Four Kerry businesses were chosen to represent the county in the next stage of the ILDN Back to Work Local Enterprise Awards at an event held in Tralee last week during Enterprise Week. The national event is organised in order to recognise the successes of newly established businesses across the country which have been set up with the support of the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme. Two businesses from North Kerry – David Lyons with Marathon Board Games and Ieva Breen with Precise Cleaning as well as two from South Kerry – Kim Elliot with Rocket Deliveries and John Fenton of ConnectOpp– were chosen to go forward to the regional final later in the year. All of the businesses taking part have been set up within the last two years.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, the CEO’s of both NEWKD and SKDP, Eamonn O’Reilly and Noel Spillane, praised all the new start-ups for having the courage to set up and develop their businesses as well as paying tribute to four enterprise officers across the county who supported them. Kieran Barry of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, who have overall responsibility for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme, said it was great to have events such as this to highlight the success stories of new businesses such as these and give them a chance to get into the national spotlight. “I hope their stories and journeys will inspire others to consider entrepreneurship and all of the 400 people who are currently on the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme in the country at present should be really proud of themselves and their achievements” he added.
Those attending the event were also addressed by Maura Sheehy from Maura’s Country Flowers in Ballyroe, who was a winner at the 2016 awards, who outlined her story and success in developing her business and who encourage all those involved to continue to work at establishing their enterprises. The regional awards are expected to take place later in the year when other areas have selected their entries.
Pictured: Winners with Committee. Front: John Fenton (Connectapp), Ieva Breen (Precise Cleaning), Kim Elliott (Rocket Deliveries), David Lyons (Rawmation Board Games). Back: Eibhlis Hanrahan (Enterprise Officer NEWKD), Elaine Kennedy (Enterprise Officer NEWKD), Noel Spillane (CEO SKDP), John Stack (Chairperson NEWKD), Eamonn O’Reilly (CEO NEWKD), Kieran Barry (DEASP), Joanne Griffin (Enterprise SKDP)