EY announces finalists for Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 in Atlantic Canada

03 July 2018 Consulting.ca 3 min. read

Big Four firm EY announced its finalists for Atlantic Canada in its Entrepreneur of the Year awards program. 33 entrepreneurs from eight industry categories will vie for the title of Atlantic Entrepreneur of the Year; the winner will duke it out with victors from Canada’s other regions for the Canadian title, earning the honour of representing Canada in the final contest for global champion.

Every year, accounting and consulting firm EY awards its Entrepreneur of the Year. The prestigious business award celebrates the people building and leading successful and dynamic businesses around the world. The EY Entrepreneur of the Year program consist of regional, national, and global awards in over 60 countries, funneling into the final selection of a global entrepreneur of the year.

Obviously, it’s a great honour to be selected as even a regional finalist. On June 21, EY announced the finalists to its entrepreneur awards in Atlantic Canada. Consisting of 33 entrepreneurs from eight categories including technology, sustainable business, and health & life sciences, the regional finalists were selected for leading growing business that ‘live outside the box and disrupt with purpose,’ according to EY.

“Atlantic Canada has always owned a unique identity, but we’re beginning to see the pace of change pick up in the region as it grows to become a globally recognized hub for diverse talent and innovation,” commented Gina Kinsman, EY Entrepreneur of the Year Atlantic Program Director. “That change was evident in this year’s finalists. We saw a rise in the Emerging Entrepreneur category, with more youth displaying their entrepreneurial spirit, as well as more established companies embracing technology to drive productivity and efficiencies.”EY announces finalists for Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 in Atlantic CanadaThe businesses selected by EY in Atlantic Canada together employ almost 3,700 people, and saw an average year-over-year growth of $1.5 billion in annual revenues. Finalists were particularly adroit at adopting emerging technology and spurring job growth.

Long one of Canada’s poorest regions, predicated on collapsed fishing, forestry, and shipbuilding industries, Atlantic Canada is seeing a resurgence as a growing technological hub with attractive cost-of-living and quality of life metrics. And Canada’s Big Four consulting firms are hearing the call of the Maritimes: EY recently opened a robotics process automation centre in Halifax, while Deloitte recently acquired cloud consultancy Third Wave to expand its tech capabilities in the Nova Scotian capital. 

“Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an established business, the prospects for growth and opportunity in Atlantic Canada are truly limitless,” added Kinsman. “The calibre of companies that come through our program continues to amaze me. I’m excited to see what comes next.”

On October 4, an independent panel of judges from EY will name a winner in each of the eight categories. One of the category winners will be named Atlantic Entrepreneur of the Year, and will go on to compete with winners from the Ontario, Quebec, Prairies, and Pacific regional divisions. The Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year will then go on to compete with other country winners next year in June for the title of EY World Entrepreneur of the Year.

Canada took home gold at last year’s awards. Murad Al-Katib, founder, president, and CEO of Saskatchewan’s AGT Food and Ingredients was named EY’s 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year. Founded in 2003, Katib’s company has grown to be the world’s largest vertically intergrated supply chain for lentils, chickpeas, and peas. With revenues of US$1.49 billion and 2000 employees on five continents, AGT exports about 23% of the world’s lentils.