Three Tipperary companies named as finalists in SFA National Small Business Awards 2019

The finalists in the SFA National Small Business Awards 2019 have been officially announced by Sue O’Neill, SFA Chair and Chair of the SFA Awards Judging Panel. The aim of the awards is to celebrate the achievements of small business in Ireland, and to recognise the vital contribution of the small business sector to Irish industry.

“The response to the awards programme serves as a reminder that Irish small companies are resilient, putting their best foot forward and seeking recognition for their efforts” commented Sue O’Neill. “As well as our seven award categories we also feature five of the best Emerging New Businesses (less than two years established) and I must say that given the quality of the businesses represented this year, entrepreneurship is alive and well in Ireland.

“The SFA National Small Business Awards are now entering their fifteenth year and are a celebration of the achievements of the 245,000 small firms in Ireland, who collectively employ 700,000 people, half the private sector workforce. The Awards aim to promote excellence, achievement and innovation amongst small businesses in all sectors and parts of the country. The companies that have been announced as finalists this year represent all that is good about small business” said O’Neill.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, TD, who is Patron of the Awards, stated that: “The SME sector is crucial to the success of the Irish economy making a huge contribution to jobs and economic growth. Each of these jobs is the result of enterprising and determined people who have turned ideas into businesses, creating employment and injecting life into our cities, towns and villages. These owner managers and their employees work incredibly hard and make an important contribution to their local communities and our economy. The SFA National Small Business Awards are a great way to showcase the many success stories. They provide a fantastic opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of small firms across the different sectors.”

38 companies have been selected as finalists, from 14 different counties, across 8 categories.

Three of the finalist companies are Tipperary-based:


  • Blanco Niňo – Manufacturing, Food and Drink and Exporter of the Year
  • FRS Training – Services
  • Horan Automation and Consulting – Outstanding Small Business

The Awards prize package for ALL finalists includes participation in the SFA Business Connect event in February, a strategic management masterclass weekend, as well as broad-ranging national and local media coverage, all valued at €50,000. Finalists also receive five complementary tickets to the gala prize giving ceremony which will take place in the RDS in February 2019 when the category winners and overall winner will be announced.

The category winners will be presented with a trophy and free membership of the Small Firms Association for one year. The overall winner will also receive a bursary of €5,000 to present to a charity of their choice (funded by the 2013 Overall Winner, Megazyme International Ireland).


MANUFACTURING CATEGORY FINALISTS (up to 50 employees), sponsored by Bord Gais Energy:


Big Red Barn

Blueacre Technology

Mahon Windows

Connexicon Medical


Blanco Niňo

FOOD & DRINK CATEGORY FINALISTS (up to 50 employees), sponsored by Bord Bia:


Airport View Hotel and Secret Spa

Arctic Stone Ice Cream

Blanco Niňo

Fenit Fruit & Veg

Revive Active

The Foods of Athenry


SERVICES CATEGORY FINALISTS (up to 50 employees), sponsored by Three:


Company Bureau Formations

Contracting PLUS

Enviroguide Consulting

FRS Training

ICON Accounting

Ryan’s Pharmacy

OUTSTANDING SMALL BUSINESS FINALISTS (up to five employees), sponsored by One4All:


GB Innovation

Horan Automation and Consulting

NP Liquid Glass Systems

Pop Up Races

SME Sales

Trefoil Controls


INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR FINALISTS (up to 50 employees), sponsored by permanent tsb:



NVP Energy

Oriel Marine Extracts




SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FINALISTS (up to 50 employees), sponsored by Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland:


M & C Hyvrid Energy

M50 Concession

NVP Energy

KORE Insulation

EXPORTER OF THE YEAR FINALISTS (up to 50 employees), sponsored by Enterprise Ireland:


Blanco Niňo

Blueacre Technology

Connexicon Medical


Prodigy Learning


EMERGING NEW BUSINESSES (up to 50 employees and under 2 years in business), sponsored by IE Domain Registry:




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