Three West Midlands business leaders have been short-listed as regional finalists in a competition to honour entrepreneurs.

Garry Metcalfe, managing director of Birmingham-based Inviron Holdings, James Wilson, chief executive of Palletways Group, in Lichfield, and Jason Powell, chief executive of Premier Medical Group, in Ludlow, will compete with 37 others for the title Ernst & Young’s 2009 North & Midlands Entrepreneur Of The Year. Winners will be determined by an independent judging panel and announced in June.

The competition, which was established in the 1980s, celebrates people who build and lead growing and dynamic businesses in more than 135 cities in 50 countries.

Ronnie Bowker, senior partner and current Midlands Entrepreneur Of The Year leader at Ernst & Young, said: “It has never been more important to recognise the achievements of our entrepreneurial community in the Midlands. Despite the downturn, the calibre of entrants has been as strong as ever.

“Entrepreneurs see growth and future opportunities as more important than battening down the hatches right now.”

Richard Harpin chief executive of Walsall-based, HomeServe Plc, was named Ernst & Young’s UK Overall Entrepreneur Of The Year in 2008. In May, Harpin will vie for the title World Entrepreneur Of The Year at an awards ceremony in Monte Carlo, with more than 40 other country winners.