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How to apply


Applications for the 2022 SFA Awards are now open!
Apply before the EXTENDED DEADLINE - Thursday, 28 October 2021

The SFA National Small Business Awards competition is open to all companies in Ireland with up to 50 employees and there is a wide range of categories to suit all sectors – including a category for companies with under five employees and newly formed businesses.

There are no entry fees to enter any categories in these awards and all short-listed companies receive five invited places to attend the Gala Awards Ceremony which is held in the RDS. A generous prize package of €50,000 is awarded to all short-listed finalists throughout the programme with additional prizes for the overall winner. View a copy of the Awards brochure attached below.

Why enter?

As these awards celebrate excellence, achievement and innovation in small business this is your opportunity to promote and showcase your business and enhance your credibility both internationally and nationally through the extensive PR and media profile these awards attract. Companies are regularly featured in national and local press and radio. Previous SFA award winners have also featured in European SME week publications. These awards also provide companies with a vehicle to recognise the valuable commitment that employees make to the organisation by highlighting their contribution and achievement.

Entry Requirements
Award entrants must comply with the following entry criteria:
  • All small businesses may enter up to a maximum of 50 employees. (This includes staff employed in the company on a fixed-term contract basis in excess of 12 months, and part-time staff who work in excess of 20 hours per week but excluding temporary agency workers).
  • Be in operation at least 2 years in the Republic of Ireland for all categories except the Emerging New Business category which is only open to companies who are within 2 years of starting their business.
  • Not be a branch of another business.
  • Franchises can enter.
  • Businesses can enter more than one category.
  • Businesses/individuals can nominate themselves or be nominated by other associated professionals (e.g. professional advisers, training providers, accountants etc.).

To enter

Complete the application linked to the category you are entering on the "Enter Awards" page. If you are entering more than one category you must submit a separate application form for each category. Click here to see all 10 categories and the applications for each category - including the NEW Retail category.

The entry process requires you to provide information on the following:
  1. Your company profile (your elevator pitch)
  2. Your company description
  3. Why you deserve to win the award for your selected category
  4. The impact of COVID-19 on your business
  5. Your strategy for future growth
  6. Financial & Employee Information

You have the option to save and resume your application once you have started it and can return to complete and submit it within 14 days.

Awards Patron

The SFA Awards are recognised by government as an acknowledgement of the contribution small business makes to our economy and its future success. As patron, An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD is fully supportive of the awards programme.
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