A €50,000 prize package is on offer to Galway-based entrepreneurs in the fifth year of an innovative competition aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship and rewarding local enterprise.
The SCCUL Enterprise Awards is an initiative of community based company SCCUL Enterprises Ltd aided by St Columba’s Credit Union and Ballybane Enterprise Centre.
Businesses in Galway City and County are encouraged to enter in one of six categories including business services, consumer goods and services, ICT, social enterprise, agriculture and food, and arts, tourism and sport, The competition is open to all businesses in Galway city and county with a turnover of less than €1.5 million.
Supporting the SCCUL Enterprise Awards this year are a number of local business organisations who have come on board as sponsors of the individual awards categories. The six category sponsors are Allied Irish Bank, Collins McNicholas HR and Recruitment Group, Enterprise Ireland, Mazars, SSL Logistics and Ulster Bank.
The judges will also award six ‘one to watch’ prizes sponsored by Galway City Council and the Galway County Council.
A special recognition award sponsored by ICE Cube will be awarded to a business or organisation deemed worthy of special note by the judges.
The student enterprise award category is open to students attending courses up to level eight in third level institutions in Galway city and county. The student enterprise award has a prize fund of €2,000 sponsored by Winters Property Management with the winner receiving a top prize of €1250.
Joining the judging panel for this year’s awards is entrepreneur, broadcaster and former RTE Dragon, Norah Casey. The prize winners will be presented with their awards at a special SCCUL Enterprise Awards prize giving ceremony and business expo hosted by NUI Galway in the Bailey Allen Hall on Thursday January 29 .
Announcing this year’s awards programme John Lenihan, Chairman of SCCUL Enterprises Ltd said that SCCUL Enterprises Ltd was delighted with the success of the awards scheme which has rewarded over 80 businesses throughout Galway City and County over the past five years.
“This awards scheme aims to encourage the development of an enterprising business culture in Galway City and county which in the longer term will help us sustain growth and make a significant contribution to creating a vibrant region and to achieving greater social inclusion,” said John Lenihan.
“Feedback received from previous award winners over the past five years tells us that these awards have made a significant impact on the success of their businesses. We are delighted to be able to support our local business community and we look forward to celebrating their successes at the awards and business expo on January 29 2015,” said Mr Lenihan.
Speaking at the launch, Kenneth Keavey, Green Earth Organics, overall winner of the 2013 SCCUL Enterprise Award, described the ‘tremendous positive impact’ the win had on their business.
“The resultant PR exposure was amazing and generated a real buzz but more importantly got our name instant recognition in front of thousands of potential new customers. Our business levels increased all around, with increased sales evident both in our online sales area and across all the other sectors,” said Kenneth.
“It meant I could take our business to a new level, and plan with confidence for the future. The injection of cash meant I could focus on increasing sales expand our product range and focus on improving and expanding the business.”
Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the JE Cairnes Scholl of Business and Economics, NUI Galway said that NUI Galway was delighted to host the 2014 SCCUL Enterprise Awards Ceremony and Business Expo in NUI Galway.
“The SCCUL Enterprise Awards is an excellent example of the University collaborating with the wider community in the spirit of enterprise and volunteerism. NUI Galway looks forward to working with SCCUL Enterprises to stage this unique event and to welcoming enterprising businesses to the university to exhibit at the SCCUL Enterprise Awards Business Expo on January 29 next year,” said Dr Mulligan.
Closing date for receipt of applications is Monday November 3, 2014. Entries are accepted only on official entry forms which are available from Ballybane Enterprise Centre or online on www.scculawards.ie .