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Nominations are now open for the 14th annual Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year awards.

The search for the top entrepreneurial talent in the country has previously awarded the brains behind successful Australian companies such as SEEK, McMillan Shakespeare, iiNet, Carsales.com.au, ResMed and Atlassian. Previous winners from other countries around the globe have included the founders of such iconic brands as IKEA, Google, Amazon and Cirque du Soleil.

EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Leader for Oceania, Bryan Zekulich, said celebrating entrepreneurial success stories highlighted the important contribution they made to the Australian economy and helped inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“Entrepreneurs have an extraordinary passion, self-belief and drive that keeps them going when others might give up. Because of this, they play a crucial role in helping support and diversify the Australian economy – creating new jobs, fuelling growth and driving innovation,” Zekulich said.

Nominees are assessed by a panel of independent judges, including previous

Entrepreneur Of The Year award winners and other successful Australian business leaders according to six core criteria: entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, personal integrity and influence, financial performance, strategic direction, and national and global impact.

The deadline for nominations in the 2014 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards is 14 March, with nominees announced in early May.

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