Entrepreneur Of The Year® Southeast

Honoring the ambitious entrepreneurs building a better world for all. 

Applications are available and must be submitted by March 1, 2024.

Learn more here

 

About Entrepreneur Of The Year

Founded in 1986, Entrepreneur Of The Year has celebrated more than 11,000 ambitious visionaries who are leading successful, dynamic businesses in the US, and it has since expanded to nearly 60 countries globally.

This program honors many different types of business leaders for their ingenuity, courage and entrepreneurial spirit. We celebrate original founders who bootstrapped their business from inception or who raised outside capital to grow their company; transformational CEOs who infused innovation into an existing organization to catapult its trajectory; and multigenerational family business leaders who reimagined a legacy business model to fortify it for the future.

The Southeast program includes Alabama, Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee. Each year, a panel of independent judges selects regional finalists and winners who are recognized during an awards celebration in June. The regional winners compete for national recognition at the Strategic Growth Forum® in November, where National finalists and award winners are announced. The overall National winner represents the US at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year competition.

Visit the Entrepreneur Of The Year Hall of Fame to search our directory of past award winners.

2023 regional winners

  

Program information

  • Benefits of participation

    • Build valuable relationships with entrepreneurs who are leading successful businesses across a variety of industries.
    • Increase exposure to potential customers, suppliers and investors.
    • Recognize your company’s success within the local business community and celebrate your team.
    • Gain access to exclusive peer-to-peer learning and networking experiences.
    • Connect with EY subject-matter resources for guidance on fostering long-term value creation.
  • Eligibility and selection criteria

    The entrepreneur
    • The entrepreneur must be the CEO or president of a private or public company who is primarily responsible for the recent performance of the company.
    • The entrepreneur may be the original founder, a multigenerational family business leader, or a transformational CEO of a company or subsidiary who is not the founder.
    • The entrepreneur must have been in the role for at least two years by the application deadline.
    • Previous finalists and applicants who did not win are eligible to reapply.
    • Former award winners may reapply if they have founded or transitioned to a new company.
    The company
    • Companies must have been in business for at least two years to be eligible.
    • Companies are most competitive when they demonstrate long-term value.
    • Only for-profit businesses may apply.
    Judging criteria

    The independent panel of judges evaluates nominees on a variety of criteria, including, but not limited to:

    • Entrepreneurial spirit
    • Purpose
    • Growth
    • Impact
    • Financial performance
  • Program timeline

    The 2024 program dates are:
    • December 2023: Applications open
    • March 1: Application deadline
    • March–April: Regional nominee interviews with EY team and select sponsors
    • April: Regional finalists announced
    • May 7-8: Regional finalist interviews with judges
    • June 20: Regional awards celebration
    • Early fall: Regional alumni receptions
    • November 13–16: Strategic Growth Forum, including the National awards celebration

2023 regional finalists are building the economy of tomorrow

Nearly $15.8b in revenue generated by EOY Southeast finalists in 2022
EOY Southeast finalists experienced 129% average revenue growth
EOY Southeast finalists employed more than 35,000 people in 2022
EOY Southeast finalists experienced 166% average employee growth

*Over the most recent three-year period

2023 regional celebration highlights

Entrepreneur Of The Year Southeast team

Chevy Arnold
Program director
Atlanta, GA

Kimberly Kicklighter
Program director
Charlotte, NC

Ryan Emerson
Program manager
Charlotte, NC

Alexis Levy
Program coordinator
Louisville, KY

Founded and produced by
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Presented by
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Regionally sponsored by

Platinum sponsor

Gold exclusive

Silver sponsor

Strategic Growth Forum® US

Each year, we celebrate the Entrepreneur Of The Year regional award winners at the Strategic Growth Forum, where national award winners are announced.

Learn more

EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ North America

Identifying ambitious women entrepreneurs and provides them with the advice, resources and access they need to unlock their full potential.

Learn more

 

EY Entrepreneurs Access Network

A business accelerating program for Black and Latino founders, designed to scale their businesses by equalizing access to resources, connections and capital.

Learn more

 

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