TV Apprentice‘Jedi’ Jim to host Strabane Business Awards 2011

Jim Eastwood will be the special guest at the Strabane Business Awards on October 15. (2709BM02)
Jim Eastwood will be the special guest at the Strabane Business Awards on October 15. (2709BM02)

After battling it out with Lord Sugar and the other Apprentice finalists, Jim Eastwood from Cookstown, or Jedi Jim as he has become known, will be using his supernatural powers of manipulation to bend the minds of Strabane’s finest entrepreneurs when he hosts the 2011 Strabane Business Awards.

The 32-year-old Marketing Manager was beaten to The Apprentice crown by inventor Tom Pellereau, and during his journey on The Apprentice he earned the nickname ‘Jedi Jim’ after he successfully encouraged a project manager to change his mind about bringing him back into the boardroom after losing a task.

Jim will be hosting the 2011 Strabane Business Awards which are being staged in The Fir Trees Hotel, Strabane on Saturday, October 15.

Jim said: “I’m looking forward to hosting the Strabane Business Awards in October, and I’m very excited about meeting many of Strabane’s leading entrepreneurs.”

“Business Awards initiatives are an excellent way to showcase what’s great about a local business community, and it’s important to remember that entrepreneurs and local businesses are the lifeblood of the economy.”

“With the depressed state of the global economy and all of the doom and gloom about local economic recovery I believe celebrating the successes of local businesses is so important, more now than ever.”

“I believe there are still great business opportunities out there for entrepreneurs, and if we can inspire and reignite our business leaders and entrepreneurs and encourage them to go for it I think the road to recovery will be much shorter and much quicker.”

Patricia Hegarty, President of Strabane Chamber of Commerce said: “We are absolutely delighted that Jim will be hosting the Business Awards Gala Event for us in October, which is held in conjunction with the Chamber’s Annual Ball.”

“It was great to hear a local accent on The Apprentice, and it goes to show you that local people can compete with many of the UK and Ireland’s most talented entrepreneurs.”

“Throughout the whole of Strabane district we have many entrepreneurs with similar strengths and characteristics to Jim, and if we believed in ourselves more and if we are able to break free from the barriers that hold us back the local economy would quickly recover.”

“This resurgence must be driven by the private sector, and I believe our entrepreneurial champions will lead the economic recovery and pull us through these tough economic times.”

Marc McGerty from Accelerate Business Support Agency who are organising the awards added: “The aim of the business awards is not only to recognise and celebrate what’s great about the Strabane business community, it’s also about inspiring and encouraging our local entrepreneurs and business leaders to take their business to the next stage.”

“To date, we have received over 75 nominations for businesses from all over Strabane District, and after the nomination window closes on September 28 we will appoint finalists in each of the categories.”

“We will appoint an adviser to each of the finalists, and the adviser will help with the Administration of the Judging Process. This team of advisers will meet with the finalists to gather the necessary information to assist the Judging Panel with the selection of the winners.”

“In total we have appointed a team of 12 advisers to help with the Judging Process, and they will meet with all finalists in early October reporting back to the Judging Panel on the October 13 and 14 who will then pick the winners.”

Marc added: “All of the businesses that are nominated for an Award will be sent more information about the Judging Process, and ‘Award Nominees’ will be given information about the Judging Criteria for each of the Award Categories.”

For more information on the 2011 Strabane Business Award call Marc McGerty on 07830 361640 or email