Eleven businesses from Leeds, Sheffield, Hull, York, Harrogate, Grimsby and Castleford will compete with each other as well as rivals from the North East and the North West at next month’s event in Manchester.
The North of England winners will go on to vie for the title of EY UK Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015 and a chance to represent their country at a global awards ceremony in Monte Carlo in 2016.
Yorkshireman James Lambert, the former chairman of R&R Ice Cream, represented Yorkshire and the UK in last year’s world finals.
Catherine Reid, Yorkshire Entrepreneur Of The Year Leader at EY, said: “Our 2015 finalists are all outstanding entrepreneurs, who have driven the expansion of their companies by developing strong and often differentiated propositions, and robust management.
“Many of them remained resilient throughout the downturn and are prospering today in the improving economy.
“Investment in technology and innovation, and domestic and international expansion are just some of the ways these entrepreneurs are growing their businesses and positioning themselves for even more expansion over the years ahead.
“These dynamic, fast growing companies – and the people behind them – are vital to Yorkshire’s national and global competitiveness, and these awards rightly recognise their success.”
The Yorkshire shortlist comprises: Alan Henderson, CEO at Allied Glass Group in Leeds; Martin Boddy, CEO at Jaywing in Sheffield; Tim Rix, managing director at JR Rix & Sons in Hull;
Thornton Tasker, managing director at Nationwide Window Cleaning in Harrogate; Naveen Ahmed, managing director at Parklane Group in Leeds; Gary Molloy, CEO and Miles Dewhurst, managing director at Park Leisure in York; Paul Teasdale, CEO at Premier Technical Services Group in Castleford; Peter Roberts, executive chairman at Pure Gym in Leeds; Sean Ramsden, chief executive at Ramsden International in Grimsby, Antony Odell, chief executive officer at Tissue Regenix Group in York, and Frank Hester, founder and CEO at The Phoenix Partnership (TPP) in Leeds.
Stuart Watson, UK Entrepreneur Of the Year leader and senior partner at EY in Yorkshire, said: “We need entrepreneurs now more than ever. They have been achieving success and defying the odds in times of change and upheaval, recognising opportunities to act quickly and decisively to gain market share and traction for their ideas and innovation.
“Now in its 17th year in the UK, EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year brings together dynamic business leaders of fast growth companies who are creating growth, confidence at pace and generating positive impact in their markets at home and abroad.”
The 2015 North of England judging panel will be chaired by Ian Kelly, chairman of Matrix and Utiligroup and a former UK Entrepreneur Of The Year winner.
He will be joined on the panel by 12 other northern business leaders, including Karen Boswell, former managing director of East Coast Rail, Angela Spindler, CEO of N Brown and Jim Sumner, chairman of Leeds-based Andrew Page.
The final takes place on June 23 at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester.
The EY programme operates in more than 145 cities in 60 countries across the world.
Ice cream tycoon takes on the world
James Lambert became the first Yorkshireman to win the national title of EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013.
The former chairman of R&R Ice Cream went to Monaco last summer to contest the global title.
He competed against a diverse set of 59 winners from 51 countries in the annual event, but lost out to Uday Kotak, the Indian founder of Kotak Mahindra Bank, an international bank with 605 branches across India and offices in cities including London, New York and Singapore.
Mr Lambert said he felt “so proud” to represent the North of England and Yorkshire.