Pictured at Stormont Parilment Buildings: Seamus O’Prey, Chairman of Ulster Community Investment Trust who are sponsoring the Social Entrepreneur Award, Orlaith Adams, Belfast Media Group and Junior Minister Jennifer McCann.

Fifty of the top individuals and companies who have pioneered business in Belfast are to be honoured in the Long Gallery at Stormont on Thursday 18 October at the Eighth Annual Belfast Business Top 50 Awards.  They will have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to driving economic success in the city through entrepreneurial leadership.  Both businessmen and businesswomen will be on the list, veteran business people and many young guns.  Some will be entrepreneurs and small business owners, others executives of major companies.

Previous recipients of the Belfast Business Top 50 accolade include Gerry McKernan, founder of clubstohire.com, Dr Suzanne Saffie-Siebert from SiSaf Ltd, Conal Harvey Titanic Quarter Ltd, Mark Brown of Arcadia Delicatessen, restaurateur Bob McCoubrey Mourne Seafood, Frank McGonagle Wholeschool Software, Ciaran Sheehan Young Enterprise, Caitriona Lavery of Hastings Hotels and Paul Roberts, Ashton Community Trust.

This year Invest NI are sponsoring The Growth Award, which will be awarded to a company which has demonstrated exceptional levels of growth in sales over the past 12 months.  A panel of judges will shortlist three companies for the Invest NI Growth Award and will visit those companies in the weeks before the final awards.

At the launch of the Belfast Business Top 50 at Belfast International Airport are Gearóid Trimble (Foras na Gaeilge), Connla McCann (Belfast Media Group) and Barry Jackson (United Airlines).

The Eighth annual Belfast Business Top 50 celebration will be marked by the publication of a special print and online supplement profiling our honourees and celebrating their achievements.

Belfast Media Group’s Alison Sweeney is pictured at the launch of the 2012 Belfast Business Top 50 with Kieran O’Connor, Lough Shore Investments and Oonagh Hinds of Invest NI