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Nominations open for Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Ernst & Young LLP is calling for nominations for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011 Awards, recognized as one of the most prestigious business award programs in the country.  The deadline for applications is March 18, 2011.

The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards program will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. Over the past quarter-century, the program has honored the inspirational leadership of entrepreneurs such as Jeff Bezos of, Michael Dell of Dell, Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines, Fred Smith of FedEx, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google, Richard Schulze of Best Buy, Wayne Huizenga of Huizenga Holdings (Blockbuster Video, Waste Management, Inc., and AutoNation), and many more.

“We’ve been extraordinarily proud to honor men and women who have had the inspiration to create innovative, market-leading companies that have truly changed the world over the 25-year history of our Entrepreneur Of The Year program,” said Bryan Pearce, America’s director of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year program.  “We believe entrepreneurs are the lifeblood and foundation of our economy.  It’s very exciting to think about the impact that entrepreneurs and transformational CEOs will have on the way we live and work over the next 25 years as well.”

Award winners are selected by a panel of independent judges, including previous winners of the award, leading CEOs and private capital investors and other regional business leaders.

In 2010, approximately 250 entrepreneurs from across the nation were selected as award winners from more than 1,500 nominations.  The Entrepreneur Of The Year® program honors entrepreneurs regionally in June, leading up to the national awards in November.  Venture-backed companies that win an Entrepreneur Of The Year award regionally are also eligible for the special 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 Monaco in June.  Entrepreneurs are nominated and evaluated by those in each region, including local business and community leaders.

All regional honorees are invited to the national Entrepreneur Of The Year gala, hosted by Jay Leno, on November 12, 2011 in Palm Springs, California.  The gala is the culminating event of the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.  For more information on the Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Forum, please visit

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 fee.  Application forms must be received by March 18, 2011.

Entrepreneurs eligible for consideration include not only company founders, but also leaders of multi-generation family businesses and transformational public and private company CEOs. Additionally, the nominee’s company must be at least three years old.

Information is also available at

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