Hundreds of businesses in Northern Ireland are bidding for a place in an all-Ireland awards scheme.
Almost 400 entries have been received for the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards, with nearly a third bidding for recognition in the Best Business Start-Up category.
Run in Northern Ireland 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.
Judging will take place this week, with the Ulster regional awards final set for January 27 in the Merchant Hotel, Belfast.
Ulster winners will then go forward for all-Ireland judging, with the all-island winners to be announced on April 14 at a gala event in Dublin.
Ulster Bank’s head of regional business banking in Northern Ireland, Ian Jordan, said that there are some really encouraging stories of business success among the entries.
“We think the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards have an extremely important role to play in encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, and recognising the exceptional achievements of many businesses,” said Mr Jordan.
“We look forward to announcing the Ulster winners later this month.”
This year’s awards are also supported by SmallBusinessCan.com, an independent support resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs in Ireland and the UK.