Three Northern Ireland finalists in UK Private Business Awards 2016

CDE Global is among three from Northern Ireland on the short list for this year's UK Private Business Awards

TWO Northern Ireland organisations and one individual have made the short list for the sixth annual UK Private Business Awards.

The finalists have been selected from over a thousand entries from private businesses across the UK and reflect the increasing diversity in the private business landscape.

Cookstown-based Keystone Group has been short-listed under Technology Innovation of the Year; CDE Global, also from Cookstown, makes the final in the International Business of the Year category; while Gary McIldowney, from Slim’s Healthy Kitchen in Belfast, makes the short-list in the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year category.

Often referred to as 'the Diamonds', the Private Business Awards is the nationwide scheme that celebrates the contribution private businesses make to the health of the UK economy.

The awards recognise achievements and the important contribution that entrepreneurs and private businesses make to their community and the UK economy. The dynamic businesses demonstrate how the UK’s private business sector is innovating and growing across a diverse range of industries.

Northern Ireland firms have a strong track history of success in the PBAs, producing seven finalists over the years. In 2013, Craigavon-based Ulster Carpet Mills was named UK Exporter of the Year while a year earlier Belfast’s Bryson Charitable Group was named Social Enterprise of the Year.

Noel Culbert, PwC associate partner in Northern Ireland, said: “This has been another fantastic year for Northern Ireland nominations and we have done remarkably well making the short-list in three separate categories.

“This UK-wide competition showcases the very best of the UK’s companies and individuals and to have three local short-listed entries demonstrates that Northern Ireland can compete with the very best of the UK’s entrepreneurs, businesses and their management teams.

“The independent judging panel commented on the quality of the submissions and the passion, drive and stories behind the businesses which have made it to this stage. We congratulate our three Northern Ireland short-listed nominations and look forward to the final judging later in the year.”

The winners of the UK Private Business Awards will be announced at a gala dinner on September 15 at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, London EC1.

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