19th January 2021
The finalists for the National Enterprise Awards have been announced today. An initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), the National Enterprise Awards Final will take place virtually on the 11th February.
The finalists, selected by the Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities, represent a diverse range of businesses that are supported by the LEOs across the country. Now in their 22nd year, the awards celebrate small businesses and includes awards that recognise excellence in exporting, sustainability and innovation along with 8 regional awards and an overall National Enterprise Awards winner.
The Finalists, who will compete for a €50,000 prize fund, include businesses in Virtual Reality training (VRAI), Artisan pizza production (Pizza DaPiero), international TV and film design and production technology (Odyssey Studios), mobile canning (Bevcraft), e-learning and online management (Dulann), inflammation fighting ferments (Spoonful Botanical), online restaurant ordering and fulfilment (Armour Interactive), energy efficient building (Lidan Designs) and an international online college (5Global).
This year also sees the addition of two new award categories that reflect the challenging business conditions that companies have faced in 2020. The Pivot Award will be presented to a company who has successfully pivoted their business in the face of challenging conditions in the last 12 months. The Brexit Ready Award will be presented to a company who have excelled in their preparation for Brexit particularly where it would have created specific challenges for them as a business.
Minister for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD, said:
“Through the National Enterprise Awards we celebrate the very best in small local companies who are leading in their field of business expertise. Over the past 20 years the awards have been the benchmark for excellence in micro-enterprise across the country. Looking at the list of winners, finalists and participants through the years it is easy to be inspired by our talented businesses and people who are the backbone of outstanding Irish entrepreneurs, many of whom are trading successfully across the globe. This year’s finalists are no different with some exceptional companies shortlisted. The very best of luck to all finalists and no doubt they will continue to grow beyond this and become part of Ireland’s growing international business community.
Breda Fox, Chair of the National Enterprise Awards Committee with the Local Enterprise Offices, said:
“It has been a challenging year for small businesses so this is a chance to highlight positive stories and businesses who have excelled in the face of unprecedented challenges. These businesses have been through a rigorous process of judging, auditing every aspect of their business and this in itself can be a huge benefit to them as they plan for the future. Whether they win or not these finalists are well positioned to follow in the footsteps of the great companies that have gone before them such as Pestle & Mortar, Simtech Aviation and Terra NutriTech and as a network, the Local Enterprise Offices look forward to continuing to support them to help them grow.”
Previous winners of the National Enterprise Awards have included Irish Yoghurts (1998), Obelisk (2000), Simtech Aviation (2008), Digiweb (2004) and Design Pro (2013), Terra NutriTech (2018) and the last winners in 2019, Pestle & Mortar, backed by Local Enterprise Office Kildare. Founded by Sonia Deasy and her husband Padraig, Pestle & Mortar has become one of Ireland’s best-known skincare companies and is now a client of Enterprise Ireland. Having sold out on QVC in the US in just 7 minutes, Pestle & Mortar products now sit on the shelves in some of the world’s most high-end retail outlets.
Sonia Deasy, co-founder of Pestle & Mortar, on the benefits of winning the award in 2019:
“Every bit of exposure we got led to an increase in business, whether direct from consumers or from stockists. It’s very good if you are going on the investment trail. If you are calling somewhere, people are more likely to know you and you are more likely to be seen.” It can even facilitate entry to overseas markets. “We are in 32 countries now and, when it comes to meetings with distributors, we find that in countries such as China, they love awards, so it’s a huge help.”
The National Enterprise Awards are one of a number of initiatives that the Local Enterprise Offices run to foster entrepreneurship across the country. Others include Local Enterprise Week, the Student Enterprise Programme and National Women’s Enterprise Day.
The Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities are funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland. Established in 2014, LEOs are an essential resource for any entrepreneur looking to start a business or any small business that is looking for support or advice to help them grow. The LEOs work with over 7,000 client companies across Ireland in a diverse range of sectors offering mentoring, training, expert advice and financial supports to small businesses. For more information see www.LocalEnterprise.ie
For further information:
Declan Lee – Enterprise Ireland – 087 695 7451 / Declan.Lee@enterprise-ireland.com
Sarah Bohan – Enterprise Ireland – 087 653 9936 / Sarah.Bohan@enterprise-ireland.com
National Enterprise Awards Finalists
Irish Fluid Controls (Local Enterprise Office Carlow)
Irish Fluid Controls (Chemfeed) provides specialised chemical feed equipment to industry. The company manufactures turn-key chemical dosing systems, has developed a further division to complement its core manufacturing solutions, and has signed a sole distributor agreement with Suez, a global supplier of industrial water treatment chemicals and service.
Cootehill Precision Engineering (Local Enterprise Office Cavan)
Cootehill Precision Engineering provides machined parts to a range of sectors including the wind, heat, energy, pharmaceutical, quarrying, and glass industries. The company has invested in state of the art machining, scanning and 3-D printing equipment. Its highly skilled staff provides a top-notch customer service 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.
Wow Wee.ie (Local Enterprise Office Clare)
WowWee.ie is the home of personalised gifting, brining joy to people around the world with wonderful products for all occasions. From weddings to new baby to special events, it has established itself as the 'go to' online store for personalised gifts. Innovation is central to its success - last year saw it launch special 'working from home' products too.
Submit Software Solutions (Local Enterprise Office Cork City)
Submit is an enterprise software solutions provider. Its secure cloud platform helps organisations to collect and manage online submissions and is designed to simplify all kinds of form management, data analytics and compliance processes, making them easy, versatile, and fast.
Travelmaster Events Ireland (Local Enterprise Office Cork North & West)
Travelmaster provides transport to events including concerts, festivals and sporting fixtures all over Ireland. Customers book individual bus seats from their local pick-up point in a dedicated same-day service, providing a technologically advanced, cost effective, safe and environmentally friendly transport option to and from their chosen event.
O’Donnell’s Bakery (Local Enterprise Office Donegal)
O’Donnell’s Bakery is a family run business based in Laghey just outside Donegal Town. It produces and supplies a wide range of freshly baked goods to restaurants, hotels, cafes and supermarkets across Ireland and also exports to the USA.
VRAI (Local Enterprise Office Dublin City)
VRAI creates data driven virtual reality simulation training for high hazard environments. Its customers range from International Airlines Group (IAG) to the United Nations to a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company. Its HEAT solution combines authentic virtual training environments with cutting edge data capture and analytics capability, allowing organisations whose activities are risky, remote or rare to train more effectively.
ZiggyTec (Local Enterprise Office Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown)
ZiggyTec has a turn-key solution for property managers and asset owners that extracts data about electricity, water, gas, heat and air quality from buildings, stores it in the cloud, and uses internet of things technology to manage it in a cost-effective way. It lends customers the equipment they need, and customers pay a monthly fee to have their data collected, processed and displayed.
Kianda Technologies (Local Enterprise Office Fingal)
Kianda provides an easy-to-use automation platform helping businesses replace manual processes with intuitive online applications, to eliminate inefficiency and increase productivity. Currently with customer base across the globe, Kianda is transforming business processes in HR, quality, finance and more.
Armour Interactive (Local Enterprise Office Galway)
Armour Interactive is a digital agency creating products that offer a great user experience and help drive business goals. It has created a SaaS (software as a service) product called Ordú in response to market demand for an enterprise-level online ordering and fulfilment platform for the quick service restaurant industry - a product designed for scale and export.
Lorge Chocolatier (Local Enterprise Office Kerry)
Lorge Chocolatier supplies a wide range of chocolates and confectionery to gourmet shops, including handmade truffles, bars, nougat and hot chocolate powder. It has two retail stores, one of which incorporates the factory where its beautiful products are made. Beloved at home, it ships confectionery worldwide through its website too.
QPQ (Local Enterprise Office Kildare)
Fintech innovator QPQ was founded in February 2018 to develop the kind of network infrastructure that enables the digital world. It is developing innovative proprietary technology such as its Digital Financial Network, dedicated to a future of democratised finance for all sizes of businesses globally.
LoanITT (Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny)
LoanITT is an innovative fintech that has become the largest credit intermediary of its kind in Ireland and provides technology-based solutions that improve the credit application process for consumers and financial institutions alike. Established in 2019, it currently employs 14 people, a figure set to rise to 45 by December 2021.
IntegriLeads (Local Enterprise Office Laois)
IntegriLeads is a lead generation company that schedules qualified appointments for the sales teams of companies within the IT sector. It works with clients all over the world and can take over their whole business development function or work on specific campaigns. Its appointment-setting helps ensure a sales team has more valuable conversations with decision makers in their target audience.
Dromod Boxty (Local Enterprise Office Leitrim)
Dromod Boxty has been producing high quality artisan products for 30 years across two generations. Aine Faughnan, who took over in 2015, has added youth and enthusiasm to the brand, helping to grow the business substantially. Dromod Boxty is available nationwide and exports to the UK & USA too.
Odyssey Studios (Local Enterprise Office Limerick)
Odyssey Studios is one of the largest permanent model and prop making studios in Europe. Its state of the art 9000 sq ft studio supplies blockbuster film and TV productions with miniature models, weapons, armour, props and prosthetic makeup. Odyssey’s next generation facility houses the latest in design and production technology including 3D Scanning, 3D modeling, 3D Printing, 7 Axis Robotic CNC machining and Laser Cutting equipment. It employs a world class team of human modelmakers, artists and designers too.
5Global (Local Enterprise Office Longford)
Education expert 5iveGlobal is behind innovative new education provider Longford International College. It offers blended online courses in business, sports and law, from diploma to doctoral degree level, and has been developed in conjunction with international learning institutions such as Leeds United College. Its accredited qualifications allow students to study from anywhere in the world.
Spoonful Botanical (Local Enterprise Office Louth)
Spoonful Botanical is a blend of highest quality medicinal grade herbs, spices and fermented fruits, including turmeric, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon and cayenne. The handmade product, which is designed to help combat inflammation in the body, is currently stocked in over 200 stores and pharmacies in Ireland and recently began exporting to the UK too.
Velvet Cloud (Local Enterprise Office Mayo)
Velvet Cloud produces sheep’s milk yogurt and cheese on the family farm. Its digestion-friendly products are available in over 100 Irish stores and are on the menu of the top restaurants across the country, including five Michelin-starred establishments. Velvet Cloud also sells direct to a loyal and growing customer base via its website.
Qualitas Electronics (Local Enterprise Office Meath)
Qualitas Electronics provides electronics assembly services to the tech sector, including PCB prototyping, low to mid volume production runs and consultancy. Its national and international clients come to the Duleek based business to access the kind of expert knowledge and experience that ensures effective collaboration from the very beginning of a project right through to the finished product.
Euro Stallions (Local Enterprise Office Offaly)
Euro Stallions is a stallion semen agency that enables breeders to access semen from top class stallions worldwide. Artificial reproduction makes it possible for semen to be chilled, frozen and used to inseminate a mare anywhere, removing the limits of logistics in horse breeding - a growing sector in Ireland.
Lidan Designs (Local Enterprise Office Roscommon)
Lidan Designs is a construction company specialising in highly energy-efficient buildings, from home offices to schools and housing. Its modular manufacturing system takes place off-site using sustainable materials and processes. The company operates nationwide for clients such as OPW Heritage Sites, Bus Eireann, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, the Department of Education and private sector clients such as the Castle Leslie Estate.
StoryLab (Local Enterprise Office Sligo)
StoryLab is a content and PR company which uses its heritage in quality journalism to tell companies’ stories and raise their profiles. Headquartered in Sligo, it provides quality written, visual, video and audio content for private companies and public sector organisations across the country and is currently working on expanding its client base outside Ireland too.
Complete Calibrations (Local Enterprise Office South Cork)
Complete Calibrations has been calibrating and supplying temperature measuring equipment to the food industry, and test weights to the pharmaceutical industry, since 2006. In the last few years it has leveraged research and development activities to automate the calibration processes within the laboratory, and developed new intuitive products to expand sales globally.
The Artisan Pizza Company (Local Enterprise Office South Dublin)
Since 2007, the Artisan Pizza Co. has manufactured and supplied superior quality artisan pizza bases fresh to the Irish market under the 'Pizza da Piero' brand. Its bases are handmade and par-baked in Rathcoole ready for the retail and foodservice sectors. Currently supplying all major retail multiples in Ireland, the company plans to develop a wider product range and export to the UK.
The Old Barracks Coffee Roastery (Local Enterprise Office Tipperary)
The Old Barracks Coffee Roasters is an artisan coffee roastery that specialises in the premium and specialty coffee sector. The company currently supplies coffee to a range of wholesale clients, as well as direct to consumer both online and through retail. It also offers much sought after coffee roasting demonstrations at its flagship store in Birdhill.
Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese (Local Enterprise Office Waterford)
Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese produces a selection of raw milk, artisan cheddar cheeses. A true farmhouse cheesemaker, it is free from artificial flavouring and preservatives. Products are sold via distributors to major retail chains, independent retailers and the food service sector in Ireland as well as to customers in UK, France, UAE and US.
Bevcraft Group (Local Enterprise Office Westmeath)
Bevcraft Group provides mobile canning and related ‘craft can’ products and services to craft beverage producers. Started in 2016, the business now operates from four facilities across Ireland, the UK and the Netherlands and is the largest such business in Europe. Bevcraft is currently handling over 20m cans a year.
Dulann (Local Enterprise Office Wexford)
Dulann is a highly effective digital transformation business that delivers efficient, compliant and safer workplaces via seamless and cost-effective cloud-based eLearning and online management systems. Clients to date have included well-known names such as Danone, Adare Manor, Jones Engineering and Boston Scientific.
Gravitie Data (Local Enterprise Office Wicklow)
Gravitie Data enables connected planning, forecasting and budgeting with immediate visual impacts. It cuts the complexity of financial calculations, administration and billing with proprietary formulas that empower users to act where and when it matters most, removing dependency on error prone or outdated systems and spreadsheets.
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