Four Donegal companies have achieved a quality mark signifying they meet the highest standards of service and trust.

Bundoran’s Donegal English Language School and Letterkenny-based children’s fitness firm Rinka were awarded the coveted All-Ireland Business All-Star accreditation at Croke Park this week.

Also accredited were Ballyliffin bistro Nancy’s Barn (pictured above) and AWS Tyres at Quigley’s Point.

All-Star accreditation is an independently verified standard mark for indigenous businesses, based on rigorous selection criteria.

The accreditation is overseen by the prestigious All-Ireland Business Foundation, whose adjudication panel is chaired by Dr Briga Hynes of the Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick and Kieran Ring, CEO of the Global Institute of Logistics.

Dr Hynes said the accreditation, which is now held by 300 firms, is needed by the thousands of small and medium businesses which operate to their own standards, but have nothing to measure them by.

“We evaluate a company’s background, trustworthiness and performance, and we speak to customers, employees and vendors,” she said.

“We also anonymously approach the company as a customer and report back on the experience.

“The business goes through at least two interviews and is scored on every part of the process against set metrics.”

The All-Ireland Business Foundation is responsible for overseeing the All-Ireland Business Summit and All-Star awards, ongoing All-Star accreditation, Thought Leader awards and promoting peer dialogue among members.

Meanwhile, Keith Barry and a host of top speakers will turn Scaling For Success from illusion to reality at the Foundation’s fifth All-Ireland Business Summit at Croke Park on Thursday May 2.

The theme for this year’s summit is Scaling For Success and over a thousand delegates will hear outstanding speakers on the day, including global performance psychology expert Jamil Qureshi.

Qureshi was the first official psychological performance coach for the European Ryder Cup team and works with a host of the world’s top golfers and Premiership footballers.

At the Croke Park presentation event, Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, said the commitment to quality of the small to medium enterprise sector was critical to the Irish economy.

“The Government have now committed to doubling the life-long learning rate to 18%,” she said.

“Ireland has the fastest growing economy in Europe and one of the fastest rates of business start-ups."

Gina and Mark Witherow of Donegal English Language School receiving All-Ireland Business Foundation All-Star accreditation at Croke Park from Dr Briga Hynes of the Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick. Pic Conor McCabe.

Sarah Gillespie, Rinka receiving All-Ireland Business Foundation All-Star accreditation at Croke Park from Dr Briga Hynes of the Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick. Pic Conor McCabe.

Garrett McMonagle, AWS Tyres receiving All-Ireland Business Foundation All-Star accreditation at Croke Park from Dr Briga Hynes of the Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick. Pic Conor McCabe.

Kieran and Edel Doherty of Nancy’s Barn receiving All-Ireland Business Foundation All-Star accreditation at Croke Park from Dr Briga Hynes of the Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick. Pic Conor McCabe.

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