October 13, 2020

EY Announces Atif Siddiqi of Branch as an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020 Heartland Award Winner


Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) announced that Branch founder and CEO Atif Siddiqi was named an Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020 Heartland Award winner. The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards program is one of the preeminent competitive awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies. The award recognizes those entrepreneurial leaders who are excelling in overcoming adversity; financial performance; societal impact and commitment to building a values-based company; innovation; and talent management. Siddiqi was selected by an independent panel of judges. The award was announced through the program’s first-ever virtual awards gala, hosted by Deborah Norville, anchor of Inside Edition.

Branch primarily works with employers, payroll, and POS partners to provide financial wellness tools for the hourly workforce, including auto-budgeting, free earned wage access, instant distribution of tips and reimbursements, and zero-fee banking.

“I am deeply honored to accept this award on behalf of the Branch team, as this is a testament to the hard work and dedication all our team members bring each and every day,” said Siddiqi. “We’re excited to be recognized alongside so many other innovative and inspiring companies from this region and look forward to continuing our commitment to creating free, accessible financial services to working Americans.”

Since 1986, EY US has honored entrepreneurs whose ingenuity, spirit of innovation and tenacity have driven their companies’ success, transformed their industries and made a positive impact on their communities. Siddiqi will go on to become a lifetime member of the esteemed multi-industry community of award winners, with exclusive, ongoing access to the experience, insight and wisdom of fellow alumni and other ecosystem members in over 60 countries — all supported by vast EY resources.

The Entrepreneur Of The Year program has honored the inspirational leadership of entrepreneurs such as:

  • Richard Schulze of Best Buy
  • Hamdi Ulukaya of Chobani
  • Douglas M. Baker, Jr. of Ecolab
  • Daymond John of FUBU
  • Kendra Scott of Kendra Scott LLC
  • Kris Kowalski Christensen and Mary Anne Kowalski of Kowalski’s Companies
  • Zachary Quinn of Love Your Melon
  • Shelly Ibach of Sleep Number
  • Archie Black of SPS Commerce

As a Heartland award winner, Siddiqi is now eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2020 National Awards. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced Thursday, November 19, during a virtual awards gala. The awards are the culminating event of this year’s virtual Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies. The Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner will then move on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award in June 2021.


Founded and produced by Ernst & Young LLP, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored by SAP America and the Kauffman Foundation.

In the Heartland, sponsors also include Colliers, Padilla, PNC Bank, Salo and Twin Cities Business.

About Entrepreneur Of The Year®
Entrepreneur Of The Year® is the world’s most prestigious business awards program for unstoppable entrepreneurs. These visionary leaders deliver innovation, growth and prosperity that transform our world. The program engages entrepreneurs with insights and experiences that foster growth. It connects them with their peers to strengthen entrepreneurship around the world. Entrepreneur Of The Year is the first and only truly global awards program of its kind. It celebrates entrepreneurs through regional and national awards programs in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries. Winners go on to compete for the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ title.

About EY Private
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About EY
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