NI’s leading business awards launched with three new categories

Brenda Buckley, Commercial Director, Business Eye and Brian Gillan, Head of Retail & NI, are pictured at the launch of the 2022 AIB Business Eye Awards at ICC Belfast. 

AIB Business Eye Awards 2022 open for entries

Northern Ireland’s leading business awards, the annual AIB Business Eye Awards, have been launched for their 16th year at a networking event in Belfast.

Richard Buckley, Editor of Business Eye and Brian Gillan, Head of Retail & NI at AIB, hosted the launch event at the Belfast Waterfront Hall which was attended by category sponsors and business guests. Lidl Northern Ireland Regional Director Conor Boyle, winner of last year’s ‘Retail Company of the Year’ award, also addressed the event.

Three new categories have been added to this year’s awards line-up, recognising the evolving attributes of successful businesses in Northern Ireland. New titles include the ‘Green/Sustainable Company of the Year’, the ‘Diversity & Inclusion’ award and ‘Homegrown Business of the Year’.

Headline awards include the coveted ‘Company of the Year’, ‘Business Personality of the Year’ and Lifetime Achievement’ awards. With 19 trophies up for grabs, the AIB Business Eye Awards recognise qualities and success across different specialist categories and sectors.

“We work very hard each year to fine tune and improve these awards and to maintain their reputation as the very best awards of their kind in Northern Ireland,” says Brenda Buckley of Business Eye. “2021 produced a record number of entries, and really high-quality entries. Despite all of the challenges facing business here, we’re confident that the bar can be raised once again this year.”

AIB, a key supporter of the Northern Ireland business community, is a long-standing partner of Business Eye and its award programmes. Speaking at the launch, Brian Gillan, Head of Retail & NI at AIB says its more important than ever to celebrate success. “The AIB Business Eye Awards are an incredible showcase of resilience, leadership and innovation and given the challenges facing our business community, it’s important that we take a step back and shine a light on the qualities that make our local business community so successful. We’re particularly proud to reveal a number of new categories this year including the ‘Green/Sustainable Company of the Year’ award which, given rising energy costs and our collective net zero ambitions, is a vital area to recognise.”

Last year’s awards showcased an impressive array of winners at a memorable awards night held at ICC Belfast venue in front of a 650-strong audience. Belfast & Derry/Londonderry based FinTrU, one of the leaders in the dynamic fintech sector in Northern Ireland, lifted the coveted ‘Company of the Year’ award, while Sam Anderson, the NI-born US-based founder of IceMos Technologies, was named ‘Business Personality of the Year’.

Other key winners included AES Global as ‘Manufacturer of the Year’, telecomms firm Barclay Communications in the ‘Family Business’ category and top law firm A&L Goodbody as the ‘Professional Services Firm of the Year’.

The closing date for entries to the 2022 AIB Business Eye Awards applications is Friday 21st October 2022, with the judging panel due to meet shortly afterwards. Companies and individuals will be able to enter no less than 19 different categories covering most aspects of the local economy and business life. The gala awards night will be hold at the ICC Belfast on Thursday 17th November 2022.