As part of National Enterprise Week, Invest Northern Ireland, in association with Ulster Bank, inducted a new member into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame at a special gala event held at the Transport Museum, Cultra.
Sir Allen McClay CBE, Chairman and founder of Almac Sciences, will now join the eleven other inductees honoured last year.
Called ‘A Celebration of Entrepreneurship’, the event was attended by over 260 members of Northern Ireland’s existing business and business support community.
Invest NI’s Hall of Fame, recognises the most creative and successful entrepreneurs across Northern Ireland. This year, three new categories, to run alongside the Hall of Fame, highlighted the very best that Northern Ireland has to offer in terms of youth, female and social economy entrepreneurship.
Speaking at the event Leslie Morrison, Chief Executive of Invest NI, said:
“The Hall of Fame is a celebration of the achievements of our leading business entrepreneurs as they continue to play a major part in the development of a healthy and vibrant economy.
“I am also pleased to announce, this year, the creation of three new awards, recognising the success of our most innovative female, youth and social economy entrepreneurs. Each winner has demonstrated a high degree of entrepreneurial flair and will act as strong role models for budding entrepreneurs everywhere,” he continued.
Nicky Kinnaird founder of Space NK apothecary, a leading retailer of specialist beauty products was selected as the best female entrepreneur of the year.
Gareth Grey co-founder of Tully Meadows ice-cream, based in Fermanagh, received the best youth entrepreneur of the year award, and Angela O’Hagan, manager of the Loughgiel Community Association was named social entrepreneur of the year.
Commenting on the event, Kevin Kingston, Deputy Head of Corporate Banking with Ulster Bank said:
“Entrepreneurship will be the driving force behind future economic success and we at Ulster Bank are committed to supporting Northern Ireland’s entrepreneurs to thrive and prosper.
“We are pleased to help recognise the achievements and successes of some of the most dynamic and pioneering business leaders in Northern Ireland through our support for this event. We hope that the achievements of those being recognised will inspire others to be bold and energetic in their pursuit of business success in the future,” Mr Kingston said.
At the event keynote speaker Ellis Watson, Managing Director of Menzies Distribution and former MD of the Mirror Group newspapers and Celador International shared his experiences of working with Rupert Murdoch and licensing the hugely successful ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’ television franchise.