The finalists for this year’s National Enterprise Awards were announced today (Monday, May 13), with various agri-businesses making their mark.

The 31 companies from across the country will compete for the top prize at the awards on Thursday May, 23.

The overall National Enterprise of the Year winner receives a prize fund of €50,000, however, there are categories for Best Start-Up, Best Export Business, an Innovation Award, a One-to-Watch Award, and a Sustainability Award.

There is also an Outstanding Achievement award for a business that started with their Local Enterprise Office and has gone on to achieve international growth with the assistance of Enterprise Ireland. 

The National Enterprise Awards are one of a number of initiatives that the Local Enterprise Offices run, to foster entrepreneurship across the country.

Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices, John Magee, said:

“The diversity of sectors and innovation shown again this year is outstanding and the winners will no doubt produce businesses destined for international success.

“These businesses have excelled in their areas and have the potential to follow in the footsteps of previous winners to become successful global companies.”

Established in 2014, the Local Enterprise Office is the “essential resource” for any entrepreneur looking to start a business or any small business that is looking for support or advice to help them grow.

Agri-business in National Enterprise Awards

Dunmasc Genetics: It was founded in 2014 by Co. Laois native Stephen Dowling, has established itself as a “leader” in the training, sales, and service of bovine genetic products in Ireland and internationally.

The bovine genetic company firmly believes that the animal comes first and breeding the correct production and physical traits is “vital for profitability”.

The company has an “ambitious growth plan” which will see an expansion of its overseas market which currently includes Holland, Latvia, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Kazakhstan, China, Vietnam, and Malaysia.

Living Green: It is located in Quigley’s Point, Co. Donegal, offers farmers and gardeners “diverse environmentally friendly and health-enhancing” products, promoting sustainable living and well-being.

Its product range includes certified organic compost, organic wormcast, wheatgrass products, and frozen health shots.

Announcement of the finalists for this year’s National Enterprise Awards Source: Orla Murray/Coalesce

Leitrim Hill Creamery: It fosters a connection between the land, the community, and tradition by creating “artisanal dairy products” that tell a story of people, a place, and a time.

One of the artisan dairy products is “Sliabh an Iarainn” which is a mix of milk from a goat and a jersey cow, which has a “hint of salt as if a wave from the sea”, according to the company.

Rebel City Distillery: It was established in June 2020, and is an “award-winning” sustainable distillery that is “heavily influenced” by its heritage. It is crafted with a “global” perspective.

The company has transformed the old factory of Henry Ford and Sons into its distillery which aims to “draw on innovations of the past to inspire the creations of the future”.