“Be Brave, Be Bold” is the theme to this year’s EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019 which is on the hunt for Dubliners.

Operating in more than 60 countries worldwide, the programme is recognised as the most prestigious business accolade for entrepreneurs.

Now in its 22nd year, the nominations are officially open to all sectors and businesses of all sizes across the island of Ireland and are invited to submit their nominations until February 15.

Dublin’s entrepreneurs are encouraged to put themselves forward to follow in the footsteps of well-known Dublin business people, fashion designer Louise Kennedy and Freshly Chopped’s Brian Lee, who were finalists in 2018 and 2016 respectively.

Kevin McLoughlin, Partner Lead for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Ireland said: “This year we are committed to supporting and encouraging our island’s entrepreneurs to be brave and to be bold, whether that means taking a first step with a brilliant idea or taking a calculated risk to drive growth in their business.

“They will be able to take inspiration from and tap into the vast knowledge of Ireland’s most fearless entrepreneurs who have gone through this programme in the past.

“I am really proud that we now have an Alumni network of 500 entrepreneurs who have benefited from the programme and remain connected to it.”

The awards programme is divided into three categories, Emerging, Industry and International, with eight finalists chosen per category.

The 24 finalists will be selected by an independent panel of judges, comprising former winners and chaired by Anne Heraty of CPL Resources plc.

Last year saw a strong mix of male and female finalists across nine different sectors who collectively employed more than 2,700 people and generated revenues in excess €150m.

Daniel Mackey and Peter Coppinger of Cork-based SaaS company Teamwork emerged as the overall winners at the 2018 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards and will go on to represent Ireland at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards in Monte Carlo in June.

Belfast-based Hospitality group Beannchor took top prize in the Industry category, while biotechnology company Carrick Therapeutics won top prize in the Emerging category.

The finalists will engage in a strategic growth programme over a 10-month period which includes a week-long CEO Retreat to Hong Kong, and they will also gain exclusive access to a prestigious community of over 500 peers known as the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Alumni.

The 24 finalists for 2019 will be announced on April 23. For further information visit www.eoy.ie.