Draperstown businessman Laurence O'Kane.
DRAPERSTOWN native and businessman Laurence O’Kane has been shortlisted for a prestigious entrepreneur award.
Mr O'Kane is in the running for the coveted title of 'EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2019' at a glistening awards gala set to take place in Dublin this week.
The Ballinascreen man - chair of Workspace in the town - has had a string of successful businesses and is heavily involved in the local community.
He is one of 24 finalists who employ more than 13,000 people and generate annual revenues of €1.2bn.
The prestigious business awards programme, which will take place on Thursday, November 21, is divided into three categories - Emerging, Industry and International - with eight finalists chosen per category.
The finalists have been selected by an independent panel of judges made up of former EY Entrepreneur Of The Year winners including Anne Heraty, CEO of Cpl Resources plc and Chairperson of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Judging Panel.
A winner will be selected from each of the three categories and from these three winners, an overall winner will be announced and crowned as EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2019.
The overall winner will then go on to represent Ireland at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards in Monaco in June 2020, competing against over 60 leading entrepreneurs from across the globe.
This year, Ireland was represented by Cork men, Daniel Mackey and Peter Coppinger from Teamwork.
Laurence O’Kane is a pharmacist by profession and current Managing Director of several businesses he has developed since 1986.
They include; O’Kanes Limited (Retail Pharmacy); Pharmacy Supplies Ltd (Pharmaceutical OTC Distributor & Wholesaler); IMED Healthcare Ltd (Pharmaceutical Manufacturing & Distribution company); B-Bold (EU) Ltd (Own Brand Self-Tanning Range) Mediteq Healthcare Solutions Ltd (Hospital infection control solutions company).
Laurence began by opening his first pharmacy in 1986, employing 2 members of staff, with a turnover of £300k.
He now employs 180 staff across the 5 companies with a projected turnover for 2019 of €100m.
Laurence also plays an active role in the local community and is chairman of Workspace Ltd (a social enterprise based in Draperstown with 180 staff and turnover of £12m).
He is also Chairman of Board of Governors of a local Primary School. He Chaired the Northern Local Commissioning Group for yefour ars.
Laurence’s approach to developing his businesses is to trust his staff and to support and empower them.
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