Aqualicense, a Wicklow based company that provides consultation, planning, legal compliance and project delivery services for firms in the aquaculture and offshore renewable energy industries has won the overall prize at this year's National Enterprise Awards.
The business was founded in 2019 by entrepreneur Kate Dempsey, who was also a national finalist in Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur that year with another firm, the Irish Mussel Seed Company.
Last year Aqualicense was expanded into the offshore renewable energy sector, which is on the cusp of taking off locally in Ireland as a number of firms set about building large wind farms in the Irish Sea and elsewhere.
However, the company is also now looking to offer its services abroad by expanding internationally.
The announcement of the overall winner was made this evening at a ceremony in the Mansion House in Dublin.
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A number of other businesses also picked up category prizes awarded by organisers, the Local Enterprise Offices.
"This has been an extremely challenging year for small businesses and tonight we get to see all that is good about entrepreneurship in Ireland," said Padraic McElwee, Chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices.
"We have some excellent winners and the calibre of finalists this year is as high as ever."
"These companies have been through rigorous vetting by judges and hopefully, it will have helped them make adjustments and enhance their businesses."
Among the other winners, who collectively share a €50,000 investment fund, was Acoustic Interiors from Offaly that helps improves the health, wellbeing and productivity of people through intelligent acoustic design and fit-out of homes, offices and buildings.
Cirtex from Longford won the Green/Sustainability Award for its closed-loop manufacturing business that upcycles the materials from duvets and mattresses, most of which are imported, to be reused in new products.
The Best Export prize went to Professional Hair Labs from Wexford. It manufactures and distributes cosmetic products including GHOSTBOND, the world’s leading product for hair adhesive solutions.
Streat School picked up the One to Watch Award while Cubbie from Mayo won the Innovation Award.
Prizes were also awarded to eight regional winners, while ABC Nutritionals in Clare scooped the Outstanding Achievement Award.
The awards were announced by Minister of State with responsibility for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English who congratulated the winners.
"We will ensure they continue to get the support they need to grow their businesses as small businesses in Ireland are at the core of every town, village and community and are vital to our economy," he said.
"This will help to build a balanced regional recovery that is focused on future enterprise development and sustainable job creation for the longer term."