'It's a great time to be starting up a business, there are great opportunities but people don't see them,' Professor Tom Cooney, DIT, chairperson of the judging panel told the award winners.
He said that while there was a lot of talk about negativity, international trade and manufacturing was expanding in Ireland and there were huge supports for those setting up in business.
He had recently been involved in the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Louth County Enterprise Board and had been very impressed by the prize-winning businesses and how companies in the county were exporting abroad.
'We are the Wee County but there are lots of big things happening but people don't know about it,' he continued.
Professor Cooney said he had also attended the recent meeting of the town's retailers and while people were saying that it was the toughest times in living memory, he had been amazed at the positive energy and ideas about what can be done by Dundalk retailers which had emerged.
While people can't change the things which are outside of their control, such as the global recession, the sterling/euro exchange rate or where they are located, there are things within their power to do something about.
He had particularly liked the mentoring aspect of the competition, as he believed it was a key element for businesses starting up.
All the prize winners had shown potential and sustainability, producing a business plan which made sense, and bringing something different to heir particular market.
Louth County Council chairperson Declan Breathnach complimented all the winners and expressed the view that entrepreneurship wasn't being given enough priority in education and should be introduced in primary schools.