The finalists for next month's National Enterprise Awards are due to be announced today.
Selected from 31 nominees, the eight entrants will take part in the 18th year of the awards at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham
Small businesses from Galway, Donegal, Clare, Westmeath, Kilkenny, Wicklow, Louth and Dublin are set to compete for the top prize.
Irish Yoghurts from West Cork, Hot Irish Whiskey (Walsh Whiskey) from Carlow and Innovate Telecoms and IT from Wexford have all claimed the prize in the past.
In 2013, Design Pro in Limerick, which provides precision automation and machine build services, won the Dublin-based competition.
The company went from employing 10 people two years ago to employing 22 people today - and is set to double its workforce yet again.