Ernst Young seeks nominees for East Africa business awards

Audit firm Ernst and Young East Africa has launched the call for nominations for 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, targeting individuals who have created or run successful businesses in the region.

The competition, which is now in its fifth year, is looking to recognise people who exhibit strong entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and whose inventiveness has led to sustainable businesses.

The closing deadline for applications is August 31.

“Entrepreneurs find opportunities even when difficult economic conditions prevail,” said EY eastern Africa regional chief executive.

“They are geared to take the risks necessary to take a vision of the future, turn it into reality and build dynamic and successful businesses. These individuals are more than high achievers they seek out opportunities and turn their vision into reality.”

The nominees will compete for the master and emerging awards. The winner of the master category will proceed to Monaco later in the year to compete for the global award. The Lifetime Achievement Award winner will be picked by judges. The regional competition has since its inception been dominated by Kenyans.

Last year’s regional award went to Mount Kenya University founder and chairman Simon Gicharu. He, however, lost the World Entrepreneur of the Year title to Mohed Altrad, a construction magnate from France.

Mr Gicharu holds several chairmanship positions, to which he was either appointed or serves as a volunteer. He chairs the National Private Universities Association of Kenya and the Rural Electrification Authority.

In 2013, Jeniffer Riria, chief executive Kenya Women Holding, a microfinance provider which has since its establishment 24 years ago disbursed over Sh1.4 billion to 2.3 million women and their families.