FSB Award Winners in Northern Ireland Announced

Press Releases 18 Mar 2024

An environmental street furniture company taking inspiration from the Wombles, an award-winning actress, voiceover artist and event host who founded a successful public speaking company and one of the fastest growing and progressive logistics companies serving the UK and beyond: The FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards Northern Ireland 2024’s most inspiring small businesses.

12 winning businesses from Northern Ireland go forward to the national
UK FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards 2024 finals

Environmental Street Furniture are a global designer and supplier of street furniture and site furnishing products. In the last 12 months the company has taken the initiative to develop and launch a new product range of 100% recycled post-consumer waste plastic street furniture in partnership with The Wombles, the original recyclers who celebrate 50 years this year. This initiative saw them take the Sustainability Award in FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards Northern Ireland 2024.

For a full list of all the winners, please refer to the notes at the end of this release.

Brendan Kearney, Regional Chair for FSB Northern Ireland, said:

“Congratulations to all this year’s Northern Ireland FSB Celebrating Small Business Award winners.  They are reflective of the vibrancy, innovation and tenacity that makes up our small business community. It’s been thrilling to see so many businesses in Northern Ireland enthusiastically take part in our awards and the sheer scale and diversity of those who entered is a testimony to the vitality of the small business community in Northern Ireland. The best of luck to all our winners for the UK national award finals in May.”

The FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards celebrate the best small businesses from the length and breadth of the UK, offering national recognition for those who have made the biggest impression over the last 12 months. Finalists across twelve areas now proceed to the national UK finals taking place at a VIP attended awards ceremony on 9 May in Blackpool.


The full list of the Northern Ireland winners can be found below:

Innovation Award

Winner: Manfreight Limited, Portadown, County Armagh

Manfreight have been leading the way in the logistics industry in Northern Ireland for more than five decades. They are  one of the fastest growing and progressive logistics companies serving the UK, Ireland & mainland Europe, generating industry leading growth driven by empowered employees. Their innovation is driven by their ground-breaking initiative, Project Ark. This visionary project, standing as the first purpose-built chilled distribution centre in Northern Ireland in twenty-five years, marks a historic stride in logistics innovation. Nestled within Belfast Harbour, their hub symbolises not just a physical facility but a transformative leap in the industry.

Expansion and Growth Award

Winner: Stairlift Solutions, Newtownards, County Down

They are an award-winning local family business founded over twenty years ago, offering stairlift sales, installation and servicing across Northern Ireland. The company continues to grow in strength each year resulting in their move from Bangor to Newtownards in 2023. Their business, whilst maintaining high standards of customer service is assisted by solid growth plans for the future of the business.

Sustainability Award

Winner: Environmental Street Furniture, Newtownabbey, County Antrim

Environmental Street Furniture are a global designer and supplier of street furniture and site furnishing products. In the last 12 months the company has taken the initiative to develop and launch a new product range of 100% recycled post-consumer waste plastic street furniture in partnership with The Wombles, the original recyclers who celebrate 50 years this year. The Wombles collected rubbish from Wimbledon Common and made good use of it, and this inspired Environmental Street Furniture. They take post-consumer waste clean and shred it, and make outdoor furniture for schools, parks and city centres to encourage recycling and discourage litter.

Family Business of the Year

Winner: Derry Bros Shipping & Customs Clearance Ltd., County Armagh

Derry Bros Shipping & Customs Clearance, a shipping and customs clearance business in Northern Ireland, embodies 60+ years of excellence rooted in family values. CEO Brigid Derry, inheriting her father's legacy, leads with integrity and innovation. She has expanded services amid challenges like Brexit, launching a Customs Clearance division and the Digicom platform, streamlining procedures and ensuring compliance. Family members hold key roles, in maintaining a culture of care and dedication. With a focus on continual adaptation and proactive digital transformation, they are poised for long-term success, aligning with government initiatives and ensuring operational resilience while preserving its legacy of personalised service.

Microbusiness of the Year

Winner: International Business Centre Ltd T/A IBC-Music, Dundonald, County Down

International Business Centre Ltd is proud to have won the King’s Award for Enterprise in 2023. One of only three organisations in Northern Ireland to win the award, they were selected for strong growth in the international trade. The company specialises in the manufacture of musical instruments for brands across the world. They are a catalyst in matching brands with the correct manufacturing and distribution partners in Europe, USA and Asia. 95% of their business is outside the UK, with key customers in the USA, Canada, Germany, Italy and Netherlands which has seen the business grow with solid plans for future expansion.

Self-employed / Freelancer Award

Winner: Sinéad Lunny, Vocalis Public Speaking, Banbridge, County Down

Sinéad Lunny is a qualified solicitor who practised law for several years until her baby son had to undergo lifesaving heart surgery unexpectedly. This spurred her on to follow her passion for voice and communication. She resigned from her legal job, set up a successful speech and drama school, then set up Vocalis Public Speaking which delivers voice and communication training to corporate clients and individuals. She is also an award-winning actress, voiceover artist and event host.

Start-up Business of the Year

Winner: AdaptNI CIC, Newtownabbey, County Antrim 

AdaptNI launched on 1st July 2022 to continue specialist employment support for the deaf, hearing loss and tinnitus communities throughout Northern Ireland. The company has evolved into a diverse team supporting people throughout Northern Ireland through both pre and in work employment support. One in five people in Northern Ireland have hearing loss and can face barriers getting into and retaining their employment. AdaptNI bridge the gap and ensure barriers are removed on every step of the career ladder.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Winner: Rebecca McCullough, Eden Consultancy NI, Belfast, County Antrim

In October 2021, Rebecca launched her training business, Eden Consultancy NI. Her mission is to change the world around neurodiverse children and young people by equipping their key adults with knowledge and strategies through training. Rebecca believes that every neurodiverse child deserves a world where they experience a profound sense of belonging and can thrive. In the 26 months since beginning Eden Consultancy NI, Rebecca collaborated with over one hundred nonprofit organisations, facilitated training sessions for 4,over four thousand staff and engaged with over five and a half thousand parents, whilst also supporting hundreds of families through 1.1 consultations.

Franchise Business Award

Winner: Home Instead Banbridge, Newry and Mourne, Banbridge, County Down

Una and Declan O’Duil opened the office of Home Instead Banbridge, Newry & Mourne to promote and deliver a superior home care option to people in the area.Home Instead promotes home care visits with a minimum of one hour, based on the conviction that quality care cannot be delivered in less. They actively engage with the support structures and resources offered by the franchise, leveraging them to enhance their business capabilities, optimize operational efficiency, and adopting innovation in service delivery to great success.

Community Business Award

Winner: LE Graphics, Enniskillen, County  Fermanagh

LE Graphics, a family-owned sign and branding company based in Enniskillen, is spearheaded by husband and wife David and Edith Donaldson. They specialise in crafting and installing signage, vehicle graphics, printed materials, and branded clothing. Serving clients nationwide, including prestigious clients like The National Trust, local authorities and Euro Disney, the company prioritises quality, community engagement, and innovation. Their ethos revolves around nurturing local talent, championing charitable endeavours, and delivering exemplary service with a personalised touch. LE Graphics boasts a proud history of community involvement.

Diversity and Inclusion Award

Winner: The Space - Dungannon Enterprise Centre, Dungannon County Tyrone  

The Space, Dungannon Enterprise Centre have actively supported an East Timor organisation named TAIS, formed in 2019. The Space have provided guidance including putting fourteen ladies through food hygiene training so they could start up their own businesses. Assistance through funding, opening bank accounts alongside other initiatives has resulted in the promotion and support of  the culture and diversity of the East Timor community within Dungannon.

Service Excellence Award

Winner: G.S Stothers Smoke Ventilation Specialists, Newtownards, County Down  

G.S Stothers Smoke Ventilation Specialists, founded in 1983, is a leading provider of comprehensive smoke control solutions. With a legacy spanning over four decades, the company excels in the design, supply, installation, and commissioning of cutting-edge smoke ventilation systems. They have a longstanding dedication to delivering exceptional service in the realm of smoke ventilation. The company commitment to excellence is deeply rooted in over four decades of industry experience prioritising client satisfaction through innovative solutions and a team dedicated to maintaining the highest standards. Their consistency in service delivery guarantees a personalised and informed experience.