NI firms can highlight successes in major all-island awards scheme

Sep 28, 2011

Ian Jordan, (left), Ulster Bank’s Head of Business and Commercial Banking, Northern Ireland, gets the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards 2011 underway with Sam McIlveen, Digital Publisher at the Belfast Telegraph, and Donal Durkan, Director, Life Sciences & Creative at Invest Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland companies are being invited to enter the annual ‘Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards’ which recognise business success, irrespective of offering, size, sector or location across the island of Ireland.

The awards, now in their 18th year, are in association with Invest Northern Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland, and supported by the Belfast Telegraph.

Throughout each stage of the competition, companies will be judged on a variety of merits including financial performance, company milestones and achievements, future strategy for the business and development of innovative products and services.

Entries for the 2011 awards are open to businesses across all sectors and businesses can enter themselves in up to two of eight categories:

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

*Businesses started in 2009, 2010 and 2011 only are eligible for these categories.

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 2012 where one category winner will also be crowned overall ‘Ulster Bank Business Achiever 2011’. Entries will close on Wednesday, 30 November, and the Provincial Award Winners will be announced at award ceremonies in January and February 2012.

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.

Over 400 businesses, North and South, entered last year’s awards, where Belfast based scientific digital camera company, Andor Technology, was awarded the ‘International Business Award’ and crowned ‘Ulster Bank Business Achiever 2010’. North West business BubbleBum won the all-island Start-Up Business Category.

Speaking at the launch of the 2011 awards, Ian Jordan, Head of Business and Commercial Banking Northern Ireland, Ulster Bank said, “The awards received a record number of entries last year, including very strong entry levels in Northern Ireland, and highlighted some incredibly strong examples of business success in a difficult environment. The success of local businesses Andor and BubbleBum on the all-island stage will hopefully inspire even more Northern Ireland companies to enter this year to take the opportunity to highlight their good work and accomplishments.”

Donal Durkan, Director at Invest NI, said: “The economic environment remains challenging so it is vital that local companies focus on export development and commercial creativity to achieve effective growth. These awards are an opportunity to recognise the Northern Ireland firms that are working hard to boost their competitiveness and provide a platform for thriving businesses to promote their continued success.”

The 2011 Ulster Bank Business Achiever will receive a comprehensive prize package including an Executive Education programme at Harvard University Business School, a publishing and advertising package with the Irish Independent, and a one year membership of the Institute of Directors.

Terms and conditions apply.

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