The SFA National Small Business Awards 2021 have been officially launched by Awards Patron, An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin 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 14 September until 22 October 2020 to enter free of charge on www.sfa.ie/awards.
Speaking at the launch, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: “The SFA National Small Business Awards are very important, particularly as we live with Covid-19. These awards acknowledge innovation, resilience, strength and the importance of the small business sector to the Irish economy and, in particular, to the future of the Irish economy. We need agility, flexibility and adaptability in the midst of the global pandemic and there is no better entity than a small business to demonstrate these characteristics.”
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 virtual 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 is scheduled to take place in the RDS in March 2021 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. 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 Ibec Management Training
- Outstanding Small Business (up to five employees) - supported by One4All
- Innovator of the Year - supported by Permanent tsb
- Sustainability - supported by SBCI
- Workplace Wellbeing - supported by De Care
- 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 that have the potential to grow and have the ability to be an SFA National Small Business Award winner in the future.
SFA Director, Sven Spollen-Behrens commented, “The SFA National Small Business Awards continue to celebrate the grit and fortitude of business-owners across all sectors and parts of the country. By taking part in the awards you are confirming your belief in your business, employees, and your entrepreneurial spirit. 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 2021.”