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Ernst & Young to honour top women entrepreneurs in 2014 awards

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 Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi (right) and chairman Peter Munga with Ernst & Young eastern Africa chief executive Gitahi Gachahi (centre) during the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in June 2012. Photo/Diana Ngila

Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi (right) and chairman Peter Munga with Ernst & Young eastern Africa chief executive Gitahi Gachahi (centre) during the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in June 2012. Photo/Diana Ngila 

By SIMON CIURI

Posted  Monday, February 3  2014 at  18:43

Ernst & Young, a global professional services firm, seeks to award women who excel in business in a new category as it invites applicants for Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2014 in the East African region.

Women entrepreneurs who run businesses with a turnover of at least $2.5 million (Sh215.6 million) are eligible for nomination or apply for this entry.

Contenders are also required to have a convincing background in entrepreneurial spirit, global impact on humanity, innovation, integrity and sound financial performance.

Other general entries include Master Entrepreneur Category and Emerging Entrepreneur Category.

In Master Entrepreneur Category, a nominee must be the founder of an enterprise that is at least five years old with a recent enviable performance.

The latter is also open to the founders of listed companies. In the Emerging Entrepreneur Category, a nominee must be the owner of the business and primarily responsible for the recent performance of the company that must be at least two to three years old  and have some equity in the same venture.

An entrepreneur who runs an organisation with a turnover of at least $5 million (Sh431 million), may also be nominated for this category.

“Eastern Africa is an entrepreneurial hothouse; and for every celebrated global leader such as Dr James Mwangi of Equity Bank Group, there are several other innovative hardworking smart individuals waiting to be recognised not only at the regional level but also at the global platform,’’ said  Earnest and Young eastern Africa chief executive Gitahi Gachahi.

The Equity Bank chief executive was the 2011 winner of the award’s Master Entrepreneur Category while Ugandan businessman and Simba Group of Companies founder Patrick Bitature won the Emerging Entrepreneur award.

The programme is one of the world’s most prestigious business awards and is held in more than 145 cities and in more than 60 countries world wide.

The awards programme was launched in eastern Africa in 2011. The nominations for this year’s awards close February 17.

At the same time, the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award from Geneva, Switzerland, has launched a business plan competition to support creative but financially struggling women-owned (start-ups) enterprises globally.

The award will be given to six winners from different regions, who will each benefit from one-year of coaching programme worth $20,000 (Sh1.7 million), valuable networking opportunities as well as media exposure.

Deadline to apply for the awards is February 28. Participants are invited to submit a short business plan online. The projects must have been in operation for between one and three years.

Eighteen finalists representing the best projects worldwide will be selected in the first phase of the contest.

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