A Co. Galway health food business has won the top prize of €10,000 cash in the SCCUL Enterprise Awards. The winner was announced at the annual SCCUL Enterprise Awards prize giving ceremony and business expo which was hosted by NUI Galway in the Bailey Allen Hall, NUIG on Thursday 29th January.
Inspired by the rapidly growing global trends of health and wellness, NUA Naturals supplies and distributes high quality health food in Ireland and the UK while also sourcing raw ingredients internationally which are then packaged and distributed under the NUA brand name.
Established in 2011, NUA Naturals currently employs 11 people at their base in Westside, Galway. The company entered the UK market last year and has plans to increase their reach internationally over the next 18 months. NUA Naturals’ Niall Fennell and Hilary Foley were presented with their prize by Padraig O’ Callaghan, Chairman of St. Columba’s Credit Union Galway, and John Lenihan, Chairman of SCCUL Enterprises who jointly sponsored the winner’s prize.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Fennell said that he was honored and delighted to receive this award,
“Entering the SCCUL Awards has been an incredible experience for us. It has allowed us to take a step back and really look at our business. We will invest our award back into our business to help us take our business to the next level,” said Mr. Fennell.
NUA Naturals also receives a €2500 advertising package from local media sponsor Galway Independent and a specially commissioned sculpture by Galway based sculptor, Liam Butler.
In addition to claiming the overall prize NUA Naturals won the SCCUL Enterprise Agriculture & Food Award. NUA Naturals was selected as the overall winner in the SCCUL Enterprise Awards by a judging panel which included Norah Casey, former RTE Dragon & publishing entrepreneur; Barry Egan Director, West Region Enterprise Ireland; Hannah Kiely CEO, HC Financial Advisors Ltd; Harry Hughes, Managing Director, Port West and Dr. Emer Mulligan, Head of J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, NUI Galway. The judging panel was chaired by Declan Dooley, Managing Director Galway Independent.
25 Galway Businesses Share in €50,000 Prize Package
Other prize winners included Axis Health Consulting Ltd and HN Cost Management Ltd who were the joint winners of the SCCUL Enterprise Business Services Award, and Revive Active Products who was the recipient of the SCCUL Enterprise Consumer Goods & Services Award.
The SCCUL Enterprise Social Enterprises Award was won by Act for Meningitis and Ex Ordo Ltd was the recipient of the SCCUL Enterprise ICT Award. The SCCUL Enterprise Arts, Tourism & Sport Award was won by the Burren Nature Sanctuary.
All category winners received a €1000 cash prize, an advertising package worth €1250 and a specially commissioned sculpture from Galway based sculptor Liam Butler.
Winners of the Student Enterprise Award sponsored by Winters Property Management were four students at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology who have developed a device aimed at helping farmers identify and control their breeding sheep flock at the press of a button.
Consisting of a handheld scanner, a tag which will identify individual sheep and a lead which allows the farmer to connect the handheld device to the computer, Sheep Tech enables the farmer to read and asses the information on the flock in the comfort of their home.
The device is the brainchild of Dominick Gallagher, Liam Shaughnessy, Mark Hanniffy and Shane Canavan who developed the technology to assist farmers in complying with traceability legislation.
“Three of us come from sheep farms and have witnessed first hand many of the problems associated with sheep farming,” says Dominick.
“It can be very frustrating for farmers trying to comply with traceability legislation and time consuming for them identifying and isolating sheep who been treated with remedies and have to be detained on the farm,” says Dominick.
The students who are final year students in GMIT, plan to use their €1250 prize fund to conduct market research on the new device.
Second prize of €500 in the Student Enterprise Award went to NUI Galway students Joseph Walsh and Daniel O’ Loughlin for Educode, which aims to provide comprehensive computer science and ICT lessons to primary and secondary school students across Ireland. Third prize of €250 was won by GMIT students, Patrick John Faherty, Joseph Heavey and Anthony Healy, for their idea for ‘Stolen Wheels’ an online tool to help increase the recovery of stolen vehicles.
Aimed at celebrating entrepreneurship and rewarding local enterprise, the awards are an initiative of SCCUL Enterprises Ltd aided by Ballybane Enterprise Centre & St. Columba’s Credit Union.
Supporting the SCCUL Enterprise Awards this year were a number of local organisations. These included Galway City Council, Galway County Council, ICE Cube, Allied Irish Bank, Collins McNicholas HR & Recruitment Group, Enterprise Ireland, Mazars, SSL Logistics, Ulster Bank and Winters Property Management.
Speaking at the prize giving ceremony, John Lenihan, Chairman SCCUL Enterprises said,
“These awards are a really important opportunity to encourage businesses throughout Galway City & County and help them accelerate their plans. Fostering enterprise is critical to business growth and creating employment in our local area.”
“As a community based company set up in association with St. Columba’s Credit Union, we want to support local community enterprise and encourage our local entrepreneurs.”
“These awards are a good news story, one hundred and forty local companies entered the SCCUL Enterprise Awards and today twenty four local businesses have had their enterprising initiatives recognised through these awards.”
Congratulating the award winners, Padraig O’Callaghan Chairman, St. Columba’s Credit Union said,
“The SCCUL Enterprise Awards are an ideal platform to celebrate the achievements of our indigenous companies and it is vital that we acknowledge the commitment and vision of those working within our most innovative companies to generate significant sales, exports and employment. I want to congratulate all the winners and applicants to this years’ awards and encourage them to keep utilising that entrepreneurial spirit.”
Runners up for the SCCUL Enterprise Awards who each received a €500 cash prize and a €750 promotional package included Beechlawn Organic Farm, Kinlay Hostel, Gate Dental Services, CGA Technology and Console Suicide Prevention & Bereavement Organisation.
Recipient of Special ‘One to Watch’ Commendations from the judging panel and a prize each of an iPad mini were Ace of Spade Films, Bake Fest, Callan Harps, Community Spirit Drumming, Markier Design, Tí Tighe and #100happydays4kids.
A Special merit prize was presented to Minimate Ltd and while Dementia Research Education & Advocacy in Motion Ltd. ( D.R.E.A.M) was the recipient of the Jim Murren Special Recognition Award.
Declan Dooley, Chairman of the Judging Panel said “The quality of this year’s entrants has been extremely high, with each of them showing a commitment to making their businesses succeed through innovation and growth. Today’s awards have acknowledged the dedication, creativity, focus and success of the winning entrepreneurs and I congratulate them all.”
The judging panel to determine finalists and category winners comprised leading figures from the Galway business community including Ann Mallaghan, Community, Enterprise and Economic Development Office, Galway Co. Council; Anthony Ryan, Managing Director, Anthony Ryan’s Ltd; Austin Sammon, Sammon & Associates, Galway; Brian Duffy, Tri Everest Wealth Management; Brian O’Neill, Managing Director at Rowan Tree Hospitality Ltd; Cait Noone, Head of College, Tourism & Arts Galway Mayo Institute of Technology; Carmel Brennan, Head of Department of Accounting & Information Systems, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology; Catherine Blewitt, West Regional Business & Relationship Manager, IDA Ireland; Colm Cleary, Avaya; Colm Feeney, Managing Director, SSL Logistics; Colman Collins, Managing Director, Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group; Declan Droney, Kinvara, Smoked Salmon; Declan O’Connor, CEO & Director of Certification, BQAI; Donncha Hughes, Business Advisor & Trainer and Dr. Aidan Daly, Adjunct Professor of Marketing, National University of Ireland, Galway.
The panel also included Enda McGuane, Managing Director, Winters Property Management; Eileen Dunleavy, Manager, St Columba’s Credit Union; Frank Lohan, Managing Director, Lohan Accounting Ltd; Johanna Clancy, Galway Business School; John Breslin, Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering at the College of Engineering and Information, NUI Galway; John Daly, Ireland Food; John Feeley, Founder of irishjobs.ie. & rollercoaster.ie; John Murphy, Founder of John Murphy’s of Castlrea Ltd; Martina Von Richter Japy, Sustainable Values, Advisor Phitrust Partenaires, Board Member Dialogue Social Enterprise; Maureen Donohoe, Corrib Lions Club; Michael Smith, Founder of propertyteam.ie; Michelle Murphy, Regional Manager, Collins McNicholas; Michelle Whelan Kennedy, Galway Community Counselling; Myles McHugh, Professional Coach & Business Advisor; Niall O’Reilly, Ignite Coach; Philip Furlong, Deputy Manager, St. Columba’s Credit Union; Phyllis McNamara, Owner Cobwebs and Tom Broderick, Business Consultant.