It was both a surprise, as well as a joy and pride for director Peter Maindal to receive the news that his company was nominated for the award of EY Entrepreneur Of The Year. EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is an award created by auditing company EY in order to pay tribute to Denmark’s and the world’s best entrepreneurs.
According to EY’s homepage, the award is meant to praise those who dare to pursue success, speed up the pace and boost innovation and growth. Those who look further beyond the horizon and contribute in creating the future. In other words, the purpose of the competition is to highlight and recognize Denmark’s and the world’s best entrepreneurs. The competition is meant to bring entrepreneurship and growth to the agenda, and to trigger discussions about how Denmark can create a favourable environment for innovation and creativity.
The competition EY Entrepreneur Of the Year took place for the first time in USA in 1986. Since then there has been winners like Michael Dell, Dell Inc., Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com, Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn. In Denmark, the competition took place for the first time in 1997. The list of Danish winning companies includes: Jysk A/S, Dyrberg Kern A/S, Pandora Jewelry A/S, Monjasa A/S, Haldor Topsøe, Sitecore Corporation A/S, and later CASA A/S, who won the award in 2015.
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year clearly differs from other growth competitions, by focusing on more than the entrepreneurs’ and companies’ capacity of economic growth. When selecting the winner of the year, EY considers the entrepreneur’s role, values and leadership as well as social commitment. In this way, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year involves the whole company and its DNA.
The award is thus given to the entrepreneur who is a role model for the upcoming generation of entrepreneurs. Candidates’ selection While searching for the winner, EY’s advisors conduct in-depth interviews with the entrepreneurs. The advisors ask questions about the business foundation, its strategy, its purpose, and the risks. They are also interested in how the entrepreneur inspires and motivates the employees, how the company works in innovative ways, and how they work in order to make a difference for the market and for the society.
Based on these interviews, an independent jury decides who should be nominated and who should win the award. The Winners For each of the six regions, the jury nominates five finalists across all the branches and industries, with one of the five being selected as the winner of the region. The national winner of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is selected among the six regional winners.
Besides the award, the winner has the honor of representing Denmark in the international final, EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year, which takes place in Monaco. Another in-country selection is made for each of the following categories: Growth DK, Globalization, Innovation, Life Sciences, Cleantech, and Start-up. One of these six winners is then given the Honorary Award of the Year.
In 2000 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year extended to include EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year. Therefore, national winners from more than 50 countries compete to win the award as the world’s best entrepreneur.