High-flying business people are being encouraged to enter the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards, with prizes including a €50,000 publishing bursary.
The awards aim to celebrate the achievements of local companies across a wide range of sectors including social enterprise and agri-business.
The event is being run in association with the Irish Independent, Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and SmallBusinessCan.com.
The overall winner will receive a comprehensive prize package, including a €50,000 publishing bursary with the Irish Independent, business mentoring from Enterprise Ireland, a full-service communications workshop, as well as national and regional media exposure.
Eddie Cullen, managing director of commercial banking at Ulster Bank, said that the lender is "committed to providing support to Irish businesses" and added that the awards are "at the heart of that commitment".
Previous winners of the awards includes a huge number of successful companies that have gone on to become household names, including Realex Payments, Glenisk Foods and Tayto Park.
Speaking at the launch, one of the former winners, Ronan Clarke of Smarter Surfaces said that winning the Business Startip Award at the last year's Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards "has given us huge credibility and really helped us to position ourselves on the global stage.
"In the six months since winning the award, we have expanded our distribution network to South America and Australia, and that expansion is continuing all the time," he said.
He added that his firm will launch e-commerce sites in French, German, Italian and Spanish for the first time in June.
"In addition, we have re-branded the company from 'Smart Wall Paint' to 'Smarter Surfaces', in recognition of the fact that we now offer a wide range of products, outside of our flagship whiteboard paint, so winning the award really has been a catalyst for huge change for us," he said.
Companies can submit their entries via www.BusinessAchieversAward.com and are permitted to enter up to two of the eight categories. The deadline for submissions is Friday, September 25.