New Awards for Small Business at Ploughing

The first-ever ‘Local Enterprise Village Awards’ will be presented next week by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D., when she officially opens the Local Enterprise Village at the Ploughing Championships in Tullamore.

Organised by the Local Enterprise Offices, the six prize categories are: ‘Visual Display’, ‘Consumer Product’, ‘Consumer Service’, ‘Food and Drink’ along with two ‘Vision’ Awards and judging will be carried out by Enterprise Ireland.

A total of 84 small companies will be judged in this year’s competition, as they showcase their products and services inside the Local Enterprise Village at Europe’s largest outdoor event, which attracted 281,000 visitors last year.

Speaking about the new award competition, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D. said: “I am delighted to be presenting these new ‘Local Enterprise Village Awards’ which are being introduced by the Local Enterprise Offices this year to highlight the achievements of small businesses across the country, who contribute to Ireland’s rural economy. By highlighting their achievements, I want to encourage others to start their own business and become entrepreneurs as more entrepreneurs starting their businesses which will further enhance our economy by creating more quality jobs right across Ireland. I look forward to meeting this year’s winners at the Local Enterprise Village at the National Ploughing Championships.”

Kieran Comerford of the Local Enterprise Offices said: “The idea behind the Local Enterprise Village Awards is to put small businesses and start-ups into the national spotlight during the Ploughing Championships, which has grown into Europe’s largest outdoor event. There’s also a new product launch and demonstration area inside the Local Enterprise Village, to give SMEs the ideal platform to unveil new products and services to the wider public.”

Julie Sinnamon, CEO Enterprise Ireland added: “The Local Enterprise Village Awards is an opportunity for young businesses to showcase their unique and innovative product and service offerings. The level of interest expressed in this the first year of the awards is a very positive indication of the level of innovation taking place across a broad range of sectors. Enterprise Ireland welcomes the initiative and looks forward to learning about the projects showcased and hopefully working with the exhibitors as they grow and develop their businesses in the future.”

Tom Murphy, Wicklow County Council, reiterated the commitment of the Local Authorities to supporting small business. He said: “The LEOs working within the local authorities are playing a vital role in ensuring balanced regional development and job creation. Facilitating small businesses to gain exposure to their target market at an event, like the National Ploughing Championships, is fundamental to the type of support offered by the LEOs, which is all about assisting local businesses to grow, becoming profitable, sustainable and employing people at local level.” 

More details around the Local Enterprise Village, which will be located at Stand Number 765, Row 32 in Block 4, are available through and by searching #localenterprise on social media. The 85th Annual National Ploughing Championships run over three days, from Tuesday September 20th to Thursday 22nd in Tullamore, Co. Offaly and tickets are on sale through