Celebrating the National Enterprise Awards

The National Enterprise Awards celebrate 20 years of this nationwide competition this month at a ceremony in Dublin’s Mansion House.

Figures released this week show that previous winners of this 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 on the day, to highlight the successes of small businesses around the country. Since winning, 11 of the companies have scaled-up their businesses to become Enterprise Ireland clients. 

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Celebrating Success Stories

The Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen T.D., will be presenting the awards on the night.  “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.”

Minister Visits Simtech Aviation

To highlight ‘20 years of winners’, Minister Breen visited Simtech Aviation in Fingal this week, which clinched the national title in 2008. 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 the visit to Simtech, Minister Breen met with Breda Fox and representatives from five of the 31 companies that have reached this year’s National Final, including Galway’s Joint-IT. 

Inspiring Local Companies in Galway

Breda Fox with Local Enterprise Office Galway 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. These achievements deserve to be celebrated on a national scale and we know they will inspire other local companies here in Galway.”

Galway Finalist Joint-IT Ltd.

Galway is being represented at the 2018 National Enterprise Awards by the team from Joint-IT, a ready-mixed jointing compound manufacturer. They operate from their 28,000 square foot factory in Milltown, County Galway. In all, 31 finalists, one from every local authority area, will compete for a share of the €40,000 prize fund on Thursday.

Martin Fox, Managing Director, Joint-IT is looking forward to the ceremony. “We are proud that Joint-It has been chosen to represent Galway in the finals of the National Enterprise Awards for 2018 and we are looking forward to the Awards event on Thursday night. We hope we can bring a national award back to Galway for Joint-It and Galway LEO. We had great support from Breda Fox and the Galway LEO team.” 

“Since the start, we’ve really enjoyed the application and judging process and we’ve met some great people. It’s always interesting to hear about how other businesses are growing and how they are approaching their issues and challenges, even if we are competing against them all in the national finals.”

“Our successful application for a business expansion grant enabled us to move to our factory in Milltown and we doubled our workforce to 10 staff, with more jobs being created this year. Lean manufacturing mentoring helped us to design our production process to best-practice standards and we now export to 9 countries including the US, India and Israel, as well as European countries France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.”

Award Catagories and Prize Fund

Awards include one overall winner, cash prize €10,000; Best Export Business, cash prize €5,000; Best Start Up Business, cash prize €5,000; Innovation Award, cash prize €5,000 and eight Regional Winners who will each win a cash prize of €2,000 each.

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 are available through LocalEnterprise.ie