Taoiseach to attend National Enterprise Awards on May 25

National Enterprise Awards – run by the Local Enterprise Offices - celebrate achievements of Ireland’s micro-enterprises and small businesses.


The Taoiseach has been invited by the Local Enterprise Offices to present awards at the annual enterprise competition, alongside Minister Mitchell O’ Connor and Minister Breen in the Mansion House in Dublin.


The awards were set-up in 1997 to celebrate the achievements of Ireland’s micro-enterprises and small businesses and 32 finalists from all over the country have won a place at this year’s national final.


The Taoiseach said: “The National Enterprise Awards provide an opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of micro and small enterprises located all around our country.


They have played an important role in Ireland’s economic recovery and will continue to contribute to Ireland’s future economic growth and job creation. Ireland's unemployment has dropped from over 15.4% to 6.2% and continues to fall.


Micro and small enterprises provide employment in every village, town and city across this country which is why the Regional Action Plan for Jobs places a focus on this area. Government will continue to work with business of all size to cement the recovery which is well underway.”


Minister Mary Mitchell O’ Connor said: “These innovative businesses at the National Enterprise Awards are led by people who are serious about their ambition, who are taking real risks and making real sacrifices to achieve success all over the world. As the backbone of our economy, micro-enterprises and small businesses are making a huge contribution to their local communities and to the economy at large by creating jobs and I look forward to meeting them all on May 25th.”


Minister Pat Breen commented “I am delighted to attend the National Enterprise Awards on May 25th. The Awards are a great opportunity to showcase the exceptional talent and capability that exists in micro and small businesses right around the country. These successful entrepreneurs are an inspiration to others who are thinking of starting a business. And an important message from this event is that there is support out there, starting with your Local Enterprise Office”.


Sheelagh Daly, Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices welcomed the news, saying: “Micro-enterprises, companies that employ up to ten people, make a crucial contribution to the economy and account for over 90% of all businesses in Ireland. The Local Enterprise Offices are the ‘first-stop-shop’ for micro-enterprises and we want to celebrate and highlight their achievements. At the National Enterprise Awards on May 25th, we are honoured that the Taoiseach, Minister Mitchell O’ Connor and Minister Breen will be meeting some of Ireland’s most successful and inspiring small businesses from all over the country.”


Awards will be presented to eight regional winners, three category winners and one overall winner with a prize fund of €40,000 available. Last year’s winner was Mark Clendennen from Applied Concepts in Offaly, who manufacturers and exports abrasive blasting machines to Europe and South America.


The list of 2017 finalists for the National Enterprise Awards and details for all the supports available to micro-enterprises can be found at www.localenterprise.ie.


The Local Enterprise Offices are co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020.


Full list of finalists (by region) for the 2017 National Enterprise Awards (#NEAwards)

Organised by the Local Enterprise Offices in local authoritieswww.localenterprise.ie


Dublin RegionDublin (City) Pink Kong Studios www.pinkkongstudios.ie Original story-driven animated content Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Moontour www.moontour.ie Irish-language adventure camp Dublin (Fingal) Hope Beer www.hopebeer.ie Award-winning craft beers South Dublin Acutrace www.acutrace.com Energy-management software and hardware

South West RegionClare Core Optimisation Ltd www.coreoptimisation.com Digital growth specialists Kerry Irish Host Family Ltd www.irishhostfamily.ie Links language students with families Limerick Student Programmes Ireland Ltd www.spil.ie Tailormade education for European students Tipperary MediSkin www.mediskin.ie Laser, skincare and wellbeing solutions

Mid East RegionKildare Broghies Ireland www.broghiesireland.com Healthy, tasty and versatile snacks Laois Infrastruct AMS Limited www.infrastruct.ie Structural testing and investigation services Offaly Dezynamite www.dezynamite.com Graphic design, websites and printing Westmeath Lift Hire Ireland www.lifthireireland.com Van, truck and trailer-mounted lifts

South RegionCork (City) Rebel Chilli www.rebelchilli.com Award-winning fresh chilli sauces Cork (N & W) Enibas Jewellery www.enibas.com Designs and manufactures jewellery collections South Cork Polar IceTech www.polaricetech.ie Dry ice blasting specialists Waterford Pip and Pear www.pipandpear.ie Irish-made chilled baby food

South East RegionCarlow McNally Denture Clinic www.mcnallydentureclinic.ie Full denture services and clinic Kilkenny Greensbridge Engineering Ltd www.greensbridge.ie High-quality precision engineering Wexford Scup Gelato www.scupgelato.com Handcrafted luxury gelatos and sorbets Wicklow Goldfish.ie www.goldfish.ie Cloud-based telecoms provider

North West RegionDonegal Silver Birch Gallery www.sharonmcdaid.com Original paintings, mixed-media and prints Leitrim Jinny’s Bakery www.jinnysbakery.com Handmade bread, cakes and puddings Longford Purpledecks Ltd. www.purpledecks.com Enterprise App developer and consultancy Sligo Studyclix www.studyclix.ie E-learning tool for second-level students

North East RegionCavan Moran's Megajam Ltd www.moranshomestore.com Artisan jams, chutneys and pestos Louth Aphix Software Ltd www.aphixsoftware.com Software solutions for wholesalers Meath Hexafly www.hexafly.co Develops sustainable natural commodities Monaghan RAMfit Ltd www.ramfit.com Training products for fitness

West RegionGalway (City) 9th Impact www.9thimpact.com Action games for mobile phones Galway (County) IMS Marketing www.imsmarketing.ie Dedicated technical marketing company Mayo Monaghan Bros Bar Furniture www.barfurniture.net Furniture for the hospitality industry Roscommon PJ Fallon & Son www.pjfallon.ie Tools, garage and lifting equipment