It’s that time of year again. Nominations and applications are now open for the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards. Now in their 19th year, the awards celebrate exceptional businesses and recognise their vital leadership roles in creating and sustaining economic growth.
- Raise your profile
- Prove your excellence
- Acknowledge your team’s efforts
- Impress partners, clients and investors
- Join a network of your peers
We’re looking for all types of businesses from SBC to enter – from those just starting out to long established and family owned companies with track records – from all sectors across the island, north and south.
This year’s categories are:
Woman Led Business Award
Woman led businesses are proving to be amongst the most resilient, although as a percentage of overall businesses, those led by women remain under represented. This new category intends to highlight the exceptional role women have in starting, growing and running successful businesses. Any business led by or founded by women from whatever sector or from whatever stage of growth can enter this category (as-well as other relevant categories).
Best Business Start Up Award
If you have embarked on your entrepreneurial journey in the past three years, regardless of the size, sector or location of your business, this awards category is for you. Judges will be interested to hear about your motivations for starting the business and how you have grown and developed the business through the start-up phase. (Only businesses which started in 2010, 2011 and 2012 are eligible ).
Innovation and Emerging Technology Award
Growing the knowledge economy is a key part of our future. This category is for businesses with innovative and technology based products or services. Whether its green tech, cloud, web, online, offline or above the line, the businesses in this category must have strong growth and export potential. So do you have the knowledge? The judges will be looking at a combination of what the business has achieved to date and the plans it has to expand, grow and develop in the future particularly on international markets. You must show high potential and be less than three years old. (Only businesses which started in 2010, 2011 and 2012 are eligible).
Best Established Business Award
This category is for all SMEs over three years old. It’s for the bedrock companies: those that have been around for years; that remained solid through the boom; that have battened down the hatches over the last number of years; and that have now put in place foundations for growth. This includes family run businesses that have, in particular, shown a capacity to build resilient growth oriented structures. Nearly everyone can enter 2 categories. If your entry doesn’t fall into any of the above (or below) categories, and your business has been trading for more than 3 years, then this is the category for you. (Businesses which started before 1 January 2010 are eligible).
Food and Drink Award
One of our largest indigenous and most sustainable industries, this category celebrates outstanding innovation and recgonisess the passionate, driven producers who are making this THE food and drink island. Give the judges a taste of your success. Pepper your application with examples of product innovation, market penetration successes and customer references.
Social Enterprise Award
This category recognises organisations that positively impact on the community and generate outcomes that have a long-term benefit. Is your initiative part of the fabric? Demonstrate its contributions. Weave planning, implementation, results and achievements into your application. Achievements can include but are not limited to business, economic, societal, scientific or environmental contributions.
International Business Award
Achieving and being competitive and profitable on an international scale is important given the nature of our small and open and economies. This award recognizes the challenges of competing in the international marketplace and will reward the business that is succeeding with an export led product/ service business model. It will go to the organisation that best demonstrates an international growth strategy and that has achieved outstanding levels of sales, profit and market share improvement.
Agri-businesses are the various businesses involved in and supporting food production. This includes farming and contract farming, seed supply, agri-chemicals, farm machinery, wholesale and distribution, processing, marketing and retail sales. Is your business the cream of the crop? Enter and show how you are driving growth in your business.