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Ernst & Young seeks exceptional entrepreneurs for annual award

Ernst & Young LLP has opened the open nomination period for its Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 Awards. Theeylogo deadline for applications is March 19, 2010.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards program, now in its 24th year, is recognized as one of the most prestigious business award programs in the country. Award winners are selected by a panel of independent judges, including local business owners, many of whom have won the award in the past, as well as area leaders from civic organizations and academic institutions. 

“Ernst & Young has recognized leading entrepreneurs for their contributions to society for nearly a quarter of a century,” said Larry Haynes, Americas Director of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program. “These entrepreneurs create jobs, bolster the economy, drive innovation and revitalize their communities. We are proud to support them.”

Last year, approximately 250 entrepreneurs from across the nation were award winners, selected from more than 1,500 nominations. Past award winners have included Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee Company, Wayne Huizenga of Huizenga Holdings, Pierre Omidyar of eBay, Inc., Jeff Bezos of, and last year’s national winner, Tom Adams of Rosetta Stone Inc.

The Entrepreneur Of The Year program honors entrepreneurs regionally in June, leading up to the national awards in November. Additionally, venture- backed companies that win an award regionally are also eligible for the Venture Capital Award of Excellence on a national level. The overall national U.S. winner then moves on to compete for the World Entrepreneur of the Year title in June. Entrepreneurs are nominated and evaluated by those in each region, including local business, academic and community leaders.

All regional honorees are invited to the national gala, hosted by Jay Leno, on November 13, 2010 in Palm Springs, California. The gala is the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum.

Awards criteria

Awards are given to entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Self-nominations are encouraged, and there is no entry fee. Application forms must be received by March 19, 2010.

To be eligible for consideration, the nominee must be an owner/manager of a private or public company who is primarily responsible for the recent performance of the company and an active member of top management. Additionally, the nominee’s company must be at least three years old.

Information is also available at

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