Meet our Leading Lights

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Carlow - Elizabeth Morrissey

Elizabeth Morrissey is Managing Director of Morrissey's Pharmacy and Owner of ELM Beauty, Morrissey’s Medical Hall Carlow.

Morrissey’s Pharmacy Tullow was established 11 years ago and has grown steadily to employ 5 staff and celebrate 10 years in business last year. They are currently expending the building in Tullow to include a medical centre – a project which has allowed them to upgrade all their energy sources in the building and focus on becoming greener and more sustainable.

ELM Beauty Tullow was established 6 years ago and is thriving, with an ever-changing suite of treatments available to clients. Constant reviews of profitable and non-profitable treatments, a growing online business as well as a business re-brand and renovation have kept things fresh and vibrant. Capitalising on the development of their on-line business following from Covid is key for the future.

Cavan - Ann Rudden

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Ann Rudden, founder and CEO of award winning Áine’s Chocolate, is highly experienced and skilled in the art of chocolate making and in all aspects of running her business. A Master Chocolatier, with a passion for her art, Ann has over 30 years’ experience in the premium hand-made chocolate industry, where she has earned a reputation for quality, innovation and reliability.

Ann’s vision was ‘to create chocolate as it should be – mouth-watering, melt-in-the-mouth magic that is made with only the purest, freshest, natural ingredients”. In 1999 she established Áine’s Chocolates to follow this dream.
In addition to Ann’s own expertise and experience, she is fortunate to have a dedicated hard-working team of people who deliver, day in day out, and are committed to the ongoing success and growth of the business. Ann has won many prestigious awards over the years including - Blas Na hEireann / Irish Food Awards, 25 Great Taste Awards (including 13 Gold medals) and many endorsements from renowned international chefs such Rick Stein and Nevin Maguire

Tipperary - Geraldine Jones

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Geraldine Jones, founder of Skin Formulas and owner of a multi-award-winning skincare clinic MEDISKIN in Nenagh, also juggles business consultancy and family life. Juggling the birth of two little girls, the uncertainty of a pandemic, the stress of launching a new business and maintaining the success of another single-handedly is no small feat. Over the past 3 years, regardless of what has been thrown at her, Geraldine has expertly managed the growth of Skin Formulas from an initial concept to a promising new business that is moving from strength to strength at rapid speed.

Geraldine is very hands-on to ensure the growth of her businesses. This involves research, new product development, order fulfilment, distribution, sales and marketing, financial management, admin and customer service, to name a few!

Three years since launching, Skin Formulas has gone up against major established players within the skincare market such as Estee Lauder and has managed to secure product wins under Hi Style Best Beauty Buys Awards and Social and Personal Best Beauty Awards. Geraldine has been recognised by Network Ireland's Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2021 Power Within Champion for her sheer drive, determination and passion.

DunLaoghaire Rathdown - Lisa Geoghegan

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Young entrepreneur Lisa Geoghegan has had a long, distinguished career in the property sector. On a student placement program with CBRE in 2007 she gained an invaluable level of market insight, atypical of the usual placement experience. In 2010, she graduated from GMIT top of her class with a First-Class Honours Degree in Property Studies and joined CBRE’s graduate program, where she worked in property information consultancy as valuation support to NAMA.

Anxious to progress and further her career, Lisa joined the Jones Lang LaSalle valuation team, where she spent three years valuing property investment funds, mainly for client's IPUT and Irish Life. In 2013, Lisa moved to Green Property, a small team of asset managers who were solely working on Lloyds’ exit strategy from the Irish property market. During this time, she became a Chartered Property Surveyor.

Lisa is Founder and Managing Director of Sonalife, a company aimed at providing community experiences to help nurture residential and workplace culture as it evolves. It is the first female-led Irish business to create community experiences in property developments.

Dublin South - Sarah Power

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Sarah Power is the creator of a range of lovingly designed Irish children’s furniture and interiors products. It was founded in 2019 when Sarah couldn’t find in Ireland what she was looking for for her daughter’s nursery. It now employs 3 staff and has grown to include an online store, a Dublin showroom and a concession in Arnott’s Department Store, Dublin.

Lucy and Me has been featured in The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RSVP Magazine and RTE’s Late Late Toy Show.

Winner of a Prestige Award in 2021 for ‘Best EU Luxury Children’s Furniture Collection” and with an Instagram following of 26.3K continues to grow and expand.

Fingal - Amy and Marc Herbert

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The Little Wax Company founded in 2019 by Amy and Marc Herbert, is a Balbriggan based, small family business who specialise in producing luxury home fragrances which include wax melts, reed diffusers, room sprays and candles all of which are hand poured on-site before being packaged and sent out to customers.

Throughout their journey, The Little Wax Company has been actively supported by Local Enterprise Office, Fingal and have improved productivity in their business by participating in the Lean for Micro Programme which helped the business to identify and eliminate inefficiencies. The Little Wax Company have also benefited from supports such as a Business Expansion Grant, Business Priming Grant, Trading Online Vouchers. With the support of the Local Enterprise Office Fingal, The Little Wax Company also successfully completed the Green for Micro Programme.

 Dublin City - Megan Best

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Megan Best is the Managing Director of Native Events and devotes much of her time advocating for agency through creativity. Convinced that the cultural sector, and events in particular, can be at the forefront of transformative change, she spent more than a decade pioneering initiatives at the helm of the Body&Soul Festival, arguably the sustainability forerunner in Ireland’s festival scene. Her current role is as Managing Director to Native Events, the driving force for sustainable event consultancy, production and equipment hire in Ireland.

Trained in circular economy principles, with a BSc in Forestry and Conservation, an MSc in Environmental Sustainability and a Postgrad in Climate Entrepreneurship, Megan is a passionate and driven forerunner who works with a wide range of collaborators and creatives in the realms of circularity, production and sustainability solutions. Native Events was established in 2017 to bring sustainable practices to the Irish events sector.

Kerry - Emily BrickKerry Leading Light Emily BrickR.jpg

Emily Brick is the Founder and Director of Athena Analytics, set up in 2017, an edtech company based in Tralee, County Kerry. They provide software, the “Athena Tracker”, to educational institutions.

This software uses machine learning to identify a student's potential. The student's performance throughout school is then tracked against this for the purpose of highlighting when they dip below their own unique potential and may require some additional support. Each student's pathway through school is unique. Success is different for each student. Traditionally academic tracking is focused on both the high achievers and the students that require most support. Our software aims to ensure that every student gets this type of attention, and no student gets missed in a busy school system.

The Athena Tracker is currently used in over half of Ireland’s secondary schools and in a growing number of schools in both the UK and South Africa.

Cork North and West - Enrika MooreCork N W Enrika MooreR.jpg

Enrika Moore is the Director & Co-Founder of Viska Systems which was established in 2015 with the aim of creating intelligent automation that enables machines to move, think, and see. The company’s core expertise is in three main areas: robotics, machine vision and software development.

Even though Viska have a small team of 5, they thrive on innovation and have managed to build strong partnerships with the most successful names in automation and machine vision sectors. In the last few years, they have also launched their own product ‘Visable’ - a software platform that operates as a No-Code interface for robot, camera, and image processing controls.

Viska Systems have an international customer base in the medical device, automotive, food and beverage, semiconductor, and research industries. So far, Viska Systems has been bootstrapped by its two founders and has not taken any external investment.

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Rosie Mansfield is the Managing Director of Premier TEFL which is a world leading provider of online and short TEFL/TESOL certifications that are trusted and respected by employers globally. Premier TEFL qualifications are English government regulated (Ofqual) and have a 99% pass rate. Premier TEFL is rated five stars by their community of over 67,000 graduates.

Premier TEFL’s HQ was established in 2015 in Youghal, Co. Cork. They currently have 6 office-based employees who work across sales, marketing, operations, web development and design. They also run a large remote team in their academic department, mainly based across Europe.

Premier TEFL are the go-to specialists in ESL teacher training. As well as online TEFL courses, aspiring English teachers can complete fully organised teaching practice with qualified instructors and real ESL students online, qualifying them for higher paying TEFL jobs. In 2022 Premier TEFL have launched brand new teaching qualifications: Level 5 TEFL Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas and they are working on a new USA government accreditation for 2023.

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FloWithMe is a virtual wellness company that combines chair yoga, healthy cooking and life coaching services assisting its worldwide clients to achieve the best version of themselves with a personalised wellness approach integrating the body, mind and spirit.

FloWithMe specialises in teaching Chair Yoga – Cahir Yoga makes yoga accessible to people living with mobility impairment and disability. Some class participants are in a wheelchair, others have down syndrome, are blind, have intellectual disabilities and / or autism. Chair Yoga has become very popular for working from home employees that are desk-bound and spending on average 2.4h longer a day sitting down since the start of Covid-19.

Kildare, Wicklow - Tara Lane

Tara Lane photo - KildareR.jpgTara Lane is founder and Owner of Centrepiece Rosettes, established in 2016. It manufactures rosettes and sashes for the equestrian and agricultural shows and provide branded rosettes for corporate and community events. Customers include premier events such as the Dublin Horse Show, Tullamore Show, The National Ploughing Championships and many more national events and organisations. Tara is currently expanding the business abroad and growing their product range to include personalised engraved awards and gifts for equestrian and corporate events.

Having worked in the bloodstock industry for 12 years, Tara started her first business in 2001 which she went on to sell and as a typical entrepreneur, she started, sold and closed a few businesses along her journey, learning from each experience. She has always been involved in horses throughout her life and Centrepiece Rosettes fits perfectly with her interests and family life.

Kildare, Wicklow - Kate Dempsey

Kate Dempsey_Photo WicklowR.jpgKate Dempsey is the CEO of Aqualicense Limited based in Arklow, Wicklow. From an Irish fishing family, Kate first applied for an aquaculture licence when she was 22 years old. She realised the marine activity in her home harbour had much reduced and hoped a new business would help to regenerate the area. Kate put her skills in licencing and law to good use by establishing Aqualicense.

Kate pivoted from a legal background into aquaculture in the past ten years. In 2018, she was identified by the Irish Times as a ‘female innovator shaping the islands future’, named a national finalist in the Enterprise Ireland Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition and a national finalist in the Bank of Ireland Entrepreneur Awards.

In addition to owning Aqualicense Ltd., Kate is the founder of three other companies: Ondine (marine surveying), the Irish Mussel Seed Company (Offshore Mussel Farm in Ireland) as well as a founder and director of the Tethra Offshore Renewable Energy portfolio. She has almost 90 employees working in all four companies.

Kilkenny - Louise Kennedy

Louise Kennedy photo - KilkennyR.jpgLouise Kennedy is founder & Group COO of are a team of thirty experienced corporate event specialists, with teams based in Ireland, Spain, New York and San Francisco, with plans well afoot to open a team base in APAC (Singapore).

Red Robin Events deliver logistics for corporate events and conferences. Services include website design, delegate communications, air travel, ground transportation, venue management, hotel management and the design and delivery of event collateral.

Leitrim - Ann Guckian

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Ann Guckian is the founder and owner of Leitrim Office Supplies. Established in 1990, Leitrim Office Supplies has seen steady growth over the years.

It is a Member of Office Friendly UK/IRL Buying Group which means that they have the buying power of the entire group rather than a singular business.

Leitrim Office Supplies have adapted a completely new model of business with an entirely online offering. Customer relationship management continues by telephone and is key to the business success.

Longford, Laois, Offaly, Westmeath - Patricia Gibney

Patricia Gibney_WestmeathR.jpgPatricia Gibney is a widow from Mullingar with three adult children and four grandchildren, who worked in Westmeath County Council for many years. Through a series of events, some traumatic, some fortunate, and with focus and dedication, she became a successful crime fiction author selling 11 books in the Lottie Parker Series.

Patricia’s debut novel, The Missing Ones, was published by London based digital publisher, Bookouture, in March 2017. To date eleven Detective Lottie Parker books have been published in the series with over two million sales. The series is also available in audio format, and paperback editions are published by Sphere UK and Hachette Ireland.

Foreign translations have sold to Italy, Spain, Norway, France, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Taiwan, and audio to Sweden and Finland. Bookouture also publish my books in German.

Mayo, Galway, Roscommon - Chloe Gardiner

Chloe Gardiner - Galway Theo Paphitis Event 2022R.jpgChloe Gardiner is the founder of Wonky Woolins which creates and designs unique heirloom-quality soft toy gifts for new babies and toddlers. Each toy is carefully handmade to last for generations; a once-in-a-lifetime unique gift, that will always be remembered and treasured for life.

The business has operated solely online since 2019, selling through multiple online sales channels and website. In 2020 Chloe entered the Baa Baa Bandits into a competition for the 10th anniversary of Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday Awards for small businesses in the UK, she was one of the 7 winners. She also won an SBS Award. The Wonky Woolins have started their wholesale journey.

As a result of putting much effort into the press, the business has been featured with RTE, Newstalk, Irish Times, RTE Radio 1, Ireland AM and so much more.

Mayo, Galway, Roscommon - Sarah Flood

Mayo - SarahFloodR.jpgSarah Flood is the Managing Director of Snap Mayo, a company passionate about helping companies promote their brand, in a creative, modern and innovative way, enabling them to grow their business.

A Castlebar woman born and bred, having qualified as a Graphic Designer, Sarah started her early career working in a small local design agency, progressed to a brief stint in Sattchi & Sattchi, which then progressed into a long-term career in Intersport Elverys as their Head of Design. Her time and experience in this role, led Sarah to setting up her own business and to her current role as Managing Director of Snap Mayo. Customer-orientated with a passion for challenges, Sarah uses innovation and management skills to consistently provide excellent results for both the customer and the company. Sarah is a previous finalist in the Network Ireland National Business awards.

Snap Mayo provide marketing services supporting customers’ ideas with a 360-degree service that includes print, design, signage, promotional products and digital content. All under one roof. There is a lot more to Snap Mayo than print and more to what we print than paper.

Mayo, Galway, Roscommon - Ruth Larkin

Roscommon - RuthLarkin imageR.pngRuth Larkin is a serial industry entrepreneur behind multiple multi-million euro businesses, a private investor in Irish start-ups, and a professional consultant, trainer and mentor focusing on foreign expansion, commercialisation, and sales strategy. Ruth is the founder and Managing Director of Lark Bridal Ltd, established in 2013 to distribute a portfolio of luxury international bridal and fashion brands into the European market. Since then, it has developed into the largest global distributor of the number 1 bridal brand in the world, operating currently across 32 export countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa distributing leading US brands Maggie Sottero, Rebecca Ingram, Sottero and Midgley and A’El Este along with the company’s own brand bridesmaids collection RULABELLE.

Larkin Consultancy Service was established as part of the company to provide tailored mentoring, consultancy, training and coaching to start-ups, micro and SME’s domestically and internationally. Ruth Larkin supports private clients and client companies of Enterprise Ireland and Local Enterprise Offices to develop and implement effective and aggressive sales and marketing strategies focused on commercialisation and export opportunities.

Ruth is an expert business speaker at international trade fairs including Harrogate and London Fashion Week, Entrepreneur podcaster with upcoming Enterprise Ireland Podcast and a national finalist in Business Woman of The Year Awards and winner of Enterprise Special Merit Award for Entrepreneurship and Resilience.

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Meath, Louth - Marita Collier

Marita is the Managing Director of Drummond House Garlic; it is the first ever commercial producer of Irish garlic and began in 2012. With no legacy of growing garlic on their farm she started from zero. Since 2014 they have increased our crop size from 1 acre to 10 acres now in 2022.Drummond House Garlic now employs 4 local people.

In March 2020 the food service business was lost 100% overnight due to the closure of bars, restaurants during the lockdown. Availing of the Trading Online Voucher helped them to launch their new online store in May 2020. Since, they have created new valued added products which have a longer shelf life for the retail market. At present, they are selling their products in 2 major retail stores nationwide, and also artisan stores. Drummond House Garlic has started exporting due to the sales generated through their online store.

Meath, Louth - Sinéad Crowther

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Sinéad Crowther is the Founder & CEO of Soothing Solutions, a manufacturing company that produces natural innovative products to help soothe young children suffering from sore throats and dry coughs. Their first product Tonstix Honey Jelly pops was launched in April 2022 and is now stocked in over 770 pharmacies in Ireland including Boots and McCabes.

The company was incorporated in 2017 and has raised €149k approx. in grant funding during its R&D Phase and €1.3 million in Private and VC Funding in the last 12 months.

The company set up its own purpose-built manufacturing facility in Dundalk Co. Louth where it currently employs 9 people and will potentially be adding 8-10 more jobs in the next 12 months. They already have orders from Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Monaghan - Brenda Cassidy

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Brenda Cassidy is an Occupational Therapist, Founder and Director of The Braincalm Institute which is based in Monaghan.  Brenda created The Braincalm Physical Programme in 2017 which is a 'one size fits all' therapy programme in response to a cry for help from parents & school staff who needed practical  solutions to help children with challenging behaviours & anxiety who were on waiting lists for years.

The Braincalm Physical Programme is now widely used in schools throughout Ireland & overseas. 30%- 50% of children in mainstream classrooms today present with SGO – “something going on” which leaves it difficult for them to learn. In Ireland there are currently 110,000 children & teens on waiting lists for various therapies. The Braincalm team bridge the gap & provide 'brain changing' solutions for those on long waiting lists.

The team provide solutions & training to empower school staff & parents to help them. The Braincalm Physical Programme is a science & therapy based 15 minute a day exercise programme which strengthens brain connections and calms/organises the brains of individuals who struggle with out of sync behaviours. This year the company launched a new product called the Braincalm Sounds Neuro Activation Programme. This is a personalised complex sounds programme which is delivered simply, via headphones every day for one month. The sounds target & strengthen specific areas of the brain. It is used with children who have speech delays, sensory processing difficulties, dyslexia, autism, teens with anxiety & to help slow down the progression of dementia symptoms.

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Sligo - Helena Boland

Helena Boland is the founder of Neptune estate agents and financial advisers

Neptunefinancial's company slogan ‘Giving you financial health the attention it deserves' Helena adopts the holistic approach when helping people with their finances., and believes there is no point focusing on one part of a clients financial plan. You need to take everything into consideration.

From this approach we then developed the Neptune financial wellness programme for workplaces. Successfully delivered that programme to the like of local and national companies such as Boots Ireland, Good4U, Galetech, Sl Controls to the HSE. The company is also involved in auctioneering

Waterford - Frances O’Reilly

Waterford - Frances O'ReillyR.jpgFrances O’Reilly is the Founder and CEO of DogDry which was established during lockdown in February 2021.

They make drying coats for dogs. DogDry is made with 3 layers of performance fabrics. The soft inner layer wicks away moisture and odours from the dog’s body. The super-absorbent inner layer locks it away. The waterproof outer layer keeps the mess within the coat and out of your car and home.

Designed in Ireland, DogDry was awarded for innovation by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland in 2021 and became an Enterprise Ireland client within less than a year, winning Competitive Start Funding in December 2021.

DogDry was launched in summer 2022. The business has one full time employee and a dedicated team of committed freelancers and agencies.

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Laura Sinnott Joint Managing Director at Wexford Home Preserves, artisan maker of multiple award-winning jams, marmalades, savoury and specialty preserves, supplies over 350 shops nationwide and makes award-winning Simply Better products for Dunnes Stores. The company employs a team of 14 staff at its premises in New Ross, Co. Wexford.

After taking over Wexford Home Preserves in 2008 during a recession by 2013 the business needed to expand and move to a new premises to increase production capacity to meet demand for their preserves. This was done with the help of a business expansion grant from Wexford Local Enterprise Office. After the expansion the turnover for the following year doubled and has continued to grow very steadily every year since.

Over 100 national and international food awards have been won by the company – they have won a coveted 3 gold stars in the international Great Taste Awards three times and gold in the World Marmalade Awards.