(As originally published on LinkedIn, 28 February 2017)

Calling all entrepreneurs: we “dare” you

  • Share

By: François Tellier, Partner and National Entrepreneur Of The Year Program Director at EY

There’s a real excitement brewing as we launch the 2017 EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards program. The nomination period officially opens this week, and I couldn’t be more eager to meet and hear about all the amazing #treps from across our great country again this year. Through my experience with this program in Quebec in particular, and last year as National Director, I’ve had a first-hand look at some of the incredible business leaders who are helping shape this country and inspire future generations. It never fails to be both terrifically exciting and deeply inspiring.

With the 2017 nomination period underway, my ask to you is this: help us recognize Canada’s stellar business leaders by nominating deserving candidates!

As we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday this year, I’m especially proud that EY has been supporting business in this country for just as long. Our flagship Entrepreneur Of The Year program, launched more than 20 years ago, is further testament to our ongoing commitment to recognizing the best and brightest entrepreneurs who are driving innovation and helping Canada grow.

Dare nominate a woman entrepreneur?

This year, I’m asking for your help with one important task in particular. We need your assistance in finding those remarkable Canadian women who are leading the charge with their innovative approaches to business. The reality is that women-led businesses have not been fully represented in entrepreneur-focused programs, including our own program — and we’re anxious to change that. We know that women entrepreneurs aren’t getting the support, financing and sponsorship that they need to grow their business at the same rate as men. By celebrating those who have already scaled the proverbial mountain, we hope to fuel those other female entrepreneurs still building their companies’ paths to success.

Now is the time to celebrate entrepreneurship

This country is home to some of the world’s most innovative and fascinating success stories; many of which have ‘flown under the radar’ for far too long. After all, entrepreneurs are proven job creators who’ve dared to dream big and who have risen above economic headwinds. In this time of global economic uncertainty, I’d say we need to celebrate their achievements and impact more than ever.

EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year program honours entrepreneurs of all kinds, from young, fast-growth start-ups to entrepreneurial companies that have been established for decades. A quick glance at our list of previous winners reveals a tremendous variety of business founders in a range of industries in every region. Our Atlantic winners for 2016, for example, are co-founders of a specialty pharmacy, BioScript Pharmacy Ltd., supporting patients with complex illnesses. Our Ontario winner, Steven Hudson, is the CEO of (formerly) Element Financial Corporation, a North American leader in fleet management and equipment finance.

The theme for the 2017 Entrepreneur Of The Year program is ‘dare’ – dare to dream big, dare to take risks, dare to win. So my friendly dare to you is to nominate this country’s boldest, best and brightest leaders. Let’s celebrate their courage and leadership, and together let’s shine a well-earned light on the innovators of 2017. We all benefit from the inspiration they represent.

If you know someone who’s dared to bring their dreams to life, nominate them today!