JFC Innovation Awards for Rural Business

2014 JFC Innovation Awards for Rural Business – €40,000 in prizes on offer
The 2014 JFC Innovation Awards for Rural Business have been launched at the National Ploughing Championships, at Ratheniska, Stradbally, Co Laois. The Awards are sponsored by JFC, Manufacturing, Tuam, Co. Galway, and are organised in association with the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, Teagasc and the Irish Farmers Journal. The competition is a great way of getting publicity for your existing business or developing an idea. Now in its seventh year it has given hundreds of businesses a chance to win prizes but more importantly to improve their business.
So if you have a business idea or have already set up a business in rural Ireland then you have to enter the 2014 JFC Innovation awards. The winners will take away €40,000 in prizes but everyone who enters will get an opportunity to receive free mentoring for their business.  The new Start-up category remains a key focus. We want people with just an idea to submit it. The aim is to help people turn their business idea into a reality. As many previous entrants have found the JFC Innovation awards is the perfect place to start.
“The JFC Innovation Awards are really about the sponsors trying to help you and your company to prosper and create extra jobs and employment,” John Concannon, MD JFC at the launch. “Every business that enters will gain from this experience. Pitching your idea to the judges will give you confidence and the feedback you receive will help you bring your business to the next phase. Indeed one of last year’s entrants with the idea of developing a product to keep bale wrap clean and tidy came through the competition,” he added.
Achieving an award has really helped many previous winners and finalists even in areas such as securing finance, support, grant aid and opening new markets.
We were absolutely delighted to be chosen as a category winner in last year’s JFC Innovation Awards; it gave us a very welcome boost just at the right time.
Adrian Morrow, Glenarm Shorthorn Beef, 2013 Category winner
Adrian Morrow and Peter Hannan, Glenarm Shorthorn Beef, 2013 Category winner.
The whole JFC Innovation Awards for Rural Business was a great experience for us. It is a fantastic way of getting free publicity for the businesses via the associated press and the professional video shoot. It also gave us the opportunity to pitch our business in front of judges and receive their feedback. The JFC Innovation Awards are a great experience for any established or new business.
Janette O’Hagan, Heatboss, 2013 Finalist.
Janette O’Hagan, Heatboss, 2013 Finalist.
All you need to enter is a good idea or business that is in its first five years of trading. The next step is to get an entry form. Entries forms are available from your local DARD Direct Office, your local Rural Enterprise Adviser, or directly from the DARD website.   Finally you have to fill out an entry form and send in a simple business plan that shows you have put a bit of thought into the idea. The competition is split into four categories
  • Energy / Manufacturing
  • Value Added / Speciality Food
  • Services / Rural Tourism
  • Start up
The deadline for entries is Friday 20 December 2013. The judging will take place in mid-January/mid-February 2014 and the overall winner of the will be announced at a special awards ceremony in May 2014. For more information you can email innovation.awards@dardni.gov.uk or call 028 9052 4591.

Download an Application Form