Reflect on the success achieved
‘This is the start of a journey that we will embark on together.’ With those words, EY Program Director Marita de Hair started the meeting in the Royal Concertgebouw, where the nominated entrepreneurs were allowed to stand out one by one. ‘Continue when it gets tough, and keep innovating because the market demands it. These entrepreneurs have shown that they are capable of this, “she continued.
‘EY Entrepreneur Of The Year helps entrepreneurs take a closer look at themselves and their business. It is also a moment of reflection where you can pause for a moment to reflect on the success achieved. Something entrepreneurs rarely do ‘.
Visibility and robustness
The most prestigious entrepreneurship award in our country will be awarded for the 26th time this autumn. These are entrepreneurs who excel in many ways. Not only with a winning business model, but also by creating a social and sustainable impact. When making their final assessment, jurors look primarily at innovative capacity, vision, courage and resilience.
The scouting of entrepreneurs for this year’s edition started almost immediately after the final in 2021. It’s a painstaking process, says Marita de Hair. “We are actively looking for entrepreneurs, inside and outside our network. It also happens regularly that candidates are presented to us.
This creates a long list. We then make another selection through desk research. We create a profile of this group of entrepreneurs, based on conversations and publicly available information such as an annual report. ‘
Eventually, a list of fourteen finalists emerged: 10 for the new category, 4 for the Master.
The 10 new finalists
- Emerging is about entrepreneurs who are seen as challengers in their market. They are up-and-coming top entrepreneurs with companies between three and ten years old. The list of nominees is – in no particular order – as follows:
- Anouk Binkhuysen – Faqta (platform for innovative education)
- Stephan van den Brink – Manus Technology (special gloves for VR and AR)
- Jasper Gabrielse – Seepje (sustainable cleaning products)
- Josefien Groot – Qlayers (durable coating for ships and aircraft)
- Alexander Sterk – Vesper (product information platform)
- Eva Rennen – Nostics (rapid diagnostics for viruses and bacteria)
- Arnoud Haverlag – BYBORRE (textile-as-a-service)
- Guston Remie – Fullstaq (Cloud Technology)
- Floor van Rooy – Parfumado (perfume as subscription)
- Lucas Wensing – AMDAX (cryptocurrency trading)
A Netflix for perfume
Anouk Brinkhuysen from Faqta did not have to think long when she was asked by EY to participate. ‘My mission is to renew education and this competition is an opportunity to raise awareness again.
In addition, I consider it an honor. We’ve had a pretty hard time because of the corona crisis, and it’s a bit of a recognition for me and our team that we’re on the right track. ‘
With Parfumado, Floor van Dijk offers what she calls a Netflix perfume. Based on their own profile, customers receive a new perfume in the mailbox every month. The company already has tens of thousands of subscribers.
‘Participating means great exposure for yourself and your team. We are closing another round of investment this month, and during these negotiations I could say that we were on the list. It creates trust. ‘
The 4 champion finalists
Two women, two men. In the Master category, the list of finalists is well distributed this time. It’s about:
- Marinka Nootenboom – Royal Nootenboom Group (large road transport)
- Jurriaan van Dijk – Financiallease.nl (leasing service)
- Ahrend Kuperus – JOZ BV (modern barn cleaning)
- My jewelry – Sharon Hilgers (jewelry brand)
Four entrepreneurs, each with their own story. This is how Sharon Hilgers started her career as a French teacher, she now runs a jewelery chain of 26 stores and a very successful webshop. Her business is about to embark on a major international rollout.
Co-finalist Jurriaan van Dijk has launched a winning business model with Financiallease.nl. He and his co-shareholders recently sold their majority stake to investment firm Egeria.
Marinka Nootenboom can also dream of the title EY Entrepreneur Of The Year. She managed to run her business through difficult economic times. Nootenboom Group is engaged in road transport of large equipment, such as wind turbines and cranes.
And then there is Arend Kuperus, who together with his company JOZ BV has developed an innovative method for cleaning livestock stables.
> Here you will find a profile of all 14 finalists.
On to the final
Okay, what now? Jury Secretary Michael Maasdam explains how he and his jury colleagues will work in the coming months. ‘We dig into the documents that the finalists have given us, including the annual report. Wednesday 7 September is an important day, because all finalists come to pitch their story, and I and my colleagues are very much looking forward to that. ‘
Personal characteristics play an important role in the final assessment. ‘Who are you, what is your story, do you radiate passion and do you make a sustainable impact? We will look for the answers to those questions. ‘ None of the members of the jury work for EY or the partner for these elections, Van Lanschot Kempen. In many cases, these are former finalists.
The list of judges.
The selection and evaluation criteria for EY Entrepreneur Of The Year.