Mullingar company gears up for National Enterprise Awards 2021



Join us on Thursday, February 11th for the National Enterprise Awards 2021 - the event will be streamed live HERE

Mullingar-based business hoping for glory at first virtual National Enterprise Awards

One of Westmeath’s most innovative businesses, Bevcraft Group, is gearing up for this year’s National Enterprise Awards, which will take place virtually on the 11th February. The prestigious awards, now in their 22nd year, will be streamed live for the first time due to ongoing COVID restrictions.


Bevcraft Group, which is headquartered at Mullingar Business Park, has been selected to represent Local Enterprise Office Westmeath at the awards and will compete against 29 other finalists, each representing their own Local Enterprise Office, for a prize fund totaling €50,000.

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The company, run by Ciaran Gorman and Darren Fenton, provides mobile canning and related ‘craft can’ products and services to craft beverage producers. Established in 2016, the business now operates from four facilities across Ireland, the UK and the Netherlands and is the largest business of its kind in Europe. Bevcraft is on track to handle over 50 million cans this year.


The finalists, selected by the Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities, represent a diverse range of businesses that are supported by the LEOs across the country. The awards celebrate small businesses and include awards that recognise excellence in exporting, sustainability and innovation along with 8 regional awards and an overall National Enterprise Awards winner.


This year also sees the addition of two new award categories that reflect the challenging business conditions that companies have faced in 2020. The Pivot Award will be presented to a company who has successfully pivoted their business in the face of challenging conditions in the last 12 months. The Brexit Ready Award will be presented to a company who have excelled in their preparation for Brexit particularly where it would have created specific challenges for them as a business.  


Bevcraft Group has experienced the challenges of Brexit first-hand. Ciarán Gorman says: ‘Aluminum sheet metal is manufactured in the EU and converted into cans for the Irish market in the UK. There are no can-making plants in Ireland, and prior to Brexit the haulage cost from a continental plant to Ireland compared to a UK plant was double the cost. For this reason, the Irish supply chain is very dependent on the UK and although we stocked up hugely prior to 1st January; we’ve already seen huge delays on haulage be-tween the two countries.’


Despite the challenges of Brexit and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Ciarán and Darren are optimistic for the future. Darren says: ‘Over the coming year, we will open our 4th and 5th facilities which will greatly expand our can decoration capabilities, the range of products and formats we can package - and boost overall capacity. We expect our total headcount to jump from 16 to closer to 25-30 across the business in the coming 12 to 18 months.’

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Minister for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD, said; “Through the National Enterprise Awards we celebrate the very best in small local companies who are leading in their field of business expertise.   Over the past 20 years the awards have been the benchmark for excellence in micro-enterprise across the country. Looking at the list of winners, finalists and participants through the years it is easy to be inspired by our talented businesses and people who are the backbone of outstanding Irish entrepreneurs, many of whom are trading successfully across the globe. This year’s finalists are no different with some exceptional companies shortlisted. The very best of luck to all finalists and no doubt they will continue to grow beyond this and become part of Ireland’s growing international business community.    


Previous winners of the National Enterprise Awards have included Irish Yoghurts (1998), Obelisk (2000), Simtech Aviation (2008), Digiweb (2004) and Design Pro (2013), Terra NutriTech (2018) and the last winners in 2019, Pestle & Mortar, backed by Local Enterprise Office Kildare. Founded by Sonia Deasy and her husband Padraig, Pestle & Mortar has become one of Ireland’s best-known skincare companies and is now a client of Enterprise Ireland. Having sold out on QVC in the US in just 7 minutes, Pestle & Mortar products now sit on the shelves in some of the world’s most high-end retail outlets.  


Sonia Deasy, co-founder of Pestle & Mortar, on the benefits of winning the award in 2019; “Every bit of exposure we got led to an increase in business, whether direct from consumers or from stockists. It’s very good if you are going on the investment trail. If you are calling somewhere, people are more likely to know you and you are more likely to be seen.” It can even facilitate entry to overseas markets. “We are in 32 countries now and, when it comes to meetings with distributors, we find that in countries such as China, they love awards, so it’s a huge help.”


Christine Charlton, Head of Enterprise with LEO Westmeath said; “The National Enterprise Awards are very much a benchmark for excellence for small businesses across the country. It is much more than just awards. The businesses involved avail of mentoring and guidance as the process develops and generate connections and leads from other businesses along the way. They also receive signposting for their business helping them to move their company forward, irrespective of whether they win an award. Those who do take part always see the benefit, our winners are now employing over 830 people and are exporting across the world with annual revenues in excess of €130million. The class of 2020 looks to be well prepared to follow in their path.”


The National Enterprise Awards are one of several initiatives that the Local Enterprise Offices run to foster entrepreneurship across the country. Others include Local Enterprise Week, the Student Enterprise Programme and National Women’s Enterprise Day.


The Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities are funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland. Established in 2014, LEOs are an essential resource for any entrepreneur looking to start a business or any small business that is looking for support or advice to help them grow. The LEOs work with over 7,000 client companies across Ireland in a diverse range of sectors offering mentoring, training, expert advice and financial supports to small businesses. For more information, and to watch the awards live at 6pm on February 11th, visit

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Want to learn more about Bevcraft? Read their success story HERE