SFA National Small Business Awards Finalists Masterclass takes place in Athlone


33 of the best small businesses in Ireland, from 16 different counties, undertook a Strategic Management Masterclass in the Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, last weekend, as part of their €50,000 prize package for being short-listed as finalists in the “SFA National Small Business Awards 2016.” The aim of the awards is to celebrate the achievements of small business in Ireland, and to recognise the vital contribution of the small business sector to Irish industry.

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, who is Patron of the Awards, said, “As a passionate supporter of small firms I, on behalf of the Government, am delighted to support the SFA Awards. Small firms support the vast majority of jobs in all parts of our country and are leading our recovery. The Awards provide an opportunity to highlight the success of our small firms as they support our recovery by seeking out new markets and new opportunities. Supporting our small firms is essential to the Government's strategy of securing the recovery and spreading it to every part of the country."

The SFA National Small Business Awards are now in their twelfth year. The finalists are competing across seven categories - manufacturing, food and drink, services, innovator of the year, sustainability, small business exporter of the year and outstanding small business, (for those with less than five employees) - and for the title of Overall Small Business of the Year 2016, which will be presented at a Gala Event in March.

Also in attendance at the masterclass were representatives from five recently established businesses that have been chosen to be featured as the best Emerging New Businesses. These companies have been in operation for less than two years. Category Sponsors include AIB, Bord Bia, DHL, Energia, Enterprise Ireland, IE Domain Registry, SEAI and 3. The strategic management prize package is sponsored by ManagementWorks.


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Enda Hogan is a Programme Support Manager with Skillnets. Enda's primary role within the ManagementWorks team is around marketing and promotion in order to build awareness of the ManagementWorks suite of programmes. He is the editor of the monthly newsletter - Management Matters!

Enda has twenty years of management experience and has worked extensively with SMEs, training networks and membership organisations in Ireland to improve business performance through investment in training and professional development.