Press release

30 Mar 2021 Singapore, SG

Nominations open for the 20th EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2021 awards in Singapore

Nominations for the annual EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ (EOY) awards in Singapore are now open until 15 May 2021.

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Media Relations Lead (Assurance, Tax, Strategy and Transactions, Growth Markets), Ernst & Young Solutions LLP

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Related topics Entrepreneurship Growth

Nominations for the annual EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ (EOY) awards in Singapore are now open until 15 May 2021. The awards, which was started in 2002 to coincide with the government’s focus on entrepreneurship, celebrates its 20th year anniversary this year.

The theme for the awards this year is “The Unstoppables”. The public and business community are encouraged to nominate outstanding entrepreneurs for the award at

Mr. Max Loh, Managing Partner for Singapore and Brunei, Ernst & Young LLP says:

“To date, the program has awarded more than 80 winners for their exceptional achievements in their respective fields and inducted them into the EOY Singapore Academy. Our experience tells us that entrepreneurship is driven by passion, purpose and at times, the need to survive. However, to build a fast-growing enterprise into an enduring business that can withstand the winds of change and shocks like the current pandemic takes strategic vision, agility, grit and perseverance. Tough times can produce the best innovations and bring out the best in our talents. The awards seeks to celebrate the achievements and impact of our leading local entrepreneurs, and in turn, inspire future generations to explore the entrepreneurial path to success.”

The nominees will be assessed by an independent judging panel across the six globally benchmarked criteria (see factsheet A). They must demonstrate strong entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, sound strategic direction and financial track record, have built successful businesses that have national and global impact, and displayed personal integrity and purpose driven leadership.

Entrepreneurs who excel across the six criteria will be honored as winners of award titles that are designed to reflect their unique qualities or achievements. The individual who ranks the highest across all six criteria will be selected as the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2021 Singapore to represent the country at the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year (WEOY) award next year.

Come June 2021, last year’s EOY Singapore winner, Ian Ang, Co-founder and CEO of Secretlab, will be Singapore’s representative at the world award to compete with close to 60 other countries.

Reflecting on the role of entrepreneurs in challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Ian Ang says:

“Capitalism and competition work together to ensure that the best and most innovative product and service offerings win, and the world benefits from these best-in-class products and services. Now that economies are working to recover from the pandemic, we will be adapting to a new world, and with that naturally comes a whole suite of opportunities to improve peoples' lives, both internally within the company and externally for customers.”

Partners and supporters for EOY awards

The Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX) continues as a partner of the EOY awards for the second year.

Commenting on the awards, Mr. Chew Sutat, Senior Managing Director, Global Sales and Origination at the SGX, says:

“We are delighted to be partnering with EY again this year to recognize Singapore entrepreneurs, whose unique growth journeys continue to inspire in a period of unprecedented uncertainty. SGX will work hand-in-hand with entrepreneurs to support their growth, connecting them to the deep network of global investors and financial market participants that we have cultivated over the years.”

The supporters of the EOY awards include The Business Times, The Edge Singapore and Portfolio magazine (official media partners); and the supporters are: Action Community for Entrepreneurship; Enterprise Singapore; Singapore Business Federation; and SkillsFuture Singapore.

On board the EOY platform, EY will once again confer the EY Family Business Award of Excellence this year. The award recipient will be selected based on the family business’ ability to successfully balance business and family issues, grow the business and show responsibility for others through philanthropic or social engagements (see factsheet B for eligibility and judging criteria).

Knowledge Partners, Business Families Institute @ Singapore Management University (BFI @ SMU) and The Wendel International Centre for Family Enterprise, INSEAD, will select the winner. This is an honorary award presented for the ninth year and the award recipient does not compete for the EY EOY Singapore 2021 title.

For more information on the EOY awards, visit 


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This news release has been issued by Ernst & Young Solutions Limited, a member of the global EY organization.

About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for unstoppable entrepreneurs. These visionary leaders deliver innovation, growth and prosperity that transform our world. The program engages entrepreneurs with insights and experiences that foster growth. It connects them with their peers to strengthen entrepreneurship around the world. EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the first and only truly global awards program of its kind. It celebrates entrepreneurs through regional and national awards programs in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries. Winners go on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ title.

Fact sheet A: Nomination and judging criteria

Nomination criteria:

To be a nominee, the candidate must be:

  • An owner-manager primarily responsible for the recent performance of a privately held Singapore-based company that is at least two years old, or
  • A founder of a listed Singapore-based company who is still active in senior management.

Judging criteria:

The following six judging criteria sets the global standard adhered to by each and every country participating in the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards.

  • Entrepreneurial spirit
    The individual is a risk-taker who sets very high standards and demonstrates an unflinching desire and determination to succeed despite significant obstacles.
  • Financial performance/Value creation
    The business has demonstrated strong financial performance and maintains a good track record in raising finance. Coupled with quality investments and its focus on the development of human capital, the business has the potential for long-term sustainability.
  • Strategic direction
    The individual not only creates and turns business visions into realities, but also builds strategic alliances and empowers talents to achieve common goals.
  • National and global impact
    The business has displayed a high degree of potential of growth and expansion into international markets that has made national and global impact in terms of job creation and improved living economics.
  • Innovation
    The individual has pioneered a new approach or technology, embraces changes and continuously innovates.
  • Personal integrity/Purpose-driven leadership
    The individual earns great respect and is able to communicate ideas and influence the wider community. The individual’s enforcement of socially responsibility practices seeks to improve the quality of life. The individual demonstrates a commitment to the highest ethical and quality standards in business activities and operations.

Fact sheet B: EY Family Business Award of Excellence

This winner will be selected by independent knowledge partners, Business Families Institute @ Singapore Management University and The Wendel International Centre for Family Enterprise, INSEAD, based on the judging criteria below.


  • Leadership of the company includes family member(s) from second or subsequent generations, or has multiple branches of a family involved in leadership (i.e., one individual and first generation would not qualify for the award).
  • The family still has a significant ownership and voting stake and is primarily responsible for setting the strategic direction and values for the firm.
  • The legal form of the company or group of companies is not relevant.
  • Companies may be private or publicly traded.
  • If the shares and voting rights have been transferred to a trust, it will remain to be considered as family business if the family has dominant influence on the trust in a way described above.
  • The business or headquarter of the business is located in Singapore.

Judging criteria:

  • Companies shows evidence of a successful, sustainable and long term-oriented strategy.
  • Company has adopted an effective and transparent corporate governance approach, enabling the execution of the desired strategy and living out of family values.
  • Company governance enables unity among the family ownership (i.e., little evidence of significant family disputes impacting the business).
  • Demonstrated the ability of the family to preserve company culture, tradition and values and maintained the entrepreneurial spirit and continued innovation over generations.
  • Evidence shown of exceptional personnel management.
  • Commitment to philanthropic causes or corporate social responsibility.
  • Other exceptional achievements such as business awards, public service etc.