20 years of winners to be celebrated at National Enterprise Awards with Louth finalist competing for 2018 title

Press Release                                                                        18th May 2018


20 years of winners to be celebrated at National Enterprise Awards with Louth finalist competing for 2018 title


Figures released this week 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, including Local Enterprise Office Louth, 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 this week, 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.


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 on Thursday, May 24th.  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 and he 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.”


Thomas McEvoy with Local Enterprise Office Louth 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 all over the country, have a turnover of over €131 million per annum and have €58 million in exports to 52 countries. These achievements deserve to be celebrated on a national scale and we know they will inspire other local companies here in Louth too.”

Colm Markey, Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council said: “Louth County Council and Local Enterprise Office Louth are looking forward to a wonderful evening at the National Enterprise Awards and wish the team at Celtic Testing the very best as they compete for this prestigious title.”

 Celtic Testing NEA 2018

Louth is being represented at the 2018 National Enterprise Awards by Nicole Carey from Celtic Testing Experts (Ireland) in Dundalk.  The company, which was set-up in 2014 employs 9 people and supplies lean IT project delivery services. In all, 31 finalists, one from every local authority area, will be competing for a share of the €40,000 prize fund on May 24th.


The Louth finalist will be supported in the Mansion House by Cathaoirleach of Louth County Council, Colm Markey, Frank Pentony, Director of Services, Louth County Council and  Thomas McEvoy, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Louth,.

 NEA Launch 2018-group

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 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 are available through www.localenterprise.ie.