Frequently asked questions
Click any of the topics below to learn more about the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year® program.
What is the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Forum?
The EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Forum is a unique gathering of disruptive entrepreneurs and global business leaders from more than 60 countries to find innovative approaches to accelerate growth.
Through keynote interviews, panel discussions, debates and interactive crowd-solving sessions, the Forum explores how the world’s most dynamic entrepreneurs grow and thrive.
Why should I attend the Forum?
With three distinct elements – a forum for entrepreneurs, a summit for family business leaders and an awards gala celebrating the achievements of our EY Entrepreneur Of The Year winners from around the globe – the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year experience provides an opportunity for you to:
- Gain insights into the economic, political, business and social changes that are creating the “perfect storm” for entrepreneurs to flourish and grow.
- Meet inspiring game changers who are disrupting industries, hear how they are leading the world through uncertainty, and generate innovative new ideas to grow your business.
- Grow the networks you need to kick-start an idea or accelerate growth in your business.
- Stimulate new ideas in a series of peer-to-peer interactive sessions, learn how others are developing plans to face the opportunities generated by uncertainty head on, and join forces to effect meaningful change for business and communities.
- Celebrate the entrepreneurial achievement of the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Award winners at the annual black-tie awards gala.
Why did EY establish the Entrepreneur Of The Year program?
We started the program to recognize the world’s most successful and innovative entrepreneurs. By identifying and recognizing the achievements of outstanding entrepreneurs within successful growing, dynamic businesses, we aim to encourage entrepreneurial activity around the world.
We work with great entrepreneurs at every level of society: fresh thinkers at global corporations, visionaries at pre-IPO firms and social entrepreneurs working on society’s most pressing problems. We have learned a great deal from these interactions and recognize that entrepreneurialism isn’t about size; it’s about a state of mind. We believe it’s something that all businesses can — and should — embrace.
We want to encourage people around the world to think about what it takes to be an entrepreneur and how we can create an environment where innovation and creativity can thrive. The Entrepreneur Of The Year and World Entrepreneur Of The Year programs are a natural extension of this commitment.
When was the program started?
The Entrepreneur Of The Year program began in the United States in 1986, and we continue to expand the program internationally.
How many countries participate in the World Entrepreneur Of The Year program?
Entrepreneur Of The Year programs are held in more than 150 cities in more than 60 countries around the world.
How does an entrepreneur get to the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award level?
The nomination process begins at the regional level in most countries. Regional winners are then eligible for their country’s national Entrepreneur Of The Year Award. All country winners are then eligible for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award. There is no separate nomination process for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award, since all the World Entrepreneur Of The Year candidates qualify on the basis of being the current Entrepreneur Of The Year country winner.
Will there be awards given in different categories?
No. Only one overall winner is chosen at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year event every year in Monaco. However, each country winner is recognized for their entrepreneurial achievements and inducted into the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Monaco.
How is the winner selected?
Each member of the World Entrepreneur Of The Year independent judging panel receives a detailed packet of information on each of the country winners in advance of the judging session. After a private meeting of the winners and judges while in Monaco, the panel convenes to discuss each candidate’s qualifications and to select the World Entrepreneur Of The Year. The winner is then announced at a black-tie award ceremony on Saturday evening.
Who is on the independent judging panel for the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award?
The World Entrepreneur Of The Year judging panel is composed of prior year Entrepreneur Of The Year winners and business leaders from all geographies around the world and in a variety of sectors.
How do you ensure the judging process is unbiased?
As most of the judges are past country winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year Award, we believe they understand the importance of an unbiased and fair selection process to uphold the integrity of the program. Judges are rotated from year to year to ensure fresh thinking and enthusiasm in the judging process. Learn more about the judging process here
How can companies with vastly different business philosophies and turnover be judged against each other?
The award is given on the basis of six criteria allowing all country winners an equal opportunity to compete:
- Entrepreneurial spirit
- Financial performance
- Strategic direction
- Global impact
- Personal integrity, influence and philanthropy