Northern Ireland’s leading business awards, the AIB Business Eye Awards, have been launched for their 15th consecutive year. Following their postponement in 2019, the Awards will now be held on Thursday 11th November 2021 at the ICC Belfast.

The AIB Business Eye Awards are the result of a long-standing partnership between Business Eye, Northern Ireland’s most popular business magazine and AIB, a key supporter of the Northern Ireland business community. The 2021 Awards will cover a comprehensive range of 16 different categories, including the headline Company of the Year and Business Personality of the Year awards and several new categories to reflect the Covid era.

The 2021 Awards were officially launched on Thursday, 15th October 2020, at a virtual launch event.

The closing date for entries to Northern Ireland’s premier business awards will be Monday, 27th September 2021, with the judging panel due to meet shortly afterwards.

AIB Business Eye Awards 2021

Company of the Year

Northern Ireland’s overall company of the year in the opinion of the judging panel. Companies can be of any size/scale, number of employees, and must be able to exhibit exceptional performance, especially but not exclusively during the 12 month period to 28th February 2021.

Sponsored by: AIB

Young Business Personality of the Year

The category is open to senior managers and leaders in businesses and organisations across the private, public and voluntary sectors, whose leadership and achievement can be clearly demonstrated.

Sponsored by: Ulster University

Tourism & Hospitality Award

The company or organisation making the most valuable contribution to the continued development of tourism & hospitality here in Northern Ireland. Possible entrants might include hotels/hotel groups, other forms of accommodation, tourism development organisations, restaurants, travel facilities, etc.

Sponsored by: Visit Belfast

Covid Business Hero Award

A new award reflecting the Covid era and recognising the outstanding contribution made by an individual on behalf of a specific sector or the wider business community during the crisis.

Sponsored by: U105

Employer of the Year

This category sets out to recognise those local organisations exhibiting best practice in terms of people management. The judging panel will look for clear evidence of class-leading initiatives designed to make the organisation a better and more caring employer.

Sponsored by: Lockton

Medium/Mid-Sized Business of the Year

This category will recognise a leading player in the 50-250 employee sector of the Northern Ireland economy, a key sector which includes a number of our leading private sector companies. As with Company of the Year, entrants must demonstrate exceptional performance across the board.

Sponsored by: TLT

Covid Era Response Company of the Year

A second Covid era award, this time spotlighting innovation, adaptation and/or a change in business direction of leading NI companies in direct response to the challenges of the coronavirus crisis.

Sponsored by: IQ & Co

Research & Development Award

The Research & Development (Innovation) project which, in the opinion of the judges, is the best example of how companies can harness research, development and innovation to further their business aims and objectives.

Sponsored by: Business Eye

Covid Era Innovative Company of the Year

Innovation has taken on a whole new meaning during the Covid crisis. This award sets out to recognise outstanding product or service innovation by a local company as a response to the pandemic.

Sponsored by: NIE Networks

Business Personality of the Year

The keynote award will honour Northern Ireland’s outstanding business personality over the past 12 months, an individual whose leadership achievements have contributed to business success and to the wider local economy.

Sponsored by: Admore

Small Business of The Year

The organisation with 50 employees or less which, in the opinion of the judges, exemplifies best practice and achievement across the board. Evidence of growth and development, clear vision and strategy to deliver growth, commitment to superior customer service, demonstration of innovation across the business.

Sponsored by: AIB

Professional Services Firm of the Year

This category sets out to honour Northern Ireland’s leading accountancy, legal or other professional services firm working with and providing key advice to clients in the local business community.

Sponsored by: Davy

Community (CSR) Award

Corporate social responsibility plays an important role for NI companies and this specialist category sets out to recognise an organisation from the private, public or voluntary sectors making a clear and impactful contribution to its local community as a whole.

Sponsored by: Community Foundation Northern Ireland

Executive Support Professional of the Year

This award will honour one of the ‘unsung heroes’ of the business world here, Northern Ireland’s leading Executive Support Professional, a key member of staff in any organisation providing exemplary support services to management within the organisation.

Sponsored by: Honeycomb

Family Business of the Year

Northern Ireland’s economy is built on family business success and this key category will recognise the family-owned business, of any size of scale, which can demostrate exceptional achievement during the year to 28th February 2021.

Sponsored by: Harbinson Mulholland

Manufacturer of the Year

A very important category, this one is open to all manufacturing organisations, of any size and scale, operating in Northern Ireland. The judging panel will look for evidence of innovation, attention to detail, state of the art engineering and product market success.

Sponsored by: RSM


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