The leaders of six Northern Ireland firms have been shortlisted for the Ireland-wide EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Ashley McCulla, of haulage firm McCulla (Ireland) Ltd and Patrick Derry, of Derry Refrigerated Transport are shortlisted, along with Richard Kennedy, of agri firm Devenish; Mark Dowds, the Northern Ireland-born founder of US technology firm Trov; and Laurence O'Kane, from pharmaceutical wholesaler iMed Healthcare in Londonderry.
Paul McKenna, co-founder of fit-out firm Mac Interiors, also makes this yea r's shortlist.
Previous Northern Ireland winners of the Ireland-wide EY Entrepreneur of the Year title include Brian Conlon, chief executive of Newry-based software and consulting firm First Derivatives, and Brendan Mooney, chief executive of IT giant Kainos in Belfast.
Anne Heraty, chief executive of recruitment company CPL Resources plc and chair of the judging panel, said: "As with every year, the standard of nominees has been incredibly strong. The judging panel always has a very tough job trying to reach a shortlist of 24 finalists but it is fantastic to see a wide range of different industries represented."
Other shortlisted entrepreneurs include fast food king Pat McDonagh of Supermac's Holdings and Matt Ryan of Press Up Entertainment Group.