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The profiles of the Ulster finalist of the business achievers

Find below the profiles of the the business achievers Ulster finals. They now go for the big prizes at the final on 4 December. Which one is your favourite? Tweet us @smallBC, #businessachievers

Business Start Up: Arklu (Donegal)

Arklu is a children’s entertainment company, specialising in dolls. Having launched their doll brand Lottie in August 2012 they are now selling in 30 countries via a network of 16 distribution partners. The character is being developed through a series of books and through animation. Lottie is described as “a wholesome alternative doll based on a nine year old child” who “does not wear make-up, jewellery or high heels”.

Small Business: Cornerstone Automation Systems (Londonderry)

Established in 2001, the company now employs 60 people in a 70,000 sq. ft. facility in Campsie.

It manufactures and integrates a full line of cutting edge product handling systems for manufacturers and distributors. Automation systems include shipping systems, in-motion scales, sortation, box opening, order picking, receiving systems, dispensing systems, print and apply systems, robotics as well as necessary software and controls to integrate.

Established SME: BA Kitchen Components (Cookstown)

Established in 1990 by Brian McCracken, BA Components has grown steadily to become a major manufacturer of kitchen, bedroom, bathroom doors and accessories.

Its  customer base ranges from small UK retailers to large kitchen, wholesale, furniture, DIY manufacturers, contractors and retailers throughout the UK, Europe and  Asia Pacific.

The headquarters are based in an 80,000 square foot factory in Cookstown with a workforce of 95.

 International Business: Almac (Craigavon)

Headquartered in Craigavon, Almac is an established contract development and manufacturing organisation providing an extensive range of integrated services to over 600 companies globally within the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. Services include state-of-the-art drug discovery, world leading cancer diagnostics, research and development, manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients, formulation development and the support of global clinical trials. Today the global organisation employs over 3,500 staff in a diverse range of activities

 Social Enterprise: Employers for Childcare Charitable Group (Lisburn)

EFCG encompasses a registered charity and two Social Enterprises, Employers For Childcare Vouchers (EFCV) and Employers For Childcare Solutions (EFCS). The aim of the charity is “to make it easier for parents with dependent children to get into work and to stay in work”.

 Food and Drink: Avondale Foods (Craigavon)

Established in 1965, Avondale Foods the family-run company is located just outside Lurgan on Chestnut Farm. Avondale initially grew and sold vegetables before moving focus to research and development and subsequently diversified into vegetable processing. With products supplied under own label and Country Kitchen brands, the company supplies most major supermarkets.

 Agri Business: SlurryKat (Waringstown)

Slurrykat specialises in the design and engineering of the very latest cutting edge, world class agricultural machinery. It is at the forefront of technological innovation and is currently exporting over 140 different products to more than 20 countries worldwide. A global brand Slurrykat is now widely accepted as the trendsetter and market leader in slurry management systems.

 Women Led Business: Moy Park (Craigavon)

Moy Park is headed by Janet McCollum who was appointed Chief Executive in January 2014.

The company offers a range of fresh, high quality and locally farmed poultry and complementary convenience food products to all the leading retail and food service customers in the UK and Europe. As Northern Ireland’s largest private sector company it employs 12,000 people with 14 main sites in the UK, Ireland France and the Netherlands, accompanying mills and hatcheries and 800 farms in its supply chain.

Special Recognition Award: Vita Liberata (Doagh)

Vita Liberata is a luxury self-tan and skincare brand and its products are sold in 24 countries worldwide. Vita Liberata is recognised as the world’s most advanced non-toxic, organic tanning brand. Founded in 2003 by the current CEO Alyson Hogg to offer innovative skincare that truly delivered, in 2007 Alyson saw a gap in the marketplace for a luxury self-tan with skincare benefits combined, suiting the needs of women on the go.

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