The 37 enterprises ventured to Chartered Accountants House in Dublin for an evening that was set to highlight the creativity and drive of the country's best business brains.
Winners of the awards will be announced at event next March to show the value of small firms to the Irish economy.
AJ Noonan, SFA's chairman, noted that their success is even more remarkable considering the difficult economic climate they've been working in.
"The companies represented are from a wide range of business sectors and from the length and breadth of Ireland," he noted.
"These organisations have been trading in very difficult times over the past few years but they have proven that they are resilient and forward thinking and I believe an inspiration to us all."
It was revealed last week that IDA Ireland has created 12,000 job roles over the last 12 months as it encourages more firms to set up in the country.
Posted by Thomas Fletcher