The ‘Final Eight’ are being revealed in the capital today, Sunday 31st May, ahead of the 18th National Enterprise Awards at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham next month, organised by the Local Enterprise Offices.
The continuing resurgence within construction and property is reflected in the number of finalists from those sectors, accounting for half of this year’s nominees. The finalists include
- Vision Built Manufacturing (Galway), which design, manufacture and install building structures,
- Elemex from Louth, which design heating systems and heating technology,
- Gannon Eco from Westmeath, which reprocess waste materials to recycle them into raw materials and
- the Property Channel/Property Button in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, which manage utility switchovers for letting agents.
The Irish drinks industry is also well-represented this year, with
- Glendalough Distillery from Wicklow (póitín, botanical gins and whiskey) and
- Kinnegar Brewing from Donegal (craft beers), both making the final eight.
- MyBio from Kilkenny, a supplier of research products for the scientific research industry and
- Aine Knitwear, a Clare-based knitwear design and manufacturing brand, have also been shortlisted this year.
Congratulating the final eight, the Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices, Kieran Comerford, said: “In 2014, the network of Local Enterprise Offices supported over 24,000 entrepreneurs and start-ups all over the country, including all our finalists. These awards showcase Gannon Ecothe innovation , creativity and the development potential within Irish SMEs, all across Ireland. By highlighting all those business success stories, the National Enterprise Awards give recognition to Ireland’s small business heroes”
Previous winners of the competition have included Irish Yoghurts from West Cork, Hot Irish Whiskey (Walsh Whiskey) from Carlow and Innovate Telecoms and IT from Wexford. The most recent winners of the competition, Design Pro in Limerick, provide precision automation and machine build services. They went from employing 10 people in 2013, when they won the award, to employing 22 people today. Headed up by Paul Collins, the company is on AineKnitweartrack to double its workforce again over the next two years.
The overall winner of the €5,000 top prize is being announced by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr. Richard Bruton T.D at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham on June 11th. Results and updates will be available through www.localenterprise.ie and by searching #NEAwards15 on social media.