National Enterprise Awards Finalists Announced

24th May 2022

Posted In: FYI

The 31 Finalists for this years National Enterprise Awards were announced today in Dublin.  The Local Enterprise Office initiative, now in it’s 22nd year, will take place on the 2nd June at the Mansion House in Dublin.

The Finalists, who were all selected by their Local Enterprise Office as the most exceptional company in their local area for this year, represent a diverse range of businesses from all across the country and the awards will focus on specific areas such as Innovation, Start-Ups and Exporting along with eight regional awards as well as an overall National Enterprise Awards winner.

The Finalists, who will compete for a €50,000 prize fund, include a plant based nutrition company (Phytaphix – LEO Louth), a sustainable vertical farming business (Farmony – LEO Fingal), a cutting edge animation company (Studio Meala – LEO Roscommon), a business that creates wellbeing through interior planning and design (Acoustic Interiors – LEO Offaly), a tracker that monitors a student’s potential during a school year (Athena Analytics – LEO Kerry) and a personalised sensory regulation system that helps students with neurodiversity or sensory needs (Cubbie – LEO Mayo).

This year sees the introduction of two new awards with the One To Watch Award that will be given to an up and coming business who have big plans for the future and the Green / Sustainability award for the company who has been outstanding in it’s commitment to sustainability.  There will also be an Outstanding Achievement Award given to person or company who have achieved exception success in the business world.

Padraic McElwee, chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices, said; These Awards are an opportunity for us to celebrate and reward some of Ireland’s most outstanding small businesses.  They have endured two of the most challenging economic years and having negotiated that are coming out stronger and looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.  We have a fantastic array of finalists from all sectors with some great success stories.   We look forward to crowning our winners this year and irrespective of who wins all these businesses are in a strong position to grow and succeed in the coming years.”

Previous winners of the National Enterprise Awards include Irish Yoghurts (1998), Obelisk (2000), Simtech Aviation (2008), Digiweb (2004) and Design Pro (2013), Terra NutriTech (2018) and Pestle & Mortar (2019).  The last winners in 2021 were Bevcraft, who were supported by Local Enterprise Office Westmeath.  Europe’s only mobile canning company have gone from strength to strength since winning the award opening new hubs across the continent.

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, National Women’s Enterprise Day and Local Enterprise Showcase. The Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities are funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland.

Reaching the final: (l-r) Siobhan Leonard, Co-Founder of Acorn Star – Kildare; Dr. Conor Kerley, Founder of Phytafix – Louth; Ann Rudden, Founder of Áines Chocolates – Cavan (Pic: Julien Behal Photography).