An Taoiseach Launches 15th SFA National Small Business Awards

Monday, 3 September 2018

    An Taoiseach Launches 15th SFA National Small Business Awards
    Search is on for best small business in Ireland

The SFA National Small Business Awards 2019 have been officially launched by Awards Patron, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD. 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 community to the Irish economy.

Small firms (employing less than 50 people) have from 3 September until 19 October 2018 to enter free of charge on

Speaking at the launch, An Taoiseach said, “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.”

SFA Director, Sven Spollen-Behrens commented, “Today we launch the 15th edition of the SFA National Small Business Awards. The last 15 years have seen dramatically changing fortunes for our economy. Through it all, small businesses have remained the backbone of the Irish economy, showing great commitment, resilience and innovation. These awards are an important recognition of the achievements of small businesses and an opportunity to celebrate their success. Previous overall winners have come from each of the four provinces and from sectors such as food, manufacturing, biotechnology and many others. The search is now on to find the best small business in Ireland for 2019.”

The Awards are free to enter and the prize package for ALL finalists is valued at €50,000. It includes a strategic management masterclass weekend, exhibition space at a major business conference, as well as broad-ranging national and local media coverage. Finalists also receive five complementary tickets to the gala prize giving ceremony which will take place in the RDS in March 2019 when the category winners and overall winner will be announced. The category winners will be presented with a trophy and one year’s 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).


For interviews contact: Sven Spollen-Behrens, SFA Director, tel: 01 605 1602 or 087 160 9403 or e-mail:


Photographs from the launch of the Awards are available on request from Gillian O’Keefe, SFA Executive, tel: 01 605 1664 / 087 352 2347 or e-mail

Entries to the awards will be accepted until 5.30pm on Friday, 19 October, and entry forms are available online at

The competition is open to all companies in Ireland with up to 50 employees and the categories are:

    Food and Drink
    Outstanding Small Business — up to five employees,
    Innovator of the Year
    Sustainable Energy
    Small Business Exporter of the Year
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.

The National Small Firms Awards 2019 are supported by Bord Bia, Bord Gais Energy, Enterprise Ireland, IE.Domain Ireland, One4All, SEAI, Skillnet Ireland and Three Mobile. Independent Newspapers are the media partner.