National Enterprise Awards

Local tourism business wins place at National Enterprise Awards

Local tourism business wins place at National Enterprise Awards Pictured at the presentation of the National Enterprise Awards 2018 (Sligo Winner) Award are: John Reilly, Head of Enterprise, Sligo County Council; Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council, Councillor Seamus Kilgannon; Patricia Doe, Wilderness Ireland and Liam Kiely, Senior Enterprise Development Officer, LEO Sligo.

Local Enterprise Office Sligo announces winner of local Enterprise Award

A tourism company from Strandhill in Co. Sligo is representing Sligo at the National Enterprise Awards, the Local Enterprise Office has announced.

Patricia Doe from Wilderness Ireland Travel Ltd. won the top prize at the County Enterprise Awards competition, which was one of the highlights during Local Enterprise Week.

Wilderness Ireland Ltd is a tour operator that specialises in offering a range of active and nature-based travel experiences and adventure holidays throughout Ireland.

The local company, which employs eight full-time staff and up to eighteen guides, and was set-up in 2014; will now be going head-to-head with thirty other high achieving businesses, to win a share of the €40,000 national prize fund.

The big announcement of the winner and presentation of their prize was made by John Reilly, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office Sligo at a ceremony in City Hall.

Run every year by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in the Local Authorities Network, the National Enterprise Awards were set-up to celebrate the achievements of Ireland’s micro-enterprise sector.

Previous national winners have included companies such as Irish Yogurts from West Cork, DesignPro from Limerick, Simtech Aviation from Fingal, Innovate IT and Telecoms from Wexford, Hot Irishman Irish Coffee (Walsh Whiskey Distillery) from Carlow, along with Grouse Lodge Recording Studios from Westmeath.

According to John Reilly, Head of Enterprise of the Local Enterprise Office Sligo, the county has a growing number of small business success stories to showcase.  He said:

We support hundreds of small businesses and start-ups every year, as the first stop shop for enterprises in the county.  From start-ups setting up to small businesses looking to expand, the Local Enterprise Office supports, mentors and develops entrepreneurs every step of the way.  The National Enterprise Awards are a way of shining the international spotlight on their success stories, giving local businesses the recognition they deserve.”

Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council, Councillor Seamus Kilgannon commented that

Sligo has a vibrant start-up and small business community and this awards competition is an important way of telling their success stories-it is encouraging to see businesses like Wilderness Ireland Travel actively seeking out and bringing overseas visitors into Sligo and promoting to the world the very best of what Sligo has to offer.”

Patricia and her team met the National judging panel in early April, for a chance to win one of twelve awards and the top prize of €10,000 for their business at the National Enterprise Awards ceremony on May 24th.  Entrepreneurs are judged on areas such as company competitiveness, use of technology, responsiveness to market trends alongside their own leadership qualities.

Further details about the supports available to local start-ups and small businesses are available through  Updates around local companies competing at the National Enterprise Awards are available by searching #NEAwards18 on social media.