Belfast Telegraph

Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards: Bank on being the best

By Lindsay Fergus

Dynamic businesses who enter Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards will be in with the chance of winning a lucrative advertising package in Ireland’s largest-selling daily newspaper.

Ulster Bank, which operates in both Northern Ireland and the Republic, has today launched its annual Business Achievers Awards.

The competition recognises the enterprising accomplishments of businesses of all types and sizes through provincial heats and an all-island final.

Run in Northern Ireland in association with Belfast Telegraph, and supported by Invest Northern Ireland and Intertrade Ireland, the scheme has eight categories for businesses of various sectors and stages of development. Entries can be made until the end of November, with the Ulster final taking place at the end of January.

Speaking at the launch of the awards, Ulster Bank head of business banking in Northern Ireland, Henry Elvin, said: “We want to support small and medium-sized businesses here to drive the recovery of the economy by helping them to be creative, enterprising, and dynamic.

“We think that recognising the achievements and the ‘get up and go’ of good businesses is an important part of that. We’ve had some excellent Northern Ireland companies entering and winning in the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards, and we very much look forward to this year’s scheme.”

Last year, Northern Ireland firms Kestrel Foods of Portadown and Newry-based First Derivatives won all-island awards in the scheme, collecting |the Agriculture Food and Drink Award, and a Special Recognition Award respectively.

This followed Comber-based Mash Direct winning one of the coveted all-island gongs in 2008.

Entries are open to established businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs whose companies have achieved success, development and growth.

The overall winner will receive a prize package, including an Executive Education programme at Harvard University Business School, €50,000 worth of advertising space in the Irish Independent , a business laptop, and two years membership of the Institute of Directors.

Provincial and category winners will receive a number of prizes including entry into the national awards, coverage in the Irish Independent or Belfast Telegraph, and a dedicated profile page on the awards website.

Entries close on November 30, and the provincial award winners will be announced in January, with the overall Ulster Bank Business Achiever and category winners announced in April.

Carol Keery, director at Invest NI, said: “For local firms to maintain a competitive market position and ensure a sustainable future, it is vital they embrace innovation, reduce costs, and |implement measures of continuous improvement, regardless of the impact the recession has had on their business.

“These awards are an opportunity to acknowledge the focus and commitment of Northern Ireland companies.”

This year’s awards are also supported by SmallBusinessCan.com. Powered by Ulster Bank, SmallBusinessCan is an independent business support resource for small businesses and entrepreneurs to source and share knowledge, insights, as well as their contacts to help them grow their businesses.

Companies will be 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.

For more awards information go to www.businessachieversaward.com.

Belfast Telegraph

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