The EY Entrepreneur of the Year programme has officially opened its call for nominations today.

The awards celebrate their 25th anniversary in Ireland this year.

Entrepreneurs from emerging businesses to established and international groups - across all sectors from the island of Ireland - are invited to submit their nominations between now and the end of February.

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

This year will also see the inaugural EY Entrepreneur of the Year Sustainability Award, which will be presented to one of the finalists to recognise the critical importance of innovation leadership in meeting collective sustainability challenges.

EY said the new award will be presented to the finalist who is making the biggest contribution towards environmental sustainability through their business.

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

Aimee Connolly, CEO of Sculpted by Aimee and winner of the 2021 Emerging EY Entrepreneur of the year category, will also join the judging panel this year.

Roger Wallace, Partner Lead for EY Entrepreneur of the year Ireland, described the 25th anniversary of the programme as a "fantastic milestone".

Mr Wallace said it is an excellent opportunity to pause, reflect on and celebrate the truly meaningful impact that a generation of entrepreneurs have made to business and life across the island of Ireland.

"What we have seen over the last two years in particular has cemented our belief that entrepreneurs are special. Our alumni of over 560 entrepreneurs represent the very best of innovation, bravery and leadership, building world class businesses, creating employment and inspiring others to become change makers in their own right," Mr Wallace said.

"We start this 25th year of the programme with optimism and a strong belief that the health of Irish entrepreneurship is stronger than ever," he added.