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How to apply

Applications for the 2021 programme are now closed - check back in September 2021 to apply for the next programme

The SFA National Small Business Awards competition is open to all companies in Ireland with up to 50 employees and there is a wide range of categories to suit all sectors – including a category for companies with under five employees and newly formed businesses.

There are no entry fees to enter any categories in these awards and all short-listed companies receive five invited places to attend the Gala Awards Ceremony which is held in the RDS in March 2021 (TBD following Covid-19). A generous prize package of €50,000 is awarded to all short-listed finalists throughout the programme with additional prizes for the overall winner. View a copy of the Awards brochure attached below.

Why enter?

As these awards celebrate excellence, achievement and innovation in small business this is your opportunity to promote and showcase your business and enhance your credibility both internationally and nationally through the extensive PR and media profile these awards attract. Companies are regularly featured in national and local press and radio. Previous SFA award winners have also featured in European SME week publications. These awards also provide companies with a vehicle to recognise the valuable commitment that employees make to the organisation by highlighting their contribution and achievement.

Entry Requirements
Award entrants must comply with the following entry criteria:
  • All small businesses may enter up to a maximum of 50 employees. (This includes staff employed in the company on a fixed-term contract basis in excess of 12 months, and part-time staff who work in excess of 20 hours per week but excluding temporary agency workers).
  • Be in operation at least 2 years in the Republic of Ireland for all categories except the Emerging New Business category which is only open to companies who are within 2 years of starting their business.
  • Not be a branch of another business.
  • Franchises can enter.
  • Businesses can enter more than one category.
  • Businesses/individuals can nominate themselves or be nominated by other associated professionals (e.g. professional advisers, training providers, accountants etc.).

To enter

Complete the application linked to the category you are entering on the "Enter Awards" page. If you are entering more than one category you must submit a separate application form for each category. To see the different categories available to enter please click here.
The entry process requires you to provide information under five headings:
  1. Your company profile and confirm the category you wish to enter
  2. Your company description
  3. Why you deserve to win this award
  4. How you have coped with the impacts of Covid-19
  5. Financial Information

You can "save & resume" the application as you fill it out (note: you must complete and submit the application within 14 days before it expires). When you have competed and submitted your application, you will receive a confirmation email with a copy of your application - please save this for your own records.

The deadline to apply has been extended to Tuesday, 27 October 2020 at 5pm.

Awards Patron

The SFA Awards are recognised by government as an acknowledgement of the contribution small business makes to our economy and its future success. As patron, An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD is fully supportive of the awards programme.