20 years of winners to be celebrated at National Enterprise Awards

Press Release                                                                                                           17th May 2018


20 years of winners to be celebrated at National Enterprise Awards with South Dublin 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 South Dublin, 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 South Dublin based company Acutrace (2017), 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.”


Colm Ward with Local Enterprise Office South Dublin 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 South Dublin too.”



South Dublin LEO is being represented at the 2018 National Enterprise Awards by Joanne & James Davey from Absolute Nutrition in Rathcoole.  The company, which was set-up in 2014 employs 7 people are the producers of award winning paleo, protein and high energy snacks and treats. 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 South Dublin finalist will be supported in the Mansion House by the Deputy Mayor for South Dublin County Council Cllr Breeda Bonner,  Colm Ward, Head of Enterprise for LEO South Dublin and Amanda Mills Senior Enterprise Development Officer for LEO South Dublin.

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.


For more information and media requests, please contact your Local Enterprise Office



Previous National Enterprise Award Winners

Celebrating 20 Years of Winners in 2018


Year     Company                                             Local Enterprise Office

1998    Irish Yogurts Ltd                                  Cork North and West

1999    Glass & Cladding Technology                         Meath

2000    Obelisk Communications                    Cavan

2001    Midland Precision Tool & Die                         Roscommon

2002    The Hot Irishman                                Carlow

2003    Grouse Lodge Recording Studios Ltd Westmeath

2004    Digiweb                                               Louth

2005    IFS Ltd                                                  Fingal

2006    Modern Timber Homes Ltd                Donegal

2007    Crannagh & Co                                   Cavan

2008    Simtech Aviation                                 Fingal

2009    Callan Technology Ltd                        Clare

2010    ABC Nutrition Ltd                                Clare

2011    Running Gear Ltd T/A Agrispread      Mayo

2012    Innovate                                              Wexford

2013    Design Pro                                           Limerick

2015    MyBio Ltd                                            Kilkenny

2016    Applied Concepts Ltd                          Offaly

2017    Acutrace                                              South Dublin


There were no National Enterprise Awards in 2014 due to the setting up of the Local Enterprise Offices and the dissolution of the County and City Enterprise Boards that year.


*Survey: Source Local Enterprise Offices (March/April 2018)


Figures compiled by the Local Enterprise Offices in March-April 2018 show that previous winners of the National Enterprise Awards:

-          Now employ 832 people in total

-          Generate €131,314,281 in annual turnover

-          Export sales are worth €58,353,000 to 52 countries

-          11 former winners have scaled up to become Enterprise Ireland clients


National Enterprise Awards 2018

Award Categories and Prize Fund

The 2018 National Enterprise Awards take place on May 24th in the Mansion House in Dublin and are organised by the Local Enterprise Offices

  • Overall Winner, National Enterprise Awards 2017 (Cash Prize for business: €10,000)
  • Best Export Business (Cash Prize for business: €5,000)
  • Best Start Up Business (Cash Prize for business: €5,000)
  • Innovation Award (Cash Prize for business: €5,000)
  • Eight Regional Winners (Cash Prize for business: €2,000 each)
    • Regions:
      • Dublin City, Fingal, Dún Laoghaire- Rathdown and South Dublin
      • Kildare, Laois, Offaly and Westmeath
      • Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny
      • Louth, Meath, Cavan and Monaghan
      • Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim and Longford
      • Galway, Mayo and Roscommon
      • Clare, Limerick, Kerry and Tipperary
      • Cork City, South Cork, Cork North & West and Waterford

Absolute nutrition 1 Absolute Nutrition 2

Absolute nutrition

Absolute Nutrition 4 

Full list of all National Enterprise Award Finalists for 2018


Dublin City Usheru www.usheru.com Direct ticketing for film distributors


Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown iReach www.ireachhq.com Research and market intelligence specialists


Fingal WeBringg www.webringg.com 90-minute online sales delivery service


South Dublin Absolute Nutrition Ltd www.absolutenutrition.ie Healthy snacks and treats

South West Region

Clare Get the Shifts Ltd www.gettheshifts.com Skilled, temporary hospitality staff


Kerry Ballyhar Foods www.ballyharfoods.ie Wholesale baked goods producer


Limerick Eastway Remote Monitoring Ltd www.eastwaytech.com Online, machine failure monitoring systems


Tipperary Horizon Offsite Ltd www.horizonos.ie Light-gauge steel building system manufacturer


Kildare Terra Liquid Minerals www.tlm.ie Smart liquid mineral injection system provider


Laois Cyc-Lok Ltd www.cyc-lok.ie Suppliers of access-controlled bike parking lockers


Offaly Intellicom Ireland Ltd www.intellicom.ie Telecommunications service provider


Westmeath Irish Craft Canning www.craftcanning.ie Irish craft beverage process and packaging services

South Region

Cork City Remote Signals www.remotesignals.ie Sensors to connect remote assets


Cork North & West Blacks of Kinsale www.blacksbrewery.com Independent micro-brewery and distillery


South Cork Ecanvasser www.ecanvasser.com Political canvassing software


Waterford Blackwater Distillery www.blackwaterdistillery.ie Irish distillery famous for gin

South East Region


Carlow Burren Precast Concrete www.carlowconcrete.com Attenuation and flood alleviation tanks manufacturer


Kilkenny Glanway Ltd www.glanway.ie Waste processing and recycling facility


Wexford Coatek www.coatek.ie Glass coating and films suppliers


Wicklow Asistec www.asistec.ie Solutions for cell storage and growth

North West Region

Donegal Niche Specialist Staffing Partners www.nichessp.com International recruitment firm for construction estimators


Leitrim Global Green Sustainability www.globalgreensustainability.com Sustainability consultancy firm


Longford Lir Analytical Ltd www.liragri.com Dairy bio-security products manufacturer


Sligo Wilderness Ireland Ltd www.wildernessireland.com Adventure and wilderness experience tour operator

North East Region

Cavan Veltig Ireland www.veltig.com Consulting and development services


Louth Celtic Testing Experts (Ireland) Ltd www.celtictesting.com Lean IT project delivery service providers


Meath BSG Design Ltd www.bsgdesign.ie High-end bespoke joinery manufacturer


Monaghan Avail www.availsupport.ie Mobile healthcare solution for those

with learning difficulties

West Region

Galway Joint-IT www.jointit.com Ready-mixed jointing compound manufacturer


Mayo Buymedia www.buymedia.ie Advertising planning, management and measurement


Roscommon Black Donkey Brewing Ltd www.blackdonkeybeer.com Producer of Irish traditional farmhouse beers