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Winner of the 2023 "EY Entrepreneur of the Year" competition announced

Winner of the 2023



EY Azerbaijan has announced the winner of the "EY Entrepreneur of the Year" competition. The competition among Azerbaijani entrepreneurs has been held for the fourth year. IBA and BP provided sponsor support for the competition held in partnership with the Small and Medium Business Development Agency (KOBİA). "Veysaloglu" Group of Companies provided financial support to the competition. "EKVITA" consulting company and the Export and Investment Promotion Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan - AZPROMO are among the partners of the competition.

The winner of the competition was selected from among 13 eligible candidates by an independent jury consisting of representatives of the business community, international financial institutions and reputable company leaders.

The name of the winner was announced on February 16 at the award ceremony.

Mr. Ilgar Veliyev, country managing partner of EY in Azerbaijan, noted: "In recent years, the pandemic and geopolitical issues have caused global changes. These have had an impact on the business of entrepreneurs operating both in Azerbaijan and in other countries. This competition, organized by "EY" in our country, aims to evaluate worthy people who, despite the challenges experienced, favoured the spirit of entrepreneurship and decided to pursue their own way. I do believe that people who exhibit this determination and resilience will successfully conquer the challenges of the market and will further inspire others and continue their work for business development. "EY is proud to reward the participants of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2023 competition, who create value for the society in which they live and operate, and have extremely exciting success stories," he added.

The jury members selected the winners in different categories after comprehensively evaluating the applications. Thus, the founder of “Pickvisa” Baba Aghayev was awarded in the "Innovation" nomination, Zaur Darabzadeh, the chairman of the Supervisory Board of "CinemaPlus" cinema chain in the "Social impact" nomination, and Fuad Seyidaliyev, the head of "Savalan ASPI Winery" in the "Regional development" nomination.

The winner of this year's competition was Seymur Mammadov, CEO and founder of Simbrella. He will represent Azerbaijan at the international stage of the "Worldwide Entrepreneur of the Year" competition and compete with the world's most innovative and reputable businesspersons. Seymur Mammadov stated: "When I met the participants, I realized that each of them is worthy of being a winner. It is already an honour for me to take part in the final stage with them. However, I did not expect to win, therefore I feel elated and very proud."

Zaur Gardashov, advisor to the Chairman of the Board of the Small and Medium Business Development Agency, expressed his thoughts on the competition: "Holding such various events among entrepreneurs encourages them to be in a healthy competition. Therefore, KOBİA focuses on the organization and support of such competitions. KOBİA is a strategic partner in the "EY Entrepreneur of the Year" competition held in Azerbaijan for the 4th time. It is pleasing that the number of micro and small entrepreneurs taking part in the competition is growing every year. Small entrepreneurs were the winners of the competitions of previous years. We are thrilled that there are women entrepreneurs among the winners. This is of great importance in terms of promoting women's entrepreneurship in our country. We wish the winner of this year's competition success in his future activities."

Abbas Ibrahimov, the Chairman of the Executive Board of IBA stated that the IBA has supported the "EY Entrepreneur of the Year" competition for the fourth year in a row: "This competition introduces our innovative businessmen to our society, brings about a healthy competitive environment, and encourages our entrepreneurs to constantly strive to be the best. All these are important contributions to the business environment of our country. By introducing this competition to Azerbaijan, "EY Azerbaijan" laid the foundation of a wonderful tradition. The aim of the competition is fully compatible with our corporate values and principles of social responsibility as IBA. Therefore, we support the "EY Entrepreneur of the Year" competition and are proud of our close participation in the formation of such a useful tradition in our country."

Bakhtiyar Aslanbeyli, vice president for the Caspian region, communications and external affairs of BP, shared his thoughts on the competition: "We are thrilled to continue to support the EY Entrepreneur of the Year competition, as it reveals and recognizes the achievements of entrepreneurship and local enterprises. This goal is fully compatible with BP's efforts to develop entrepreneurship and local supply chains."

The director of EKVITA, Ilgar Mehti said: "EKVITA has been partnering with the "EY Entrepreneur of the Year" competition since its inception. Being the first local consulting company to operate abroad, our company implements projects both domestically and internationally. We are proud to share the extensive experience we have gained with other local businessmen, as well as to support them to be recognized by international competitions like this one. I would like to express my gratitude to "EY Azerbaijan" and its management for the conditions established for the fulfilment of this wonderful mission."

About the "EY Entrepreneur of the Year" competition

The "EY Entrepreneur of the Year" competition, established by “EY” company, has been held since 1986. The purpose of the "EY Entrepreneur of the Year" program, one of the world's most prestigious business awards, is to promote the entrepreneurial activity of businesspersons with high potential, and to encourage others by exhibiting their leadership and achievements. As the first global awards program in its field, “EY Entrepreneur of the Year” acknowledges entrepreneurs who have built successful, growing and dynamic businesses in a regional, national and global program covering more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.

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