The achievements of small businesses were put in the spotlight by the Local Enterprise Offices at the National Ploughing Championships today, Wednesday, as the winners of the first-ever Local Enterprise Village Awards were presented by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D
Organised by the Local Enterprise Offices and judged by Enterprise Ireland, the six winners of the inaugural Local Enterprise Village Awards included small businesses and start-ups from Sligo, Galway, Dublin and Cavan.SUIP Manufacture, a Local Enterprise Office Sligo business, won a ‘Vision’ award.
A total of 84 small companies, all of which are showcasing their products and services inside the Local Enterprise Village at the National Ploughing Championships this week, took part in the awards competition.
Presenting the awards earlier today on a visit to officially open the Local Enterprise Village, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D. said: “It is a great honour to be asked by the Local Enterprise Offices to present the inaugural ‘Local Enterprise Village Awards’ to highlight the achievements of small businesses across the country, who contribute to Ireland’s rural economy.
"I want to congratulate this year’s winners and I want to encourage more people to start their own business and become entrepreneurs, just like these winners have done. More entrepreneurs and start-ups will lead to more quality jobs right across Ireland and support is available from your Local Enterprise Office.”Liam Kiely of Local Enterprise Office Sligo said ‘We are delighted for Pius and Liz McCloat of SUIP. We have been working with the business for over a year now and they have gone from strength to strength.’
Kieran Comerford, Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities is predicting that the small businesses inside the Local Enterprise Village will generate sales and orders worth up to €1million this year.
Speaking on the first day of the Ploughing, Comerford said: “Last year, small businesses and start-ups achieved sales and orders worth nearly €645,000 as a direct result of participating at the Ploughing.
"This year, thanks to the introduction of new measures, such as a dedicated product launch and demonstration area inside the Local Enterprise Village, we are predicting that this figure will be higher for 2016 and could be up to €1million, depending on overall visitor numbers.”Representatives of Enterprise Ireland and local authorities were also on stage at today’s awards ceremony, which took place inside the Local Enterprise Village.
Further details around the Local Enterprise Village, which is at Stand Number 765, Row 32, Block 4, are available through www.localenterprise.ie and by searching #localenterprise on social media.