An Taoiseach launches the SFA National Small Business Awards 2014

Friday, 6 September 2013


An Taoiseach Launches “SFA National Small Business Awards 2014”
SFA Awards celebrate 10 years of the best in small business

“Over the last ten years', the Awards have shown that a focus on competitiveness, efficiencies, passion, courage and risk taking are the factors that put Irish small firms to the top of the pile. We know any future success can only be built on skills, ability, and innovation.”, AJ Noonan, SFA Chairman.


The SFA National Small Business Awards 2014 have been officially launched by Awards Patron, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny at Government Buildings. 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. The 2014 programme marks the 10th year of the Awards.

Speaking at the launch, An Taoiseach said “I am delighted to support the SFA awards. Small firms don't just provide invaluable jobs in our economy, they act as the financial heartbeat of our communities, playing a fundamental role in rebuilding our economy.”

“The Awards provide an opportunity to take stock of the impressive achievements of small and medium firms across the country and to honour the men and women whose determination and will to succeed is critical to our recovery. We are listening to what businesses have to say and through our multi-annual Action Plan for Jobs strategy, we are taking measures across government to support them.”

The prize package for ALL finalists includes a comprehensive media and management development weekend, a voucher for a ManagementWorks management team/CEO courses, a feature in a special printed and digital supplement as well as broad-ranging national and local media coverage. ManagementWorks are the Management Development Partner for the duration of the programme.

SFA Chairman and Chair of the Awards judging panel, AJ Noonan commented, “Over the last ten years', the Awards have shown that a focus on competitiveness, efficiencies, passion, courage and risk taking are the factors that put Irish small firms to the top of the pile. We know any future success can only be built on skills, ability, and innovation. The Awards showcases how small indigenous firms can only succeed when we pull together, as a small firm, as a Government and as a nation and how through intellect, street wisdom, education, courage, risk taking and speed of action punch above our weight.”

“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 Noonan.

Entries to the awards will be accepted until 5.30pm on Thursday, October 31st, and entry forms are available online at www.sfa.ie/awards . The categories are:
Manufacturing — up to 50 employees, presented by the Small Firms Association
Food and Drink — up to 50 employees, sponsored by Bord Bia
Services — up to 50 employees, sponsored by O2
Outstanding Small Business — up to five employees, sponsored by AIB
Innovator of the Year — up to 50 employees, sponsored by Enterprise Ireland
Energy and Environmental Sustainability – up to 50 employees, sponsored by Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
Small Business Exporter of the Year – up to 50 employees, sponsored by DHL

In addition, the five best “Emerging New Businesses” (companies who are less than two years in business) will be selected that have the potential to grow and have the ability to be the SFA National Small Business Award winners in the future, this category is supported by the County and City Enterprise Boards.

Following the application process, category finalists will be announced in December 2013. The presentation to the Award Winners will take place at a Gala Awards Ceremony in March 2014.

Ends

For interviews contact: AJ Noonan, SFA Chairman, Tel: 086 2592610

Issued by: Alan Sherlock, SFA Executive, Tel: 01-6051664 or 086 1731372

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Photographs from the launch of the Awards are available on request from Alan Sherlock, SFA Executive, Tel: 01-6051664 or 086 1731372 or email alan.sherlock@sfa.ie.

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