More than 100 leading entrepreneurs have travelled to Hong Kong as part of the largest unofficial trade mission from this country, under the umbrella of the annual EY Entrepreneur of the Year (EoY) chief executives’ retreat.
This includes the 24 finalists for this year’s EoY awards and alumni from previous years. Between them, this year’s finalists employee more than 13,000 people and have combined revenues of almost €1.2 billion.
The entrepreneurs will spend the week between campuses in Hong Kong, Shenzhen on mainland China, and Macau, where they will participate in executive coaching and education. They will also participate in sessions with the leaders of some of Hong Kong and China’s most successful businesses, and leading academics from the region.
Hong Kong’s strong Irish diaspora and growing trade relations with the Republic will provide the setting for discussion around opening up new markets in the region. Direct flights from Dublin to Hong Kong and China were launched last year by Cathay Pacific and Hainan Airlines respectively.
Kevin McLoughlin, the lead EY partner for the EoY awards, said Hong Kong and China were chosen for the retreat because of the “opportunity that Asian markets present for businesses in Ireland”.
The agenda includes sessions with David Costello, Consul General of Ireland to Hong Kong and Macau; Dr Samson Chan, founding partner of Stanley & Partners; Seán O’Sullivan, the Irish-American entrepreneur and head of SOSV; Liam Casey, an Irish businessman whose company PCH has a significant operation in China; Rugby World Cup winner Josh Lewsey; Jim Thompson, chairman and founder of Crown Worldwide; and Blake Larson of local on-demand logistics company Lalamove.
Peter Coppinger and Dan Mackey, the founders of Cork technology firm Teamwork. com scooped last year’s overall EY Entrepreneur of the Year award, having also won the international category. This year’s winners will be announced in October.