Northern Ireland Enterprise Awards Celebrate Success

Over 220 attendees were gathered last night at the first Northern Ireland Enterprise Awards in the Holiday Inn, Belfast, to celebrate the achievements of the local SME community.

The awards, hosted by Enterprise Northern Ireland, showcase ‘best in practice’ examples of work by the small business community and the local enterprise agency network.

Commenting on the Awards, Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster said:

“Enterprise Northern Ireland does great work in supporting and representing entrepreneurs right across Northern Ireland. These awards are an important opportunity to celebrate the diverse range of business talent and development opportunities that exist through the local enterprise agency network.

“Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of any economy and it is vital that every avenue is explored when it comes to encouraging entrepreneurial spirit. Supporting entrepreneurship is one of the key aims of my department, and through the many initiatives that exist to help people who are thinking of starting a business, such as Invest NI’s ‘Go For It’ programme, we are demonstrating how we can help build a vibrant culture of entrepreneurship in Northern Ireland.”

The winner of the ‘Best Social Media Campaign by a Local Enterprise Agency” was Omagh Enterprise Company, one of Northern Ireland’s longest established enterprise agencies.

Gordon Gough, chief executive of Enterprise Northern Ireland, said: “We’ve seen a fantastic response to these awards – not just in the quality of the entrants but in their enthusiasm. Helping new businesses to thrive through innovative marketing and product development is an important part of any economic recovery, so it’s important that we give a proper platform to those who do it well.”

Enterprise Northern Ireland is the organisation responsible for representing the interests of Local Enterprise Agencies and small businesses with central government, official agencies, the private sector and other organisations operating in the field of enterprise and economic development.

A full list of award winners is as follows:

– Business Start Up of the Year award Sponsored by Capaxo Management Consulting: [CIARAN McMENAMIN OF LIGNUM INTERIORS, Downpatrick]
– Best Business Growth Strategy by a Young Entrepreneur Sponsored by Full Circle Management Solutions: [JOANNE CASEY OF GLOWMETRICS]
– Exporter of the Year award Sponsored by Enterprise Equity: [GARY TINSDALE OF TINSDALE WOOD DESIGN, Ballymena]
– Exploring Enterprise2 Programme Participant Achievement Award Sponsored by The Open University: [STEVEN MacKAY, Portrush]
– Social Economy Advisor of the Year award Sponsored by Clarity Business Education: [BRIAN O`NEILL of ENTERPRISE NORTH WEST in Derry]
– Member website of the year award Sponsored by 31 Interactive: [ORTUS – THE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AGENCY]
– Best Social Media Campaign by a Local Enterprise Agency Sponsored by MCE Public Relations: [OMAGH ENTERPRISE COMPANY]
– Regional Start Programme, Best LEA Delivery Agent Sponsored by ASM Chartered Accountants: [COOKSTOWN ENTERPRISE CENTRE]
– Best Marketing campaign by a Local Enterprise Agency Sponsored by Lairdesign: [CAUSEWAY ENTERPRISE AGENCY]
Promoting Entrepreneurial Spirit Sponsored by Danske Bank: [LEDCOM]

For more information on the support offered by Enterprise Northern Ireland visit