The Stelios Philanthropic Foundation will this year hold its first-ever Young Entrepreneurs Award in Cyprus, it announced on Monday.

The award has been organised every year since 2008 exclusively in Greece for entrepreneurs aged under 40 who have set up a company in the last five years with a minimum gross profit of €10,000 per year.

The foundation announced a prize of €60,000 for the top three business ideas in Cyprus, of which €30,000 will go to the winner, €20,000 to the second and €10,000 to the third.

“The Young Entrepreneurs Award in Cyprus marks the first of its kind on the island, following the same one in Greece that has been taking place since 2008,” the foundation said.

“The aim is for the award to become an institution in Cyprus, establishing itself alongside the Stelios Bi-Communal Awards, which have been rewarding intercommunal businesses since 2009.”

Candidates for the award must be under the age of 35 and have established a company in Cyprus within the last five years. Young entrepreneurs of any nationality are eligible to participate.

“The younger generation represents the future of our economy and start-up businesses are the cornerstone for building a productive and dynamically evolving country,” Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, owner and founder of airline Easyjet, among others, said.

“That is why I consider the establishment of these awards exceptionally significant.

“By the age of 35, I had already launched two significant start-up businesses, but as I always say, I was fortunate to have funding from my father. Therefore, I wish success to all the young individuals, whether or not they have a wealthy parent supporting them!”

Applications for the competition can be submitted until July 14. Interviews with applicants will be conducted online, while the awards ceremony is scheduled for September.

Haji-Ioannou will personally reward and congratulate the winners via Zoom.