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LEO Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 LEO Entrepreneur of the Year 2017


Have you got what it takes to be LEO Entrepreneur of the Year 2017?

LEO Entrepreneur of the Year 2017. Pictured at the Launch of the National Enterprise Awards Limerick were: Eamonn Ryan, Head of Enterprise at Local Enterprise Office Limerick, Mayor of Limerick City & County, Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon, Judie Tighe, Manager AIB O’Connell street Limerick & Conor O’Sullivan, Head of AIB, Limerick & Clare. Picture Credit:Brian Gavin Press 22.

Entrepreneurs are being invited to apply for this year’s National Enterprise Awards Limerick 2017. The LEO Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 competition is organised by the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Limerick and sponsored by AIB Bank and gives recognition to the contribution of micro enterprises to the Limerick and national economy.

The categories are: Best Manufacturing Business; Best Service Business; Best Retail Business; Innovation Award; Best Start-Up Business.

The guidelines for the LEO Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 awards are as follows:



  • All applicants must be a business currently trading in Limerick
  • All entries must employ ten or fewer employees
  • An application form, a Business Plan, together with the most recent financial statements are the minimum requirements and must be submitted in order to qualify

The five category winners will be announced at the awards ceremony which will be held in the Absolute Hotel, Limerick on Friday 10 March 2017.  All of the winners will receive a cash prize, a unique award designed by Eric O’Neill, plus mentoring from LEO Limerick and consultancy and financial advice from AIB.

The overall winner will be selected from the category winners and will receive an additional cash prize and the title of LEO Entrepreneur of the Year for 2017.

The following criteria will be used to select the winners:

  • Business Plan: Management capability; competitiveness; growth potential; employment potential; business strategy.
  • Marketing; Marketing strategy; success in national and export markets; growth in sales; responsiveness to market trends.
  • Finance: Financial commitment of the owner; profitability; balance sheet; net assets.
  • Technology and Innovation: Use of technology; innovation in business.
  • Entrepreneurial Skills of Promoter: Leadership qualities; vision and drive; commitment; entrepreneurial capability.

In 2016 Limerick business Bespoke Sauce Company based in Raheen represented Limerick in the National Awards and won the Best Start Up Business Award 2016.

Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon praised the level of investment in local businesses made by Local Enterprise Office Limerick which is helping to create new jobs as well as a supportive environment for new and existing micro and small enterprises to expand their operations.

“Since its establishment in 2014, the Local Enterprise Office has proven to be an important facilitator of direct supports, business growth and jobs in the local start-up and SME sector.  It is extremely important that the Office is provided with the necessary finances to continue to support everyone with a good business idea and to strengthen the enterprise sector in Limerick,” the Mayor said.

Also speaking at the launch Eamon Ryan, Head of Enterprise for Limerick City and County Council said: “Micro-enterprises are at the leading edge of the economic growth and development of Limerick city and county.  90% of all businesses in Limerick are micro-enterprises and it is reassuring to see that the strong entrepreneurial spirit that has always existed in Limerick is continuing to produce ambitious and competent young business people capable of generating a range of new business ideas and consequently, new employment opportunities for the wider community.”

Conor O’Sullivan, Head of AIB Clare & Limerick Local Market said: “AIB are hugely honoured to be title sponsors of the National Enterprise Awards Limerick 2017 and look forward to recognising the various nominees and winners for their outstanding achievements. We are delighted to be associated with an event that recognises the success of Ireland’s small businesses and micro-enterprises. At AIB, we celebrate businesses in Ireland – from entrepreneurs and start-ups to established SME’s. It takes bravery to start and grow a business and at AIB we’re backing brave in many useful ways by offering the supports and tools needed to start or grow a business. We wish all the nominees luck and the best for the future.”

The Local Enterprise Office, through its programme of support puts micro and small business at the heart of job creation locally. Part of this process is to provide local entrepreneurs with a platform to showcase their business ideas to a wider audience. In doing so, LEO Limerick is contributing to the success of our smaller indigenous businesses, both new and existing, which are central to the future economic development of this region.

LEO Limerick is part of the Economic Development Directorate of Limerick City and County Council and is based at 7/8 Patrick Street, Limerick. 

The closing date for the submission of completed applications for the National Enterprise Awards, Limerick 2017 is Friday, February 10, 2017. 

For further information on LEO Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 visit
To read more on the National Enterprise Awards, click here

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.