News & Events

20 years of winners to be celebrated at 2018 National Enterprise Awards

Figures released today show that previous winners of Local Enterprise Office-run competition together employ 832 people, generate €131million in turnover annually and export to 52 countries

‘20 Years of Winners’ are being celebrated by the Local Enterprise Offices at the 2018 National Enterprise Awards, which take place every year to highlight the successes of small businesses around the country.

According to a survey* from the Local Enterprise Offices, released today (May 16th), previous winners of the National Enterprise Awards now employ 832 people and generate over €131 million in turnover, €58 million of which is generated from exports to 52 countries. Since winning, 11 of the companies have scaled-up their businesses to become Enterprise Ireland clients.

Ahead of this year’s awards ceremony on May 24th, the Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen T.D. visited the 2008 winners, Simtech Aviation in Fingal, to see how their business has ‘taken off’ since their win a decade ago.

Previous national winners, such as Irish Yogurts (1998), Obelisk (2000), Digiweb (2004), and Design Pro (2013), will all be recognised at this year’s ceremony in the Mansion House, and Minister Breen, who will be presenting the awards on the night, said: “It is important to celebrate the wonderful success stories within Ireland’s small businesses and micro-enterprise sector.  The annual National Enterprise Awards reflect the Government’s support for, and commitment to, all areas of innovation and enterprise development within the Local Enterprise Office network.  As we celebrate 20 years of winners in 2018, we hope that the achievements of previous winners will serve to inspire and encourage today’s start-ups to follow in their footsteps and to look internationally for growth opportunities.”

Breda Fox, Chair of the organising committee with the Local Enterprise Offices, said: “The National Enterprise Awards are our chance to celebrate finalists’ economic impact on their local communities, the jobs they have created, and the overall growth of their businesses. Combined, the previous winners now employ 832 people, have a turnover of over €131 million per annum and have €58 million in exports to 52 countries. These achievements deserve to be celebrated and we know they will inspire other Irish companies too in the future.”

Simtech Aviation clinched the national title in 2008 and since then, the company has provided aircraft simulator-based training for more than 3,000 pilots who are now employed by 180 different airlines such as Aer Lingus, Norwegian Air and Royal Air Charter from the Philippines. During today’s visit to Simtech, Minister Breen also met with representatives from five of the 31 companies that have reached this year’s National Final, including: WeBringg (representing LEO Fingal), Blacks of Kinsale (representing LEO Cork North and West), Get The Shifts Ltd (representing LEO Clare), Joint-IT (representing LEO Galway), and Coatek (representing LEO Wexford). The Minister also met with representatives from the Local Enterprise Offices, local government and Enterprise Ireland.

Funding for the Local Enterprise Offices is provided by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland, and further details about the supports on offer to small businesses is available through


For more information and media requests, please contact

Sarah Bohan – LEO Communications/Enterprise Ireland Tel: 01 727 2265 / Mobile: 087 65 39936/ Email:

Declan Lee – LEO Communications/Enterprise Ireland Tel: 01 727 2406 / Mobile: 087 695 7451 / Email:

Photography Note: Reproduction-free imagery from this National Enterprise Awards’ announcement will be available from Leon Farrell of Photocall Ireland from 15.00 on 16.05.18.

Previous National Enterprise Award Winners

Celebrating 20 Years of Winners in 2018

Year     Company  Local Enterprise Office

1998    Irish Yogurts Ltd /Cork North and West

1999    Glass & Cladding Technology /Meath

2000    Obelisk Communications /Cavan

2001    Midland Precision Tool & Die /Roscommon

2002    The Hot Irishman /Carlow

2003    Grouse Lodge Recording Studios Ltd /Westmeath

2004    Digiweb /Louth

2005    IFS Ltd / Fingal

2006    Modern Timber Homes Ltd /Donegal

2007    Crannagh & Co /Cavan

2008    Simtech Aviation /Fingal

2009    Callan Technology Ltd /Clare

2010    ABC Nutrition Ltd /Clare

2011    Running Gear Ltd T/A Agrispread /Mayo

2012    Innovate /Wexford

2013    Design Pro /Limerick

2015    MyBio Ltd /Kilkenny

2016    Applied Concepts Ltd /Offaly

2017    Acutrace /South Dublin

There were no National Enterprise Awards in 2014 due to the setting up of the Local Enterprise Offices and the dissolution of the County and City Enterprise Boards that year.


*Survey: Source Local Enterprise Offices (March/April 2018)

Figures compiled by the Local Enterprise Offices in March-April 2018 show that previous winners of the National Enterprise Awards:

  • Now employ 832 people in total
  • Generate €131,314,281 in annual turnover
  • Export sales are worth €58,353,000 to 52 countries
  • 11 former winners have scaled up to become Enterprise Ireland clients

National Enterprise Awards 2018

Award Categories and Prize Fund

The 2018 National Enterprise Awards take place on May 24th in the Mansion House in Dublin and are organised by the Local Enterprise Offices

    • Overall Winner, National Enterprise Awards 2017 (Cash Prize for business: €10,000)
    • Best Export Business (Cash Prize for business: €5,000)
    • Best Start Up Business (Cash Prize for business: €5,000)
    • Innovation Award (Cash Prize for business: €5,000)
    • Eight Regional Winners (Cash Prize for business: €2,000 each
  • Regions:          
      • Dublin City, Fingal, Dún Laoghaire- Rathdown and South Dublin
      • Kildare, Laois, Offaly and Westmeath
      • Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny
      • Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan
      • Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim and Longford
      • Galway, Mayo and Roscommon
      • Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Tipperary
      • Cork City, South Cork, Cork North & West and Waterford


Full list of all National Enterprise Award Finalists for 2018

Dublin City Usheru Direct ticketing for film distributors

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown iReach Research and market intelligence specialists

Fingal WeBringg 90-minute online sales delivery service

South Dublin Absolute Nutrition Ltd Healthy snacks and treats

South West Region

Clare Get the Shifts Ltd Skilled, temporary hospitality staff

Kerry Ballyhar Foods Wholesale baked goods producer

Limerick Eastway Remote Monitoring Ltd Online, machine failure monitoring systems

Tipperary Horizon Offsite Ltd Light-gauge steel building system manufacturer

Kildare Terra Liquid Minerals Smart liquid mineral injection system provider

Laois Cyc-Lok Ltd Suppliers of access-controlled bike parking lockers

Offaly Intellicom Ireland Ltd Telecommunications service provider

Westmeath Irish Craft Canning Irish craft beverage process and packaging services

South Region

Cork City Remote Signals Sensors to connect remote assets

Cork North & West Blacks of Kinsale Independent micro-brewery and distillery

South Cork Ecanvasser Political canvassing software

Waterford Blackwater Distillery Irish distillery famous for gin

South East Region

Carlow Burren Precast Concrete Attenuation and flood alleviation tanks manufacturer

Kilkenny Glanway Ltd Waste processing and recycling facility

Wexford Coatek Glass coating and films suppliers

Wicklow Asistec Solutions for cell storage and growth

North West Region

Donegal Niche Specialist Staffing Partners International recruitment firm for construction estimators

Leitrim Global Green Sustainability Sustainability consultancy firm

Longford Lir Analytical Ltd Dairy bio-security products manufacturer 

Sligo Wilderness Ireland Ltd Adventure and wilderness experience tour operator

North East Region

Cavan Veltig Ireland Consulting and development services

Louth Celtic Testing Experts (Ireland) Ltd Lean IT project delivery service providers 

Meath BSG Design Ltd High-end bespoke joinery manufacturer

Monaghan Avail Mobile healthcare solution for those with learning difficulties

West Region

Galway Joint-IT Ready-mixed jointing compound manufacturer

Mayo Buymedia Advertising planning, management and measurement

Roscommon Black Donkey Brewing Ltd Producer of Irish traditional farmhouse beers