The National Enterprise Awards – Finalists Announced
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.”
Last year’s winner Pestle & Mortar, backed by Local Enterprise Office Kildare, was founded by Sonia Deasy (pictured) and her husband Padraig. Pestle & Mortar has become one of Ireland’s best-known skincare companies and is now a client of Enterprise Ireland.
“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.” Sonia Deasy
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. For more information visit here>>
For a list of finalists please visit here>>