The 24 finalists of the 2021 EY Entrepreneur of the year Ireland programme have been revealed today and the companies span the retail, consumer, technology, health and leisure sectors among many more.

The 24 finalists collectively generate annual revenues in excess of €1.325 billion.

They come from across the island of Ireland and will compete across three categories - Emerging, Industry and International.

One overall winner will be selected as The EY Entrepreneur of the year 2021 in November.

The 24 finalists have been shortlisted from more than 120 nominations by an independent judging panel of previous winners, chaired by Anne Heraty, the chief executive of CPL Resources.

"Entrepreneurs are facing one of the most challenging business environments we've seen and we continue to be impressed by their relentless determination and resilience in an uncertain climate," Anne Heraty said.

"The calibre of all the applicants has been truly inspiring. While some of our finalists have had to navigate a very turbulent year, some have been able to seize unexpected opportunities to accelerate growth," she added.

Now in its 24th year, the programme has established itself as a world-class development programme that supports, promotes and connects a community of entrepreneurs, championing entrepreneurship throughout the island of Ireland and around the world.

Roger Wallace, Partner Lead for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme, said 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.

Mr Wallace also noted the competition's highest ever proportion of female finalists.

"The ability of entrepreneurs to embed the power of digital into all aspects of their businesses is reflected strongly in this year’s cohort of finalists, who include a number of exceptional consumer goods businesses reaching international markets, achieving exponential growth in the past year, along with the highest quality companies leading the way in health testing and antimicrobial technology amongst others," Roger Wallace said.

"In what has been a really tough period of trading for many entrepreneurs, it has been equally uplifting to see so many manufacturing finalists also thriving, and able to continue growing their businesses and employment in the current environment," he added.

The 2021 EY Entrepreneur of the year Ireland finalists

Roger Wallace, Partner Lead for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme, said 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.

Mr Wallace also noted the competition's highest ever proportion of female finalists.

"The ability of entrepreneurs to embed the power of digital into all aspects of their businesses is reflected strongly in this year's cohort of finalists, who include a number of exceptional consumer goods businesses reaching international markets, achieving exponential growth in the past year, along with the highest quality companies leading the way in health testing and antimicrobial technology amongst others," Roger Wallace said.

"In what has been a really tough period of trading for many entrepreneurs, it has been equally uplifting to see so many manufacturing finalists also thriving, and able to continue growing their businesses and employment in the current environment," he added.