‘20 Years of Winners’ are being celebrated by the Local Enterprise Offices at the 2018 National Enterprise Awards, which take place every year to highlight the successes of small businesses around the country.
According to a survey* from the Local Enterprise Offices, released today (May 16th), previous winners of the National Enterprise Awards now employ 832 people and generate over €131 million in turnover, €58 million of which is generated from exports to 52 countries. Since winning, 11 of the companies have scaled-up their businesses to become Enterprise Ireland clients.
Ahead of this year’s awards ceremony on May 24th, the Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen T.D. visited the 2008 winners, Simtech Aviation in Fingal, to see how their business has ‘taken off’ since their win a decade ago.
Previous national winners, such as Irish Yogurts (1998), Obelisk (2000), Digiweb (2004), and Design Pro (2013), will all be recognised at this year’s ceremony in the Mansion House, and Minister Breen, who will be presenting the awards on the night, said: “It is important to celebrate the wonderful success stories within Ireland’s small businesses and micro-enterprise sector. The annual National Enterprise Awards reflect the Government’s support for, and commitment to, all areas of innovation and enterprise development within the Local Enterprise Office network. As we celebrate 20 years of winners in 2018, we hope that the achievements of previous winners will serve to inspire and encourage today’s start-ups to follow in their footsteps and to look internationally for growth opportunities.”
Breda Fox, Chair of the organising committee with the Local Enterprise Offices, said: “The National Enterprise Awards are our chance to celebrate finalists’ economic impact on their local communities, the jobs they have created, and the overall growth of their businesses. Combined, the previous winners now employ 832 people, have a turnover of over €131 million per annum and have €58 million in exports to 52 countries. These achievements deserve to be celebrated and we know they will inspire other Irish companies too in the future.”
Simtech Aviation clinched the national title in 2008 and since then, the company has provided aircraft simulator-based training for more than 3,000 pilots who are now employed by 180 different airlines such as Aer Lingus, Norwegian Air and Royal Air Charter from the Philippines. During today’s visit to Simtech, Minister Breen also met with representatives from five of the 31 companies that have reached this year’s National Final, including: WeBringg (representing LEO Fingal), Blacks of Kinsale (representing LEO Cork North and West), Get The Shifts Ltd (representing LEO Clare), Joint-IT (representing LEO Galway), and Coatek (representing LEO Wexford). The Minister also met with representatives from the Local Enterprise Offices, local government and Enterprise Ireland.
Funding for the Local Enterprise Offices is provided by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland, and further details about the supports on offer to small businesses is available through www.localenterprise.ie.