Friday, 6 September 2019
The SFA National Small Business Awards 2020 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 5 September until 18 October 2019 to enter free of charge on www.sfa.ie/awards.
Speaking at the launch, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “Small and medium businesses make a huge contribution to the Irish economy and the SFA awards are a fabulous and timely opportunity to recognise the talent and innovation in the Irish SME sector. Many small businesses are concerned about the impact of Brexit. Hundreds of millions of euro of finance is available through Government agencies and there’s also a wealth of information and advice just a click away. All SMEs should ensure they are Brexit ready and in particular to check out the 9 practical steps every business can take at www.gov.ie/Brexit, the Government’s one stop online resource for Brexit information.”
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, participation in the SFA Business Connect event, a feature in a special awards supplement inserted in the Irish Independent, 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 on March 2020 where 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).
The competition is open to all companies in Ireland with up to 50 employees and the categories are:
· Manufacturing - supported by NSAI
· Food and Drink – supported by Bord Bia
· Services – supported by Vodafone
· Outstanding Small Business - up to five employees – supported by One4All
· Innovator of the Year –supported by Permanent TSB
· Workplace Wellbeing – supported by DeCare Dental
· Small Business Exporter of the Year – supported by Enterprise Ireland
In addition, the five best “Emerging New Businesses” - supported by IE Domain Registry - (companies who are less than two years in existence) will be selected where they have the potential to grow and the ability to be an SFA National Small Business Award winner in the future.
SFA Director, Sven Spollen-Behrens 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. The search is on now to find the best small business in Ireland for 2020.”
Entries to the awards will be accepted until 5.30pm on Friday, 18 October, and entry forms are available online at www.sfa.ie/awards