EY Azerbaijan Announces Winners of the ‘Entrepreneur Of The Year 2023’ Contest (FOTO)

Business Materials 20 February 2023 10:23 (UTC +04:00)

EY honors the most resilient and innovative entrepreneurs in the country

EY Azerbaijan, Baku, February, 2023 - EY is pleased to announce the winner of the ‘EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™’ competition in 2023. It is the fourth time EY has held this prestigious contest amongst entrepreneurs in partnership with the Small and Medium Business (SMB) Development Agency of Azerbaijan, KOBIA.

This internationally-acclaimed program has been running thanks to generous financial support of its two main sponsors – International Bank of Azerbaijan, ABB, and bp. It has also been Veyseloglu Group of Companies, as well as Export and Investment Promotion Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, AZPROMO, and a Baku-based consultancy firm EKVITA.

The winner has been chosen by an independent judging panel made up of respected members of the business community, representatives of the international finance institutions and renowned senior executives. The judges had a group of 13 entrepreneurial leaders with an impressive track-record to choose from.

EY and its partners unveiled the overall winner at a special award ceremony held in Baku on 16 February which was attended by government officials and the leaders of the business community.

“In the last few years, we’ve witnessed disruptions on a global scale due to pandemics and major geopolitical developments. These have most certainly been incredibly challenging times for entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan and elsewhere across the world. We’ve been holding this contest to pay tribute to these remarkable individuals who have chosen to pursue their entrepreneurial spirit, despite all the difficulties. I believe these resilient people will overcome the ongoing market disruptions and continue to inspire and grow”, said Ilgar Veliyev, the Managing Partner at EY Azerbaijan. “EY is proud to honor the participants of the 2023 ‘EY Entrepreneur Of The Year’ contest who’re creating value for the country and the communities they live in”.

After thorough assessment of contestants’ applications and careful consideration, the judges decided to recognize the winners in the following categories. Thus, the jury awarded the ‘Innovations’ nomination to Baba Aghayev from Pickvisa, ‘Social Impact’ nomination to Zaur Darabzadeh from CinemaPlus and the ‘Regional Development’ nomination to Fuad Seyidaliyev from Savalan ASPI Winery.

Seymur Mammadov, the founder of Simbrella has been announced as an overall winner of this year’s competition – he will represent Azerbaijan in the ‘World Entrepreneur Of The Year’ competition where he’ll compete against the world’s most innovative and inspiring businessmen and businesswomen. After the announcement Seymur said: “Having met all the participants I realized that each one of them deserves to be a winner in this contest. Making it to the final along with others was already a huge success for me. Although I didn't expect the jury to award me with the main prize, I was thrilled and honored to be recognized as the winner”.

The competition became possible thanks to generous support of its sponsors. The Chairman of the Executive Board of the International Bank of Azerbaijan Abbas Ibrahimov said:

“The competition reveals the leading entrepreneurs of the country, creates a healthy competitive environment and inspires businesspeople for further success. The objectives of the competition fully coincide with the corporate values and principles of social responsibility of ABB. That is why we support it for the fourth consecutive year”, said Abbas Ibrahimov, Chairman of the Board of ABB.

Bakhtiyar Aslanbayli, Vice President for Communications and External Affairs in the Caspian Region, said: “We are pleased to continue supporting the “EY Entrepreneur Of The Year” competition as it aims to recognize entrepreneurial achievements and growth efforts of local businesses. This is in line with our own efforts to help develop local supply chains and entrepreneurship”.

From the outset, EY teamed up with the Small and Medium Business (SMB) Development Agency of Azerbaijan, KOBIA. Zaur Gardashov, the advisor to the Chairman of the Board of Directors of KOBİA said: “Various business award programs and contests among entrepreneurs contribute to the spirit of healthy competition. That's why KOBIA is so keen on organizing and supporting such contests. KOBIA has been a strategic partner of the "EY Entrepreneur Of The Year" contest for four consecutive years. We are pleased that the number of micro - and small entrepreneurs taking part in this contest has been rising steadily. It's also good to see that the SMBs have been winners over the previous years. We're really enthused about the number of female entrepreneurs among the winners. We believe this will give additional impetus to promoting female entrepreneurship in our country. We wish the participants of this year's competition success in their business endeavours”.

Director of EKVITA Ilgar Mehti said: “EKVITA has been a partner of the “EY Entrepreneur of the Year” Award since the beginning. As the pioneer local consulting company to go abroad, our company carries out projects both within our country and abroad. We are proud to share the vast experience we have acquired with other local businessmen and support them in getting recognized in these kinds of international competitions. I intend to express my profound gratitude towards “EY Azerbaijan” and its management for providing conditions to fulfill such a great mission”.

About Entrepreneur Of The Year™

Entrepreneur Of The Year™, founded by EY in 1986, is one of the world's most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs. The program makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global awards program of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.