THE 31 finalists for this years National Enterprise Awards have been announced. The Local Enterprise Office initiative, now in it’s 22nd year, will take place on June 2 at the Mansion House in Dublin.
The finalists, who were all selected by their Local Enterprise Office as the most exceptional company in their local area for this year, represent a diverse range of businesses from all across the country and the awards will focus on specific areas such as Innovation, Start-Ups and Exporting along with eight regional awards as well as an overall National Enterprise Awards winner.
They will compete for a €50,000 prize fund, including a plant-based nutrition company (Phytaphix – LEO Louth), a sustainable vertical farming business (Farmony – LEO Fingal), a cutting edge animation company (Studio Meala – LEO Roscommon), a business that creates wellbeing through interior planning and design (Acoustic Interiors – LEO Offaly), a tracker that monitors a student’s potential during a school year (Athena Analytics – LEO Kerry) and a personalised sensory regulation system that helps students with neurodiversity or sensory needs (Cubbie – LEO Mayo).
This year sees the introduction of two new awards with the One To Watch Award which will be given to an up-and-coming business who has big plans for the future and the Green/Sustainability award for a company who has been outstanding in it’s commitment to sustainability. There will also be an Outstanding Achievement Award given to a person or company who have achieved exception success in the business world.
Padraic McElwee, chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices, said: “These Awards are an opportunity for us to celebrate and reward some of Ireland’s most outstanding small businesses. They have endured two of the most challenging economic years and having negotiated that are coming out stronger and looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.
“We have a fantastic array of finalists from all sectors with some great success stories. We look forward to crowning our winners this year and irrespective of who wins all these businesses are in a strong position to grow and succeed in the coming years.”
Previous winners of the National Enterprise Awards include Irish Yoghurts (1998), Obelisk (2000), Simtech Aviation (2008), Digiweb (2004), and Design Pro (2013), Terra NutriTech (2018), and Pestle & Mortar (2019). The last winners in 2021 were Bevcraft, who were supported by Local Enterprise Office Westmeath. Europe’s only mobile canning company have gone from strength to strength since winning the award and opening new hubs across the continent.
The National Enterprise Awards are one of a number of initiatives that the Local Enterprise Offices run, to foster entrepreneurship across the country. Others include Local Enterprise Week, the Student Enterprise Programme, National Women’s Enterprise Day, and Local Enterprise Showcase.
The Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities are funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland.
Established in 2014, the Local Enterprise Offices are the 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. Since their inception eight years ago, the Local Enterprise Offices have helped create over 20,000 jobs across the country.
The LEOs work with thousands of client companies across Ireland in a diverse range of sectors offering mentoring, training, expert advice, and financial support to small businesses.
For more information see www.LocalEnterprise.ie
Among the finalists are:
Smart Routes – Local Enterprise Office Cork City: SmartRoutes is a total delivery management software for anyone from small businesses to large logistics teams. It allows you to plan and optimise your routes while tracking drivers and capturing proof of delivery.
RetroKit – Local Enterprise Office Cork North & West: RetroKit provides software solutions to local authorities, housing associations, one-stop shops, and sustainable energy communities in Ireland. The RetroKit platform was designed by our team of six energy and software engineers based in West Cork. RetroKit’s vision is to be the best-in-class tool supporting retrofitting in Europe.
Ground Wellbeing – Local Enterprise Office South Cork: Handmade at the kitchen table in lockdown, GROUND Wellbeing was born in a quest to make sustainable self-care accessible to all.
These oils & balms are 100% natural, aromatherapy products blended to relieve anxiety, insomnia, and menopause. Stocked nationally in Brown Thomas and partnered with Ireland’s finest Spas including The Europe, The Shelbourne, KClub, Mount Juliet, Hayfield Manor, Fota Resort, and Ground Wellbeing offers the best in holistic treatments for sleep, grounding, gut health & pregnancy, now showcased internationally at The Rosewood Hong Kong & Madrid and The Waldorf Astoria in Edinburgh.