Celebrating a decade of entrepreneurial success


Ernst & Young launches its annual awards programme Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) 2008, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in the UK.

Over the past 10 years of the EOY programme, 75 of Cambridge’s leading business brains have been shortlisted as finalists and 23 went on to be crowned award winners. Overall, well in excess of 2,000 entrepreneurs from across the UK have been recognised by the Entrepreneur Of The Year awards.

2007 saw local businessmen Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris, the Co-founders of Hotel Choclolat Ltd, scoop the overall Entrepreneur Of The Year award, in addition to the ‘Business to Consumer’ category award at the regional stage of the competition. The winning duo were joined on the podium by Richard Longdon of AVEVA Group Plc, based on Madingley Road in Cambridge, who won the South Region Entrepreneur Of The Year award in the ‘Quoted’ category.

These Cambridge professionals have joined an influential worldwide network of entrepreneurs who have shared insights, experience and the secrets to their success over the last decade.

Launching the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2008 awards programme, Julian Jenkins, senior partner of Ernst & Young’s Cambridge office said: “As we enter the tenth year of the programme 2008 has the prospect of being a challenging year for entrepreneurs in a climate of economic uncertainty and the introduction of changes to capital gains tax set for April 2008. Despite these challenges, I don't believe they will dampen the region’s entrepreneurial drive to do business.”

Speaking about the challenges facing today’s entrepreneurs, Peter Harris of Hotel Chocolat Ltd said: “In these turbulent times, it is more important than ever that companies manage their cost bases effectively. A skilled entrepreneur can cope with these cyclical changes in the economy, and is able to respond to the circumstances by reducing costs where possible and potentially even delaying some capital projects.”

He added: “Cambridge has a strong track record of producing entrepreneurial talent and so, despite the difficult trading conditions, it would be great to see further success for the region’s business leaders at this year’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards.

“Certain awards have a serious rating with the business world and Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year awards are certainly one of those.

“The quality and calibre of the entrants is always extremely high, and so you are measured up to highly successful business people from across the country.”

Concluding Julian Jenkins said: “We will continue to see a wealth of talent enter the 2008 programme and hear the stories of business leaders and their teams who are driving the success of UK entrepreneurialism.”

The Entrepreneur Of The Year 2008 awards programme is now open for entrants and applications can be made via www.eoy.co.uk, or by calling the EOY enquiry line on 0845 604 1012.

Ernst & Young has been defining the world’s best business leaders through the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year (EOY) awards programme for over 20 years. The programme was founded by Ernst & Young in the US in 1986 and the awards now take place in more than 40 countries across the globe.

UK Entrepreneur Of The Year operates in four regions (Scotland, the North Region, the South Region, and London) and regional award winners progress to a national final. The national sponsor is the London Stock Exchange.

The awards are endorsed by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), the British Chambers of Commerce, the Design Council, the Institute of Directors, the Young Presidents' Organization, CAN, Community Action Network, ICAEW and The Prince’s Trust.


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EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. With over 400 employees in our Cambridge and Luton offices, our teams provide a range of services to a variety of sectors, including manufacturing, life sciences, consumer products and retail, technology, real estate and construction, health, and the public sector. The broad array of companies across the East allows us to bring real, relevant and key insights to our clients.