Economy Minister Gordon Lyons has outlined the benefits and value of holding a Queen's Award for Enterprise.
These are the most prestigious awards for UK businesses and are a globally recognised royal seal of approval for UK companies. The Queen's Awards for Enterprise recognise outstanding achievements across four categories:
Innovation - recognises businesses which demonstrate strong commercially successful innovative products or services.
Sustainable Development - winners demonstrate sustainable products, services or interventions for more than two years and can provide evidence of the benefits or positive outcomes of their actions and practices.
International Trade - recognises businesses which have demonstrated substantial growth in overseas earnings and commercial success within their sector.
Promoting Opportunity through social mobility - recognises and rewards employers for their work in providing high quality social mobility initiatives and programmes that specifically reach out to and support people from disadvantaged backgrounds, in order to inspire and guide the best talent into their organisation and beyond.
Speaking to local businesses this morning at an information event hosted by Invest Northern Ireland at Malone House, Belfast, Minister Lyons said: "Whether you are a business active in international trade, you have a great innovative product or service, or are running a sustainable development programme, these Awards offer a unique way to recognise the achievements of your company and your teams.
"Past local winners of the UK's most prestigious business honour have leveraged the recognition to further grow and succeed internationally.
"For 2023, I hope we will see more companies from Northern Ireland submitting applications and being successful in achieving the Queen's Award for Enterprise."