Time running out to win £100,000 business excellence prize fund

Local businesses only have one week left to win their share of a business prize fund worth over £100,000 through the Invest Northern Ireland Innovation & Export Awards 2009.

The business focused competition which is being run in partnership with Ulster Bank, has already attracted interest from companies of all sizes across a range of industry sectors.

“With a total prize fund of £105,000 available to winners across five award categories, the quality of applications already received from our clients, particularly smaller locally owned firms, has been very high,” says Leslie Morrison, Chief Executive of Invest NI.

“Despite the global economic climate making trading conditions much more difficult, there are many firms which continue to excel, competing strongly in markets outside Northern Ireland with a range of products and services that are amongst the most advanced available.

“Such businesses are role models. Through the Innovation and Export Awards we intend to celebrate formally their contribution to the NI economy. Since the 28 November deadline for entries is fast approaching, I would encourage even more client companies to submit entries and ensure that they have the opportunity to be recognised for their achievements and ambition.”

Henry Elvin, Head of Business Banking at Ulster Bank, adds: “The positive impact of continuous improvement combined with a strong export focus cannot be underestimated. With many NI companies consistently achieving high standards of business excellence at a time of economic uncertainty, Ulster Bank’s partnership with Invest NI will ensure that the Innovation and Export Awards 2009, celebrate and reward business success.”

The Innovation and Export Awards 2009 are open to all Invest NI client companies. The winner of the Business Excellence Award will receive support to the value of £35,000, with the Exporter of the Year and Innovator of the Year each receiving £25,000. Companies winning the Best New Innovation and Best Emerging Exporter awards will each receive support to the value of £10,000 to help take their business to the next level.

Entries can be submitted up until 12 noon on 28 November and the companies shortlisted for each category will be announced in December. 

The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held on Wednesday 18 February 2009 at BBC Blackstaff Studios, Belfast, where the 2008-09 inductee to Invest NI’s Business Hall of Fame will also be announced.