Galway companies urged to enter SFA National Small Business Awards

The Small Firms Association (SFA ) National Small Business Awards 2024 were this week officially launched by awards patron, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD. This year marks the twentieth anniversary of this awards programme which celebrates the achievements of small businesses 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 11 September until 27 October 2023 to enter free of charge on Speaking at the launch, Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar said that for 20 years the SFA National Small Business Awards have celebrated the talent and success of Ireland’s vibrant small business community.

“The awards celebrate innovation, resilience, strength, and the creativity of our country’s entrepreneurs. Small firms are central to Ireland’s economic success and to our drive for balanced regional development, creating jobs in all regions of the country. The Government will continue to prioritise the growth and competitiveness of the small business sector.”

The Awards are free to enter and the prize package for ALL finalists is valued at €50,000. This includes a strategic management masterclass weekend, participation in SFA Business Mentor’s Work Programme as well as in the SFA Business Connect event where they will be able to showcase their products and services to an audience of over 300 attendees.

It also includes broad-ranging national and local media coverage, and each finalist company will feature in a special supplement in the Irish Independent on the day of the Gala Presentation of Prizes which takes place in RDS Concert Hall on Thursday, 7 March 2024 when the category winners and overall winner will be announced. Finalists also receive three complementary tickets to this ceremony. The category winners will be presented with a trophy and free membership of the Small Firms Association for one year. The SFA National Business Awards are open to all companies in Ireland with up to 50 employees and the categories are:

Manufacturing - supported by permanent tsb

Food and Drink – supported by Bord Bia

Services – supported by Sage

Outstanding Small Business — up to five employees – supported by Elavon

Innovator of the Year – supported by National Standards Authority Ireland (NSAI )

Sustainability – supported by Strategic Banking Corporation Ireland (SBCI )

Workplace Wellbeing – supported by DeCare

Exporter– supported by Enterprise Ireland

Retail - supported by One4all Rewards.

Skillnet Ireland is supporting the management training for the programme.

In addition, the five best “Emerging New Businesses”- (companies who are less than two years in existence ) – supported by Microfinance Ireland will be selected. These are companies that have the potential to grow and have the ability to be an SFA National Small Business Award winner in the future. The awards media partner is Irish Independent.

Entrants may enter the category of their choice and have the option to enter more than one category but must complete a separate entry form for each one they chose. Chair of the SFA, Geraldine Magnier said: “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. This year we are delighted to celebrate 20 years of success amongst all our previous winners who are testament to the resilience amongst the 273,000 small firms in Ireland who collectively employ half the private sector workforce, and represent excellence, achievement, and innovation amongst small businesses in all sectors and across Ireland. I am also looking forward to celebrating all our category winners and overall winner next March.”


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