Northern Ireland companies are being called on to enter the 2014 Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards.
The scheme celebrates the achievements of local companies across a range of sectors and businesses can enter in up to two of the eight categories.
Run in association with the Belfast Telegraph, Invest NI, InterTradeIreland and SmallBusinessCan.com, the awards are now open for entry at BusinessAchieversAward.com.
Previous Northern Ireland winners include Andor Technology, First Derivatives, TG Eakin and CDE Global.
Judges will shortlist companies for the Ulster provincial stage, and winners will then compete in their respective categories at an all-island awards ceremony in December 2014. One all-island category winner will also be crowned overall Ulster Bank Business Achiever 2014.
The overall winner will receive a comprehensive prize package including a €50,000 (around £41,000) publishing bursary with the Belfast Telegraph, business mentoring from Enterprise Ireland, a full-service communications workshop, as well as media exposure.
Andy Mills, Regional Director, Business Banking, Ulster Bank said: “We’re delighted to celebrate the success of our local SMEs through the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards. These businesses are vital for the economy in terms of job creation and wealth creation.
“The awards provide the opportunity for businesses to highlight and celebrate what they are providing in terms of excellent products and services. As well as recognising what they have achieved, winning an award results in a feel good factor for all staff.”
Craigavon-based Wilson’s Country, a leading potato pre-packer, won the agri-business award in 2010. Managing Director Lewis Cunningham says: “Winning the award was a big success for us and highlighted Wilson’s Country as a leading agri-business on the island.
“It was fantastic for us to get that recognition from the judging panel. It helped our customers appreciate our success and was an excellent platform from which to talk to new customers about what we had achieved in terms of product development.
“I would definitely recommend other companies enter. It’s important to take time out and celebrate success. A huge benefit is the motivation it gave us to keep on going and to look to the future.”
Throughout each stage of the awards, companies will be judged on a variety of merits including financial performance, company milestones and achievements, future strategy for business people and the business and the development of innovative products and services.
Entries for the 2014 awards are open to SMEs across all sectors and businesses can enter in any two of the categories:
Business Start Up Award
Small Business Award
Established SME Award
International Business Award
Woman Led Business Award
Food & Drink Award
Social Enterprise Award
Deadline for submissions is Friday 26 September. You can follow all the action throughout the 2014 awards using @ulsterbank_baa and #UBBAA