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Agri-food firms urged to enter Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards

Ulster Bank has launched its annual ‘Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards’. Businesses across Munster are invited to enter the 2010 awards, which are in association with the Irish Independent, Enterprise Ireland and InterTradeIreland. Pictured at the launch of the awards were (l-r), Jane McEvoy of McEvoy Family Foods and winner of the 2009 Munster Best Business Start-Up Award, and Tom Leahy, Regional Director, Ulster Bank. The Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards are open for entry to Munster businesses at

Agri-food companies in Northern Ireland have been urged to enter the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards by a local food firm that met with success in the prestigious scheme last year.Wilson’s Country Foods won the Agri Food and Drink Award at the Ulster stage of the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards 2010, which are in association with Invest Northern Ireland and InterTradeIreland.

Encouraging companies to enter the 2011 awards, Lewis Cunningham, Managing Director of Wilson’s County Foods, says: “We were absolutely delighted to win the award. It was excellent recognition and profile for the whole company. I think the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards are a great opportunity for agri-food companies to communicate to a wide audience that despite a difficult economic climate, they are continuing to do good work and grow their businesses.”

Ulster Bank’s Senior Agriculture Manager, Cormac McKervey, says: “The agri-food and drink sector is an area of the economy where there are stories of impressive success and achievement. There are many examples of companies in the sector winning new business, achieving export sales and continuing to invest. We look forward to seeing some of these great examples amongst the entries to this year’s Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards.”

The Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards recognise business success, irrespective of offering, size, sector or location across the island of Ireland. The awards are now in their 18th year.

Throughout each stage of the competition, companies will be judged on a variety of merits including financial performance, company milestones and achievements, future strategy for the business and development of innovative products and services.

Entries for the 2011 awards are open to businesses across all sectors and businesses can enter themselves in up to two of eight categories:

  1. Innovation & Emerging Technology Award *
  2. International Business Award
  3. Social Entrepreneurship Award
  4. Best Business Start-up Award *
  5. Family Run Business Award
  6. Green Business Award
  7. Agriculture, Food & Drink Award
  8. Service Business Award

*Businesses started in 2009, 2010 and 2011 only are eligible for these categories

Following an initial judging process at the preliminary stage of the awards, competing businesses will be shortlisted for provincial awards. Provincial award winners will then go on to compete in their respective categories at an all-island awards ceremony in 2012 where one category winner will also be crowned overall ‘Ulster Bank Business Achiever 2011’. Entries will close on Wednesday, 30th November, and the Provincial Award Winners will be announced at award ceremonies in January and February 2012.

Provincial and category winners will receive a specially commissioned award, PR opportunities, entry into the all-island awards and a dedicated profile page on the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards website.

Over 400 businesses, North and South, entered last year’s awards, where Belfast based scientific digital camera company, Andor Technology, was awarded the ‘International Business Award’ and crowned ‘Ulster Bank Business Achiever 2010’. North West business BubbleBum won the all-island Start-Up Business Category.

Speaking at the launch of the 2011 awards, Ian Jordan, Head of Business and Commercial Banking Northern Ireland, Ulster Bank said, “The awards received a record number of entries last year, including very strong entry levels in Northern Ireland, and highlighted some incredibly strong examples of business success in a difficult environment. The success of local businesses Andor and BubbleBum on the all-island stage will hopefully inspire even more Northern Ireland companies to enter this year to take the opportunity to highlight their good work and accomplishments.”

Donal Durkan, Director at Invest NI, said:  “The economic environment remains challenging so it is vital that local companies focus on export development and commercial creativity to achieve effective growth.  These awards are an opportunity to recognise the Northern Ireland firms that are working hard to boost their competitiveness and provide a platform for thriving businesses to promote their continued success.”

The 2011 Ulster Bank Business Achiever will receive a comprehensive reward package including a publishing bursary with the Irish Independent, business mentoring, a full service communications workshop, as well as much positive national and regional PR coverage.

For further information and to enter your business in the 2011 Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards, go to Terms and conditions apply.