Saturday 15 June 2019

Success awaits for these National Enterprise Award finalists

A selection of this year’s National Enterprise Award Finalists: (from left) Diarmaid McSweeney and Karl Swaine, Gym + Coffee, Padraic Cuddy, The Field, Sascha Cahill, Ambr Eyewear, Breda Fox, Chair of the National Enterprise Awards, Oisin Geoghegan, Chair of the Local Enterprise Offices, Jack and Liz Harte, Harte Outdoor Lighting and Gerard Sheridan, Ice Cream Treats
A selection of this year’s National Enterprise Award Finalists: (from left) Diarmaid McSweeney and Karl Swaine, Gym + Coffee, Padraic Cuddy, The Field, Sascha Cahill, Ambr Eyewear, Breda Fox, Chair of the National Enterprise Awards, Oisin Geoghegan, Chair of the Local Enterprise Offices, Jack and Liz Harte, Harte Outdoor Lighting and Gerard Sheridan, Ice Cream Treats

For the 31 finalists of the National Enterprise Awards 2019, getting to this stage of the competition can be a stepping stone to even further success in the future.

This year’s awards take place at the Mansion House in Dublin on May 29 and it will be hosted by RTÉ’s Bryan Dobson. Local businesses are the backbone of the Irish economy and they provide a vital function in communities throughout Ireland. One way for local enterprises to have their achievements and contribution recognised is through the National Enterprise Awards.

Breda Fox from the Local Enterprise Offices says the awards celebrate local enterprises and their contribution to communities across the island.

“The awards are a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate the achievements of Ireland’s local enterprises,” says Breda Fox, who is also Chair of the National Enterprise Awards’ organising committee. “It takes the time to recognise the dedication and sacrifices given to build these companies.”

The awards, which have been running since 1997, have a collective prize fund of over €40,000.

“Businesses submit a form detailing their growth as a business, and are locally assessed on their business plan, innovation, promotion, and exports, along with their overall story. These winners go to a County Final and then to the National Final to compete for the different awards.”

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Tom Hennessy (left) and Padraig Hennessy (right) of Terra NutriTech in Kildare who received the 2018 National Enterprise Award from Minister Pat Breen TD and Jacqui McNabb of Local Enterprise Office Kildare

How winning leads to success

The National Enterprise Awards have been a welcome initiative for small enterprises. Breda adds that the recognition that comes from receiving a nomination or award has driven the continued success of past winners.

“Terra NutriTECH won the overall award last year in our 20-year anniversary. Since winning the award, they have scaled up and become Enterprise Ireland clients, which over half of the previous winners of the award have also done.

“They have built new premises, are targeting six more countries in 2019 and are aiming to double their workforce by the end of next year. They have also secured a €2 million investment and have been on two international trade missions with Enterprise Ireland to grow their business around the world. Everything they have achieved is incredible and shows the great success of our winners.”

But it’s not just the winners who benefit from the event. All finalists reap the rewards of being a part of the prestigious ceremony.

“The fact that they’re nominated as finalists in the first place is valuable. They can proudly claim to be nominated in everything they do. They also receive financial benefits. Runners-up can get up to €2,500, as well as professional evaluation, targeted mentoring and training opportunities. There are lots of advantages to being part of the awards.”

Supporting the local community

The Local Enterprise Offices are the first-stop-shop in local authorities for those thinking of starting and growing a business in Ireland. They provide practical supports, financial assistance and encourage entrepreneurship and employment in the community. Breda says that the winners also represent the support of the Local Enterprise Office.

“The previous overall winners of the awards have 832 people employed in Ireland and €131 million in annual turnover with €58 million in sales coming from exports. Previous winners also export goods and services to 52 countries and 11 of them have moved onto Enterprise Ireland.”

“Four years ago, a Galway-based modular timber construction company, Vision Built won the award for Best Export Business. Now, they have over 50 people employed in Oranmore and have impacted the local community in many ways.

“There are many opportunities for start-ups and small enterprises now in Ireland. I’m looking forward to working with them in the future and hopefully getting to highlight their success.”

Making it happen with your Local Enterprise Office

The National Enterprise Awards is just one of a number of programmes run by the Local Enterprise Offices that includes Local Enterprise Week, Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur and the Student Enterprise Programme. Since their inception in 2014 the Local Enterprise Offices have helped create over 18,000 jobs and currently support in excess of 7,000 small businesses across the country.

The Local Enterprise Offices offer a range of supports including training, one-to-one mentoring, Brexit supports, LEAN consultancy and financial assistance. If you are looking to start a new business or grow an existing small business then the doors are open in the 31 Local Enterprise Offices across the country. Funding for Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities is provided by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland.

The National Enterprise Awards 2019 finalists

This year's finalists are: Gym + Coffee (LEO Dublin City), Ambr Eyewear (LEO Dún Laoghaire Rathdown), Cult Drinks (LEO Fingal), Uniformal Ltd (LEO South Dublin), Great Ireland Experiences (LEO Clare), Annascaul Black Pudding (LEO Kerry), ABS Engineering (LEO Limerick), Clonmel Covers (LEO Tipperary), Pestle & Mortar (LEO Kildare), Hanlon Woodcraft (LEO Laois), Dotser (LEO Offaly), Powerwashing Ireland (LEO Westmeath), NeighbourFood (LEO Cork City), Viska Automation Systems (LEO Cork North & West), ARQ Asset Solutions (LEO South Cork), VirtualVet (LEO Waterford), Carlow Toolmaking Services (LEO Carlow), Mechanical Modular Solutions (LEO Kilkenny), Liz Harte Outdoor Lighting (LEO Wexford), Profits Flow (LEO Wicklow), MMG Welding (LEO Donegal), Art of Coffee (LEO Leitrim), Precision Healthcare (LEO Longford), Champ Cloud (LEO Sligo), Ice Cream Treats (LEO Cavan), Celtic Wind Crops (LEO Louth), European Industrial Coatings (LEO Meath), Rivval Limited (LEO Monaghan), Clean Cut Meals (LEO Galway), Skillko (LEO Mayo) and The Field (LEO Roscommon).

For more information, go to the Local Enterprise Offices website.

Sponsored by: Local Enterprise

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