Taoiseach launches SFA National Small Business Awards 2016

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The SFA National Small Business Awards 2016 have been officially launched today (Wednesday, 9th September) by Awards Patron, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, TD, 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.

Speaking at the launch, An Taoiseach said, “As a passionate supporter of small firms I, on behalf of the Government, am delighted to support the SFA Awards. Small firms support the vast majority of jobs in all parts of our country and are leading our recovery. The Awards provide an opportunity to highlight the success of our small firms as they support our recovery by seeking out new markets and new opportunities. Supporting our small firms is essential to the Government's strategy of securing the recovery and spreading it to every part of the country."

The Awards are free to enter and the prize package for ALL finalists includes an exhibition stand at that SFA National Small Business Showcase in Dublin Castle in February 2016, a strategic management masterclass weekend, a voucher for a Skillnets ManagementWorks management team/CEO course, 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 March 2016 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, and 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).

SFA Chairman and Chair of the Awards judging panel, AJ Noonan 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 200,000 small firms in Ireland, who collectively employ 860,000 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 Mr Noonan.


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

Issued by: Patricia Callan, SFA Director, at Tel: 01-6051602 or 087-6999345 or e-mail: patricia.callan@sfa.ie , Tweet: @SFA_Irl

Photographs from the launch of the Awards are available on request from Louise Swail, SFA Executive, at Tel: 01-6051664 or e-mail louise.swail@sfa.ie.

Entries to the awards will be accepted until 5.30pm on Friday, October 30th, and entry forms are available online at www.sfa.ie/awards . The categories are:

    Manufacturing — up to 50 employees, sponsored by Energia
    Food and Drink — up to 50 employees, sponsored by Bord Bia
    Services — up to 50 employees, sponsored by Three
    Outstanding Small Business — up to five employees, sponsored by AIB
    Innovator of the Year — up to 50 employees, sponsored by Enterprise Ireland
    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 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 the SFA National Small Business Award winners in the future; this category is supported by IE Domain Registry.

ManagementWorks are the Management Development Partner for the duration of the programme.