24th May 2017
National Enterprise Awards – run by the Local Enterprise Offices - celebrate achievements of Ireland’s micro-enterprises and small businesses.
The Local Enterprise Offices have welcomed the news that the Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny T.D. will be joining the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms Mary Mitchell O’ Connor TD and the Minister of State for Employment and Small Business, Mr Pat Breen at this year’s National Enterprise Awards in Dublin tomorrow (May 25th).
The Taoiseach has been invited by the Local Enterprise Offices to present awards at the annual enterprise competition, alongside Minister Mitchell O’ Connor and Minister Breen in the Mansion House in Dublin.
The awards were set-up in 1997 to celebrate the achievements of Ireland’s micro-enterprises and small businesses and 32 finalists from all over the country have won a place at this year’s national final.
The Taoiseach said: “The National Enterprise Awards provide an opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of micro and small enterprises located all around our country.
They have played an important role in Ireland’s economic recovery and will continue to contribute to Ireland’s future economic growth and job creation. Ireland's unemployment has dropped from over 15.4% to 6.2% and continues to fall.
Micro and small enterprises provide employment in every village, town and city across this country which is why the Regional Action Plan for Jobs places a focus on this area. Government will continue to work with business of all size to cement the recovery which is well underway.”
Minister Mary Mitchell O’ Connor said: “These innovative businesses at the National Enterprise Awards are led by people who are serious about their ambition, who are taking real risks and making real sacrifices to achieve success all over the world. As the backbone of our economy, micro-enterprises and small businesses are making a huge contribution to their local communities and to the economy at large by creating jobs and I look forward to meeting them all on May 25th.”
Minister Pat Breen commented “I am delighted to attend the National Enterprise Awards on May 25th. The Awards are a great opportunity to showcase the exceptional talent and capability that exists in micro and small businesses right around the country. These successful entrepreneurs are an inspiration to others who are thinking of starting a business. And an important message from this event is that there is support out there, starting with your Local Enterprise Office”.
Sheelagh Daly, Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices welcomed the news, saying: “Micro-enterprises, companies that employ up to ten people, make a crucial contribution to the economy and account for over 90% of all businesses in Ireland. The Local Enterprise Offices are the ‘first-stop-shop’ for micro-enterprises and we want to celebrate and highlight their achievements. At the National Enterprise Awards on May 25th, we are honoured that the Taoiseach, Minister Mitchell O’ Connor and Minister Breen will be meeting some of Ireland’s most successful and inspiring small businesses from all over the country.”
Awards will be presented to eight regional winners, three category winners and one overall winner with a prize fund of €40,000 available. Last year’s winner was Mark Clendennen from Applied Concepts in Offaly, who manufacturers and exports abrasive blasting machines to Europe and South America.
The list of 2017 finalists for the National Enterprise Awards and details for all the supports available to micro-enterprises can be found at www.localenterprise.ie.
The Local Enterprise Offices are co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020.
For all media information around the National Enterprise Awards, please contact Engage Ireland: Tel: 01 427 8388 / 087 65 39936 (Sarah Bohan) / office @ engageireland.com
Notes to Editor
Photocall Ireland has been commissioned to syndicate photography (reproduction-free) from the 2017 National Enterprise Awards on May 25th (including photographs of the winners).
Full list of finalists (by region) for the 2017 National Enterprise Awards (#NEAwards)
Organised by the Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities www.localenterprise.ie
Dublin (City) Pink Kong Studios www.pinkkongstudios.ie Original story-driven animated content
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Moontour www.moontour.ie Irish-language adventure camp
Dublin (Fingal) Hope Beer www.hopebeer.ie Award-winning craft beers
South Dublin Acutrace www.acutrace.com Energy-management software and hardware
South West Region
Clare Core Optimisation Ltd www.coreoptimisation.com Digital growth specialists
Kerry Irish Host Family Ltd www.irishhostfamily.ie Links language students with families
Limerick Student Programmes Ireland Ltd www.spil.ie Tailormade education for European students
Tipperary MediSkin www.mediskin.ie Laser, skincare and wellbeing solutions
Mid East Region
Kildare Broghies Ireland www.broghiesireland.com Healthy, tasty and versatile snacks
Laois Infrastruct AMS Limited www.infrastruct.ie Structural testing and investigation services
Offaly Dezynamite www.dezynamite.com Graphic design, websites and printing
Westmeath Lift Hire Ireland www.lifthireireland.com Van, truck and trailer-mounted lifts
Cork (City) Rebel Chilli www.rebelchilli.com Award-winning fresh chilli sauces
Cork (N & W) Enibas Jewellery www.enibas.com Designs and manufactures jewellery collections
South Cork Polar IceTech www.polaricetech.ie Dry ice blasting specialists
Waterford Pip and Pear www.pipandpear.ie Irish-made chilled baby food
South East Region
Carlow McNally Denture Clinic www.mcnallydentureclinic.ie Full denture services and clinic
Kilkenny Greensbridge Engineering Ltd www.greensbridge.ie High-quality precision engineering
Wexford Scup Gelato www.scupgelato.com Handcrafted luxury gelatos and sorbets
Wicklow Goldfish.ie www.goldfish.ie Cloud-based telecoms provider
North West Region
Donegal Silver Birch Gallery www.sharonmcdaid.com Original paintings, mixed-media and prints
Leitrim Jinny’s Bakery www.jinnysbakery.com Handmade bread, cakes and puddings
Longford Purpledecks Ltd. www.purpledecks.com Enterprise App developer and consultancy
Sligo Studyclix www.studyclix.ie E-learning tool for second-level students
North East Region
Cavan Moran's Megajam Ltd www.moranshomestore.com Artisan jams, chutneys and pestos
Louth Aphix Software Ltd www.aphixsoftware.com Software solutions for wholesalers
Meath Hexafly www.hexafly.co Develops sustainable natural commodities
Monaghan RAMfit Ltd www.ramfit.com Training products for fitness
Galway (City) 9th Impact www.9thimpact.com Action games for mobile phones
Galway (County) IMS Marketing www.imsmarketing.ie Dedicated technical marketing company
Mayo Monaghan Bros Bar Furniture www.barfurniture.net Furniture for the hospitality industry
Roscommon PJ Fallon & Son www.pjfallon.ie Tools, garage and lifting equipment
The Local Enterprise Offices:
The 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), which are run in partnership by Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities, are the ‘first-stop-shop’ for providing advice and guidance, financial assistance and other supports to those wishing to start or grow their own business.
The LEOs provide a ‘signposting’ service around all relevant state supports available through agencies such as Revenue, the Department of Social Protection, Education and Training Boards, Credit Review Office and Microfinance Ireland. The LEOs can also offer advice and guidance in areas such as Local Authority rates, Public Procurement and other regulations affecting business.
The LEOs can offer direct grant aid to micro enterprises (10 employees or fewer) in the manufacturing and internationally traded services sector which, over time, have the potential to develop into strong export entities.
Subject to certain eligibility criteria, the LEOs can provide financial assistance within three main categories: Feasibility Grants, Priming Grants and Business Development grants for existing businesses that want to expand.
For anyone interested in starting or growing a business, the LEOs also offer ‘soft’ support in the form of training (e.g. a Start Your Own Business course) or can provide a mentor to work with the business proposer.
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