From future makers to enterprising women, it’s been a busy month of awards and announcements for Irish businesses
The Future of Irish Design
Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) recently announced the 26 winners of the Future Makers Awards 2023. Established in 2009, the awards aim to support the next generation of makers, designers, and craftspeople to take the step from training into enterprise as well as fostering the growth of Ireland’s renowned design and craft sector. With a total awards value of €25,000, it is one of the largest prize-funded design and craft award programmes in Europe.
The 2023 Overall Emerging Maker Winner was announced as ceramicist Cora Cummins from Co Waterford, and fashion designer Olwen Bourke from Co Dublin took home the Sustainability Award. Meanwhile, in the student and recent graduates’ category, ceramicist Paul Griffin from Co Limerick was announced as Overall Student Winner. The full list of winners can be found here.
One of the most moving moments of the event came from key note speaker, designer Don O’Neill. He shared these nuggets of wisdom, which any creator, young or old, would find inspiring:
- My first and most important lesson was from my own mother and father – always be nice to everybody and treat them with respect.
- Authenticity is key – you are unique, so do not compare yourself to any other makers.
- Always trust your instincts and go with your gut, no one will ever create what you create.
- Know your ‘why’.
- Cooperation, collaboration and communication with fellow makers is important. Be each other’s allies not competitors.
- The secret to success is to keep focused on your dreams. That is your north star.
Businesses with a Purpose
Guaranteed Irish has launched “The Guaranteed Irish Business Awards 2024, proudly supported by Permanent TSB”. The Awards celebrate its 2000+ business members with a purpose who distinguish themselves in their support of local jobs, communities, and provenance. 2024 is a special year as it also coincides with the Guaranteed Irish 50th anniversary.
The annual Awards, which will take place at the RDS on 21 March, includes categories such as Sustainability, Construction, Food & Beverage, Beauty, Home and Lifestyle, and Pharmaceuticals. An independent judging panel of business leaders from across industry will decide on the category finalists and overall winning businesses.
The MC, popular comedian and broadcaster, Oliver Callan, will introduce various surprise elements throughout the evening. Entrants are encouraged to apply online as soon as possible, to be in with a chance of getting shortlisted as it promises to be a very special event!
Brown Thomas Arnotts just announced the five finalists for Pitch ’23, the initiative that calls on new Irish businesses to pitch for an opportunity to retail in Arnotts and online at arnotts.ie. The winning business will also receive a €10,000 business development fund.
The aim of the initiative is to support Irish start-ups, small businesses, designers, makers and entrepreneurs across a host of sectors – fashion, beauty, jewellery, lifestyle, circular, home and technology – who already have a product/range developed, or a service offering identified. Pitch 23 offers the exciting opportunity to grow their brand further and to offer specialised mentoring and expertise in the world of retail.
The finalists were agreed upon by an expert Brown Thomas Arnotts judging panel, which included Head of Enterprise Vena Doyle, Head of Digital Pippa Casey, Head of Sustainability Diana Geraghty and Head of Home & Lifestyle Buying Edel Woods and were joined by businesswoman Hannah Saunders, founder of Hannah Saunders PR.
A full line up of events across the country has been announced for this year’s National Women’s Enterprise Day. The Local Enterprise Office initiative, which takes place on the October 19, will see 14 events taking place under the theme of “Empowering Business Together”.
Now in it’s 17th year, the event was established to give women in business and budding female entrepreneurs the opportunity to build their network and find out what supports are available to help them start and grow their businesses.
Some of those involved in events across the country include Broadcaster and Entrepreneur, Anna Daly, Beauty Businesswoman Marissa Carter, Head of the Ploughing Championships, Anna May McHugh, MD of Ardmore Studios, Elaine Geraghty, Businesswoman and Broadcaster, Norah Casey, Smooth Company founder, Aine Kennedy and National Enterprise Awards Winner, Noreen Hackett of Advanced Cosmetics. Click here for more information.