agricultural pesticides and generates more than €60 million in annual revenues.

Other previous winners include Denis O'Brien, Aidan Heavey, Padraig O'Ceidigh, Liam Casey, John and Patrick Collison, and Mark Roden.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist