North West Business Awards

NW Young Business Person of the Year

This category is kindly sponsored by Alchemy Technology Services

The Young Business Person of The Year Award seeks to honour individuals under the age of 22 who have demonstrated outstanding entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, and leadership in their ventures. Whether they've launched a successful startup, implemented groundbreaking initiatives, or displayed remarkable business acumen, we want to shine a spotlight on their contributions to the business landscape of the North West.

We believe that by acknowledging the accomplishments of these young professionals, we not only celebrate their achievements but also inspire and empower the next generation of business leaders. Their stories serve as a testament to the potential and talent within our community, motivating others to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations and make a meaningful impact.

This category is open to any young person under the age of 22 years of age.

Your entry must include:

- Demonstration of outstanding work of a young person aged 16-22 in any aspect of business activity
- Evidence of unique skills and/or dedication to business and originality of idea/business/service
- Any further supporting information

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Educational Partnership Award

Open to individuals and businesses who work with schools and/or colleges to support young people, and provide routes into employment.

From cross-sector partnerships to community-driven initiatives, the Educational Partnership Award honours those who harness the power of collaboration to break down barriers, expand access to education, and drive positive change in classrooms and beyond.

Your entry must include:

- How you work with schools and/or colleges to support young people, how you engage with them and why you engage with them and provide an example of routes into employment within your business
- Evidence of supporting a range of activities such as school visits, mentoring, employability skills (CV writing, mock interviews), work experience and routes to employment
- How your work has improved your knowledge and understanding of young people in the workplace and what impact this has had on your business
- Your long-term plan to employ young people and those who may face barriers to entering the labour market

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North West Restaurant of The Year

This category is kindly sponsored by RiverRidge Rethinking Resources

The Restaurant of the Year Award is a recognition of culinary excellence, exceptional dining experiences, and gastronomic innovation within the vibrant culinary scene of the North West region. This award celebrates the finest restaurants that tantalise taste buds, captivate diners, and showcase the rich diversity of flavours, ingredients, and culinary traditions of the region.

From cosy bistros to fine dining establishments, the North West Restaurant of the Year Award honours those who excel in delivering outstanding cuisine, impeccable service, and memorable dining experiences. These culinary gems combine creativity, passion, and a commitment to quality to create unforgettable moments that linger long after the last bite.

Your entry must include:

- Evidence of commitment to creating the ultimate dining experience
- Display of the diversity and quality of ingredients, menu offerings, products, and services, including the utilisation of local suppliers, regional producers, and the traceability of ingredients
- Description of improvement and development initiatives implemented within the last three years
- Any additional positive contributions or impacts made by the establishment

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North West Retailer of the Year

This award recognises excellence, innovation, and outstanding customer service in the retail industry, and celebrates the top-performing retailers who go above and beyond to delight customers, enhance shopping experiences, and set new standards of excellence in the ever-evolving world of retail.

From the high street to unique boutiques, the Retailer of the Year Award honours those that excel in delivering exceptional products, personalised service, and seamless shopping experiences. These trailblazing retailers leverage creativity, technology, and a deep understanding of consumer needs to create memorable interactions and foster lasting connections with their customers.

Your entry must include:

- How your business is meeting the needs of the target market and provide evidence of added value/service
- Evidence of delivering excellence in a retail environment and reference to evidence of customer satisfaction (customer feedback/endorsement/increased sales)
- What makes your business original (e.g., range of products on sale, services, added value for consumers, customer engagement)
- What your future plans for business are and how these will be achieved

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North West Hotel of the Year

This award is kindly sponsored by Dillon Bass

The Hotel of The Year Award is an esteemed recognition of excellence in hospitality, service, and innovation within the North West's hotel industry. This award celebrates the exceptional establishments that redefine luxury, comfort, and guest experience, setting the standard for hospitality excellence within the North West region.

From iconic landmarks to boutique retreats, the Hotel of The Year Award honours those that excel in providing guests with unforgettable experiences, personalised service, and exceptional amenities. These distinguished hotels embody the essence of hospitality, creating memorable moments that linger long after check-out.

Your entry must include:

- How your business provides an excellent visitor experience for North West leisure and business visitors
- How your business provides a unique offering that sets you apart from other businesses in the same sector
- Any other information that would support your application i.e., genuine visitor engagement/innovative ideas/marketing/promotion

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Creative Industries Business of the Year

This prestigious accolade honours visionary companies and innovative enterprises that drive excellence and creativity across a spectrum of industries. From entertainment and media to design, fashion, and beyond, this award celebrates the transformative impact of creativity on business success.

With a focus on innovation, originality, and artistic integrity, the Creative Industries Business of the Year Award recognizes organisations that harness the power of imagination to inspire, entertain, and engage. Whether through groundbreaking productions, cutting-edge designs, or immersive experiences, these businesses exemplify the intersection of artistry and entrepreneurship, setting new standards of excellence in their respective fields.

Your entry must include:

- Evidence of business operation within creative sector and how unique your offering is
- Details of design and production process, originality and quality control
- Description of plans for future growth, and how these will be financed, techniques and timeline for development
- Any other supporting information

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Contribution to the North West Economy Award

The Contribution to the North West Economy Award recognises outstanding dedication and impactful initiatives that drive economic growth, prosperity, and development in the vibrant region of the North West.

This category celebrates everything from businesses, people, events, and tourism initiatives that have helped to develop the North West economy or enhanced the image and profile of the North West over the past year. These trailblazers inspire others with their unwavering dedication to advancing the economic wellbeing of the North West community.

Your entry must include:

- Provide an overview of event/initiative/business/person & details of how they have contributed to the region
- Provide outcomes of actions and supporting evidence
- Any further supporting information

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Innovation & Technology Award

This award is kindly sponsored by Allstate NI

The Innovation & Technology Award celebrates groundbreaking achievements and transformative advancements in the realm of technology and innovation. This award celebrates individuals, teams, and organisations that are pushing the boundaries of possibility, driving progress, and revolutionising industries through their pioneering ideas, inventions, and solutions.

From cutting-edge startups to established tech giants, the Innovation & Technology Award honours those who harness the power of innovation to solve complex challenges, and enhance efficiency. Whether it's revolutionising healthcare, advancing sustainable technologies, or reshaping the way we communicate and connect, these innovators inspire us with their creativity, vision, and unwavering commitment to excellence.

Your entry must include:

- An overview of the company, details of business/market challenge, strategic reasoning behind choice of innovative solution
- Details of innovation, details of how this was applied/implemented, and proposed outcomes
- Impact of innovative development to the business
- Any further supporting information

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North West Pub of The Year

This year's Pub of The Year is to be decided by public vote!

The North West Pub of the Year Award is a prestigious recognition of excellence, hospitality, and community spirit within the vibrant pub scene of the North West region.

From historic bars to contemporary gastropubs, the North West Pub of the Year Award honours those establishments that excel in providing exceptional service, quality beverages, and a great atmosphere.

Who is YOUR favourite? Tell us below!

VOTE / ENTER HERE

North West Sustainability Champions

This award is kindly sponsored by Derry City & Strabane District Council and Go Succeed

The Sustainability Champions of The Year Award is a prestigious honour celebrating the individuals, organisations, and initiatives that are leading the charge towards a greener, more sustainable future. From groundbreaking innovations to tireless advocacy, these champions are driving positive change in areas such as environmental conservation, renewable energy, waste reduction, and social responsibility.

Whether it's through innovative technology, community engagement or policy advocacy, these champions inspire others to join the movement towards a more sustainable world and contribute towards a circular economy.

Your entry must include:

- Details of minimalisation of environment impact and how this has been achieved
- Demonstration of sustainable business model
- Demonstration of best practice in the development of environmentally friendly products services, practices and/or operations
- Details of how your company protects and enhances the local environment and contribute towards a circular economy

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Creative Marketer of the Year

This award is kindly sponsored by BHP Security Solutions

This award is all about highlighting a company that's aced it with inventive marketing and digital tech! We want to see how these tools have supercharged your business.

Show us how you've used marketing and digital tricks to grow and develop their business. Whether it's through social media or other digital platforms, we want to know how these strategies have made a real impact on your growth.

Your entry must include:

- A description of organisation including business objectives and how digital/social media is related to these
- A description and analysis of the implementation of marketing/digital/social media campaign
- Details on impact of marketing/digital/social media on business
- Evidence of public engagement through digital/social media and how this will be maintained

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Taste of The North West

This award is sponsored by Moran's

The Taste of The North West Award is a delectable celebration of culinary excellence, innovation, and local flavours within the diverse and vibrant food scene of the North West region. This award honours the outstanding food outlets, artisans, and food producers that tantalise taste buds and showcase the region's rich gastronomic heritage.

This award recognizes their contribution to making the North West a destination for food lovers and a showcase of the region's culinary prowess and honours the establishments and individuals who embody the spirit of culinary authenticity, and a passion for quality ingredients and unique flavours and ingredients of the North West.

Your entry must include:

- Details of your innovative food products/offerings, excellent customer service, and popularity within the local community providing that ‘something special’ that food lovers are looking for
- Demonstration of your business's great service and a unique ‘personality’ that plays a part in its success, goes the extra mile to demonstrate excellence
- Details of any other awards achieved

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North West Business Hero

This category is kindly sponsored by Ulster University Business School

Got a person or a business in mind that's been exceptional in the North West this past year? We want to hear about it!

Nominate your North West Business Hero and tell us why they deserve the title. Maybe they've gone the extra mile to support the community, provided outstanding service, or tirelessly promoted the region. Whether it's an individual, a company, a service, or an initiative, if they've made a real impact in the North West, we want to know about it!

So don't hold back - let us know who you think deserves to be crowned the North West Business Hero of the Year!

NOTE: Entries/Nominations must be at least 200 words in total to be considered by the judging panel

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North West Small Business of the Year

This category is kindly sponsored by U105

From family-owned enterprises to innovative startups, the Small Business of the Year Award honours those that exemplify the spirit of entrepreneurship, overcoming challenges, and seizing opportunities to thrive and succeed.

This award celebrates the outstanding contributions of small businesses to their communities, economies, and industries, recognizing their innovation, creativity, and dedication to excellence.

This category is open to any business with less than 50 employees.

Your entry must include:

- Overview of your organisation, details of business growth and performance, and how this has been achieved
- How your organisation has successfully responded to challenges using unique and innovative approaches
- How your organisation has displayed ethical credentials and good stakeholder relationships
- Evidence of long-term planning, flexibility to deliver consistent results in dynamic market conditions

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North West Large Business of the Year

The North West Large Business of the Year Award celebrates the outstanding achievements, innovation, and leadership of large businesses within the dynamic North West region. This award recognizes enterprises that demonstrate excellence in driving economic growth, fostering innovation, and making a significant impact on the community and beyond.

From industry giants to multinational corporations, the North West Large Business of the Year Award recognises those organisations that exemplify corporate responsibility, sustainability, and a commitment to excellence in all aspects of their operations.

This category is open to any business with more than 50 employees.

Your entry will need to include:

- Overview of organisation, details of business growth and performance and how this has been achieved
- How organisation has successfully responded to challenges using unique and innovative approaches
- How organisation has displayed ethical credentials and good stakeholder relationships
- Evidence of long-term planning, flexibility to deliver consistent results in dynamic market conditions

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Visit Derry Ambassador Award

This is a non-entry award, winners will be selected from the Visit Derry Ambassador Programme.

Visit Derry is a public-private partnership established to increase visitor numbers and spend to the city and region through destination marketing and visitor servicing.

Their Conference Ambassador Programme is a dynamic collaboration of local professionals who use their influence to attract conferences and events from within their business, medical, academic or sporting industries to the city.

Visit Derry Ambassadors generate over £2m to the local economy each year and we are delighted to celebrate their outstanding efforts, commitment and passion, and hope that their achievement will inspire others to play their part and consider regional, national or international conference or event.

Strabane BID Business of the Year

This is a non-entry award – the winner is to be selected by the Strabane BID panel.

First established in 2016 by a majority vote of the businesses within the BID area, Strabane BID is a means of regenerating Strabane town, increasing football, and improving the trading environment.

Set up as an independent, not-for-profit company, the BID board contains representation from businesses and stakeholders in the BID area. Each business within the area contributes by paying an annual Levy, based on the rateable value of their business premises.

Collectively investing in the area gives businesses and stakeholders more control to have their input on what they want to see, and how they can deliver it.

To find out more abot ut Strabane BID, visit www.lovestrabane.com

Brilliance In Business - Overall Award

This is a non-entry award that has been awarded by the judging panel; this company or person will be chosen on the basis of outstanding contribution to business, drive, ambition, vision, tenacity, inspirational leadership, inventiveness and confidence.

The Brilliance In Business Award is a Judge's Choice award and is the most coveted and hotly anticipated presentation of the night.

The award will go to the business or entrepreneur that is representative of all that is positive about the work that takes place in the city on a daily basis.