The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. Diane Foreman, who won the NZ Entrepreneur Of The Year title in 2009 and sat on the World Entrepreneur Of The Year judging panel in 2010, is the chair of this year’s judges.

Foreman says she agreed to the position “because I am determined to find good female talent and promote our fantastic women entrepreneurs on the world stage”.  

“This year we are so fortunate in the calibre of all our applicants. I think this is the most diverse group we have been lucky enough to attract.”

All 18 finalists will meet with the judging panel next month, where five category winners will be chosen to compete for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year title. Then they will also represent New Zealand next July, at the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year event in Monaco.

Smith started Caci over 21 years ago, and has been integral part in revolutionising the beauty industry; Caci has grown to become a household name, occupying a unique position between plastic surgery and beauty therapy. “We set out to create a business that has the feel-good sensation of beauty therapy but with defined deliverables, and real results using non-invasive treatments,” says Jackie.

Established in 1994, Caci was an opportunity for Jackie to combine her experience as a Registered Nurse with her commercial business background and passion for women’s confidence. Caci is New Zealand’s largest most successful beauty clinic chain, with over 35 clinics nationwide.

Jackie pioneered the use of laser hair removal technology in New Zealand, and is constantly researching new tools, and advances in technology, cementing Caci’s position as market leaders.

The finalists are:

Jackie Smith (FAB Group)
Colin & Dale Armer (Armer Farms NI)
Andrew Barnes (Perpetual Guardian)
Peter Beck (Rocket Lab)
Carmel Fisher (Fisher Funds Management)
Duane Dalton & Christopher Henderson (Pita Pit)
Linda Jenkinson (John Paul)
David McSorley (Max Contracts)
Fady Mishriki (PowerbyProxi)
Tim Norton (90 Seconds)
Paul Nielsen (HomeTech)
Ranjna Patel (Nirvana Health Group)
Jos Ruffell (Garage Projects)
Rebecca Tohill (Fusion5)
John Tooby (Golden Healthcare Group)
Vladan Vukovich (Wimpex)

Image above (from L-R) Franceska Banga, Independent Chair of the Board, Jackie Smith and Glenice Riley Fab Group CEO.