Picture by Press Eye
Considering the 400 entries to the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards were the judges, front, Grainne Kelly owner of BubbleBum UK, which picked up the ‘Best Business Start-Up’ category last year, and Ian Jordan, Ulster Bank; back, Donal Durkan of Invest Northern Ireland, Sam McIlveen, Belfast Telegraph’s digital publisher and Liam Nellis of InterTradeIreland.
Businesses have come out in force to highlight their good work in this year’s Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards.
Almost 400 entries have been received for the prestigious scheme, with strong entry levels in categories such as ‘International Business’; ‘Best Business Start-Up’; and ‘Innovation and Emerging Technology’.
Judging has now taken place, with the Ulster awards final happening on January 26 in Riddel Hall, the new Post Graduate and Executive Education Centre at Queen’s University Belfast. Ulster Bank is one of the founding members of the centre.
After the Ulster final, Ulster winners will go forward for all-island judging, with the all-island winners to be announced on April 19 at a prestigious event in Dublin.
Run in association with The Belfast Telegraph, and supported by Invest NI and InterTradeIreland, the scheme has eight categories for businesses of various sectors and stages of development.
Welcoming the strong entry levels, Ulster Bank’s head of business and commercial banking, Northern Ireland, Ian Jordan, says: “Things are far from easy for many companies, so it’s really heartening to receive so many entries to the awards and to see that such a wide range of firms have impressive achievements to highlight and celebrate”.
“International trade has been a big focus for Ulster Bank in recent months, as we seek to encourage more small and medium-size businesses to become exporters, so we’re particularly pleased to see excellent entries in the International Business category, as well as in the other categories,” he continues.
“The judges will have a very difficult job, but we very much look forward to congratulating the Ulster winners and to wishing them every success in the all-island stage of the awards,” Mr Jordan adds.
Companies are judged on a variety of merits including sales performance, market share growth, company milestones, innovative new products or services and successful achievements by key personnel.
The eight award categories are:
1.Innovation & Emerging Technology Award
2.International Business Award
3.Social Entrepreneurship Award
4.Best Business Start-up Award
5.Family Run Business Award
6.Green Business Award
7.Agriculture, Food & Drink Award
8.Service Business Award
Provincial and category winners will receive a specially commissioned award, PR opportunities, entry into the all-island awards and a dedicated profile page on the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards website.