Mayo-based company, Ireland West Airport Knock scooped the Social Enterprise Award at the Connacht provincial final of the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards.
Seven other leading businesses from across Connacht were selected as winners at the awards ceremony, which took place at The Clayton Hotel on 9th April.
This year, the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards received a record number of entries, totaling almost 600, from across the island of Ireland. 66 entries were submitted from across Connacht.
Ireland West Airport Knock is held in trust for the people of the West of Ireland. From humble beginnings 27 years ago, the airport is now the fastest growing airport in Ireland employing over 145 staff from the region. Contributing over €100m to the regional economy, the company is now serving 25 international destinations and almost 700,000 passengers annually.
2012 was Knock Airport’s busiest year since it opened 27 years ago. The airport attracted new services from key European tourism markets in Paris, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Milan bringing in an additional 13,000 new tourists to the region and generating an additional €7 million in tourism spend for the West of Ireland region.
Companies were rigorously judged on a variety of merits including financial performance, company milestones and achievements, future strategy and development of innovative products and services.
The Connacht judging panel was made up of Brendan McDermott, Regional Director, Ulster Bank; Barry Egan, Regional Director, Enterprise Ireland; Grainne Lennon, Operations Manager, Intertrade Ireland and Sean Keenan, CEO of Multis Group. The winning Connacht businesses, in each of the eight categories, were selected from a shortlist of three companies.
The provincial winners for Connacht are as follows: 1. Woman Led Business – P&G Cards, Roscommon. 2. Best Business Start Up – Mixgreens, Galway. 3. Innovation and Emerging Technology – Channel Mechanics, Galway. 4. Best Established SME – SF Engineering, Sligo. 5. Food and Drink – The Foods of Athenry, Galway. 6. Social Enterprise – Ireland West Airport Knock, Mayo. 7. International Business – Lifes2Good, Galway. 8. Agri-business – GH Agri - Galway Homeopathics, Galway.