20 Years of Achievement

Ulster Bank is calling on SMEs across the island of Ireland to enter the 20th Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards. The awards are open to businesses across all sectors and entries are submitted via Ulster Bank’s Business Achievers Awards website – BusinessAchieversAward.com

Speaking about the awards, chairperson of the national judging panel, founder of Lily O’Brien’s and the Jack and Jill Foundation, Senator MaryAnn O’Brien, said: “I am delighted to chair the national judging panel for the 20th anniversary of the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards. This is a fantastic awards programme which has been rewarding SME success and providing the opportunity to generate brand exposure, for 20 years. The long list of previous winners is littered with many successful companies that won awards in their infancy and have gone on to become strong, household names. I look forward to being inspired by the dynamic business and entrepreneurship stories that exist all over the country.”

Also speaking about the awards, Ellvena Graham, Managing Director of SME Banking at Ulster Bank, said: "Over the past 19 years, hundreds of businesses have passed through our awards programme. It’s alumni includes business people and household names from all sectors – such as Glenisk Foods, Mcor Technologies, PM Group, Glenilen Farm, The Sofa Factory, Saba Restaurant, and Tayto Park. Ulster Bank has always been at the heart of the business community across Ireland – providing support from start-up phase right through to global expansion. We strive to support SMEs as they are integral to Ireland’s economic development. They support local commerce and provide both direct and indirect employment. This year’s awards are about celebrating their achievements and the achievements of all of the companies that have entered the awards over the past two decades. We are delighted to be celebrating this milestone year  and to have Senator O’Brien as our chair. We look forward to exploring and recognising some of Ireland’s finest businesses and entrepreneurs.” The overall winner will receive a comprehensive prize package including a €50,000 publishing bursary with the Irish Independent, business mentoring from Enterprise Ireland, a full-service communications workshop, as well as national and regional media exposure. Run in association with the Irish Independent, Enterprise Ireland, InterTradeIreland and SmallBusinessCan.com, the awards are now open for entry at BusinessAchieversAward.com Deadline for submissions is on Friday, 26th September. You can follow all the action throughout the 2014 awards using @ulsterbank_baa and #UBBAA

Entries for the 2014 awards are open to SMEs across all sectors and businesses can enter in any two of the following eight categories:

  1. Woman Led Business
  2. Best Business Start Up
  3. Innovation and Emerging Technology
  4. Best Established SME
  5. Food and Drink
  6. Social Enterprise
  7. International Business
  8. Agri-Business
Throughout each stage of the awards, companies will be judged on a variety of merits including financial performance, company milestones and achievements, future strategy for the business and the development of innovative products and services. Following an initial judging process at the preliminary stage of the awards, competing businesses will be shortlisted for provincial awards. Provincial award winners will then go on to compete in their respective categories at an all-island awards ceremony in December 2014, where one category winner will also be crowned overall ‘Ulster Bank Business Achiever 2014’.

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