Posted on Wednesday 14 May 2014 by Ulster Business

Hutchinson Engineering has been named as one of the finalists from the EY Entrepreneur of the Year competition.

Hutchinson Engineering has been named as one of the finalists from the EY Entrepreneur of the Year competition. Richard Hutchinson, right, and Dominic McDonnell, centre from the company are pictured here with Minister for Employment and Learning Dr Stephen Farry

Five companies from Northern Ireland have made it into an all-island competition to find the most progressive business brains in the land.

The finalists in this year's EY Entrepreneur of the Year program include are builders' merchants Haldane Fisher, snack manufacturer Kestrel Foods, auctioneers Wilson Auctions, engineering company Hutchinson Engineering and animal by-product manufacturer Elmgrove.

They are part of a 24-strong list of finalists from across Ireland in the competition which claims to "profile and celebrate entrepreneurial trailblazers, regardless of sector, for their dedication to excellence, innovation and ingenuity".

The entrepreneurs were selected by an independent judging panel of previous winners, chaired by 2002 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Pádraig Ó Céidigh, which included Denis O'Brien, Jerry Kennelly, Anne Heraty, Liam Casey, Brian Long, Terry Clune, Pat McDonagh, Dr. Edmond Harty as well as representatives from Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Invest Northern Ireland.

The 24 finalists will join a group of 110 entrepreneurs, all previous finalists and winners of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ programme, for a week-long CEO Retreat taking place in Seattle and Vancouver at the end of May.

The winners from each of the three categories - emerging, industry and international - as well as the overall winner will be announced at the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Awards Gala taking place in Dublin on October 23rd. The overall winner will then go on to participate at World Entrepreneur Of The Year in Monte Carlo in June 2015.

Announcing the shortlist, EY's Frank O'Keeffe, Partner-in-Charge of the Entrepreneur Of The Year programme, said: "We'd sincerely like to thank all of the phenomenal businesses that entered this year's programme and applaud the tremendous contribution they make to Ireland's economy – North and South. Together with our 24 finalists, they are a true testament to the entrepreneurial talent driving our nation forward."

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