Tipperary companies encouraged to enter SFA National Small Business Awards 2017

The SFA National Small Business Awards 2017 have been officially launched by Awards Patron, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD.  Small firms (employing less than 50 people) have until 21 October to enter free of charge on www.sfa.ie/awards. 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 the Irish economy. Tipperary businesses are encouraged to enter the awards following the success of Tipperary company, Wood Energy Solutions which was Highly Commended in the Innovator of the Year Award in 2016.

Speaking at the launch, An Taoiseach said, “Small Firms have been central to Ireland’s recovery. I am delighted to support the SFA Awards again this year. Across Ireland there are thousands of people who go to work every day in small firms and they play an important role in our economy. It is fantastic to have these Awards to highlight the success of many Irish businesses and their constant drive to improve and seek new markets. The government will continue to support small firms and have made them a key part of our Regional Action Plan to spread the recovery to every region of Ireland.”

The Awards are free to enter and the prize package for ALL finalists includes an exhibition stand at the SFA National Small Business Showcase in the RDS in February 2017, a strategic management masterclass weekend, as well as broad-ranging national and local media coverage, valued at €50,000.  Finalists also receive five complementary tickets to the gala prize giving ceremony which will take place in the RDS in March 2017 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. 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) and a responsible business practices check-up and action plan from Business in the Community Ireland.

SFA Director, Patricia Callan commented, “The SFA has a vision of an Ireland, that has the most vibrant small business community in the world – supporting entrepreneurship, valuing small business and rewarding risk takers.  The SFA National Small Business Awards are a celebration of the achievements of the 238,000 small firms in Ireland, who collectively employ over 850,000 people, half the private sector workforce, and aim to promote excellence, achievement and innovation amongst small businesses in all sectors and parts of the country.”  

“We have to ensure Government focus on developing a pro business, progressive climate. This will allow us to create the environment where business and enterprise thrive, where risk is rewarded and where the subsequent wealth creation can be redistributed throughout society” concluded Ms Callan.


Entries to the awards will be accepted until 5.30pm on Friday, 21 October and entry forms are available online at www.sfa.ie/awards

The competition is open to all companies in Ireland with up to 50 employees and the categories are:
        Manufacturing — sponsored by Energia
        Food and Drink — sponsored by Bord Bia
        Services — sponsored by Three
        Outstanding Small Business — up to five employees, sponsored by AIB
        Innovator of the Year — sponsored by Enterprise Ireland
        Sustainable Energy – sponsored by Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
        Small Business Exporter of the Year – sponsored by DHL Express

In addition, the five best “Emerging New Businesses” (companies who are less than two years in existence) will be selected that have the potential to grow and have the ability to be an SFA National Small Business Award winner in the future; this category is supported by IE Domain Registry.

Skillnets are the Management Development Partner for the programme.

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