Joe and Bernie Carroll, centre, winners of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award
A COUNTY Limerick businesswoman has been named as Limerick’s Entrepreneur of the Year.
Bernie Carroll, who founded Student Programmes Ireland, received the accolade at the Limerick final of the National Enterprise Awards in the Absolute Hotel on Friday.
Student Programmes Ireland exists to provide education programmes for European students who want to improve their English language skills.
The firm was set up by Ms Carroll and husband Joe in 2009.
She has 12 years experience in dealing with International students and has built up a very powerful team for her business over the past few years.
“I’m delighted to have won the award as Entrepreneur of the Year. I’m totally shocked. It is such a team effort from the administrators to the local co-ordinators to the liaison officers for each country,” Ms Carroll said.
It was a brace of prizes for the firm, with Ms Carroll also scooping the Best Service Business at the awards ceremony, which rounded off Limerick Enterprise Week.
She was joined on the winners roll by four other businesses.
Autobody Solutions at Crossagalla took the prize for best manufacturing business, while Get West from Castletroy won the award for best new start-up.
Another Castletroy firm, Brew Brothers, was named best retail business and the innovation award went to Mount Kennett Place firm Mackessy Technology.
Mayor Kieran O’Hanlon said the impact of the Local Enterprise Office cannot be understated.
“Since its establishment, it has proven to be an important facilitator of direct supports, business growth and jobs in the local start-up and SME sector,” he said.
Bernie Carroll and Student Programmes Ireland Ltd will now go forward to represent Limerick in the National Finals in May.