Twenty-one Galway businesses will receive an early Christmas present this Friday 2 December when they will be honoured in the SCCUL Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
The awards, which will be presented in the Clayton Hotel, take place at 12noon and will recognise entrepreneurial achievement in seven different categories, including Emerging, Retail, Consumer Services, Professional Services, Technology, Export Focussed and Social Entrepreneur.
Guests of honour for the awards ceremony will be Galway City Mayor Hildegarde Naughton and Minister for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock.
Winners in the seven categories will each receive €1,000 in cash, an advertising package worth €1,250 from media sponsor Galway Independent and a specially commissioned ceramic trophy from ceramics artist Sinead O’Toole.
Runners-up in each category will receive a cash prize of €500 and an advertising package valued at €500. In addition, seven businesses who have been selected as ‘One to Watch’ by the panel of judges will walk away with an iPad2.
A bumper top prize of €10,000 cash, an advertising package worth €2,500 from Galway Independent and a specially commissioned trophy from Sinead O’Toole will be presented to the overall winner, who will be selected from the winners of the above categories.
The judging panel for the awards comprised leading figures from the Galway business community including Anthony Ryan, Managing Director of Anthony Ryan’s Ltd; Jim Murren, Regional Director IDA; Breda Fox, CEO Galway City & County Enterprise Board; Seamus Bree of Enterprise Ireland; Pat Duane, General Manager of Creganna; John Power, Managing Director of Aerogen; Colman Collins of Collins McNicholas; Colm Feeney of SSL Logistics; and Gene Browne, CEO of City Bin.
They were joined by Carmel Brennan, Head of Department of Accounting and Information Systems at GMIT; Brian Duffy of DFS Accountants; Laura Lynch of Mazars; Eileen Dunleavy, Business Manager with St Columba’s Credit Union; Wally Russell; Austin Sammon of Austin Sammon & Associates; Phyllis McNamara of Cobwebs; Declan O’Connor from BQAI; and Alan Phelan from Nucleus Venture Partners.
The Chairman of the judging panel was Galway Independent MD Declan Dooley.
Speaking to the Galway Independent this week, Mr Dooley said the judges were very impressed with the calibre and standard of entrants received.
“The judging panel was very impressed with the quality of the applications received from over 80 applicants. It is heartening to see such a high degree of entrepreneurial spirit among Galway businesses and I look forward to the presentation of the awards on Friday,” he said.
The SCCUL Awards are an initiative of community-based company SCCUL Enterprises Ltd, aided by Ballybane Enterprise Centre, St Columba’s Credit Union, Galway City Council and the Galway Independent.