Helen Shivers Named Northern Ireland Business Person Of The Year

Helen Shivers | AIBF
Helen Shivers, With Her Northern Ireland Business Person Of The Year 2021 Trophy.

Managing Director of Shivers Business Park Helen Shivers has been recognised with a major accolade from the All-Ireland Business Foundation.

Helen has been named Northern Ireland Business Person Of The Year in recognition of her contribution to Northern Irish business.

Born on a dairy and pig farm in County Fermanagh Helen had a busy and happy childhood alongside her 10 siblings. The family grew their own vegetables, their hens laid the eggs and provided meat for the Sunday dinner – It was all hands-on-deck.

Helen’s mother – who was a very industrious woman and an expert knitter – was also very good at securing her children part-time jobs for after school and got Helen her first job in a retail shop when she was 14 years old. She loved the world of work and thrived on the interaction with the customers.

Toome Industrial Estate

She left Fermanagh aged 21 and married her husband Charlie who was a plumber. The couple moved to County Derry and began working to expand Charlie’s business. Helen looked after his administration, his purchasing and invoices and the pair ran their small operation from the hayshed on the farm.

They soon began looking for a new site as the business started to grow and the planners began to circle the hayshed. While on the way to a wedding in London Helen spotted a large derelict site made up of several old buildings for sale.

It had planning permission to operate an industrial business which was enough for Helen and Charlie to swoop in and buy the site for £140,000.00 at auction. The purchase was the beginning of Helen’s successful foray into the commercial property industry.

Alongside her husband and her four children Helen has grown the business park from a large derelict shell into a thriving business centre which is home to more than thirty two businesses and 300 people.

Shivers Business Park Offers commercial property units of all shapes and sizes to suit retail outlets, office spaces and light industry. Units range in size from 200 sq ft up to 10,000 sq ft and can be modified to suit every specific requirement. The park boasts a prime location in the center of Mid Ulster on a motorway that connects Belfast with Derry – Northern Ireland’s largest cities.

With the demand for units at an all-time high, Helen has bought an additional four acres adjoining her original four-acre site. With properties also in Cookstown, Ballymena, Larne, Maghera and Kesh, Helen and her brilliant team are kept very busy.

Responding to today’s announcement, Helen Shivers said: I am most humbled and honoured to receive this beautiful award from the All Ireland Business Foundation, Northern Ireland Business Person of the Year 2021.

All-Star Business 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 over 450 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. 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”, she says.

Kieran Ring, Deputy Chair on the Adjudication Board said in support of the announcement: “This Certificate Verifies That Helen Shivers Of Toome Industrial Development Has Been Named AIBF Northern Ireland Business Person Of The Year 2021. The Accreditation Is In Recognition Of Helen’s Outstanding Contribution To Industry & Commerce In Northern Ireland. Furthermore We Wish To Recognise Helen’s Track Record In The Founding And Nurturing Of Toome Industrial Development. Helen Shivers Is Hereby Included In The AIBF Register Of Irish Business Excellence.”

The All-Ireland Business Foundation is a national body which accredits best-in-class Irish businesses as Business All-Stars. The Foundation also oversees the All-Ireland Business Summit while promoting peer dialogue amongst our members on an ongoing basis.

To learn more about Toome Industrial Development Ltd, visit their All-Star showcase page here.

The process to select the next group of Business All-Star accredited companies has begun and further information is available at aibf.ie.