Belfast Telegraph

Calling business achievers in Ulster for Ulster Bank awards

Small Business Can launches the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards today as Lisa Smyth speaks to two of 2014’s inspiring winners

Top achievers in business are being encouraged to enter the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards - with prizes including a £35,000 publishing bursary.

Ulster Bank today officially launches the awards, which include a ceremony for Ulster companies, followed by an all-island final.

Run in association with Invest NI, IntertradeIreland and the Belfast Telegraph, the awards seek to celebrate the achievements of local companies across a wide range of sectors.

Companies can submit their entries via and are permitted to enter up to two of the eight categories.

Previous Northern Ireland winners at an all-island level include Avondale Foods, Mash Direct, and BubbleBum. Last year, Almac was named the Overall Business Achiever.

Entries will be welcomed from today for this year's awards from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and must be received by Friday, September 25. Companies can enter in the following categories:

1. Business Start-Up Award

2. Small Business Award

3. Established SME Award

4. International Business Award

5. Woman-led Business Award

6. Food & Drink Award

7. Social Enterprise Award

8. Agri-Business Award

Judges in the two-tiered competition will recognise successes in the Ulster provincial stage before inviting these winners to compete at an all-island awards ceremony. Taking place in December, this event will crown all-island category winners as the overall Ulster Bank Business Achiever for 2015.

This year's overall winner will walk away with a comprehensive prize package, including a €50,000 (around £35,000) publishing bursary with the Belfast Telegraph, business mentoring, a full-service communications workshop, plus media exposure.

Richard Donnan of Ulster Bank said: "The Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards give us the opportunity to celebrate the many accomplishments of our local SMEs and we are delighted to do so. Winning an Ulster Bank Business Achievers Award brings many benefits, including positive publicity, the opportunity to network with other top businesses, and a great boost for staff morale.

"I very much look forward to seeing this year's entries and to congratulating the winners," Mr Donnan added.

When looking for a winner, judges will be reviewing a variety of merits, including financial performance, company milestones, future strategy for business people and the business, and development of innovative products and services.

Follow @ulsterbank and #BusinessAchievers to keep up to date with all of the action throughout the 2015 awards

Belfast Telegraph