All you need to know about the awards

Choose a Category to Enter Nominate a Business


Applications will be open from 11 September
Applications can be found on each individual category page.

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 is no entry fee to enter the 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.

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). Please note that a nomination is not an automatic entry - all nominated companies must still complete an application form for all desired categories.

To enter
Complete and submit an application form which you can find on the appropriate category page for all categories that you wish to be considered for. If you are entering more than one category you must submit a separate application form for each category.

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, Leo Varadkar TD is fully supportive of the awards programme.