Fingal Company “Hope Beer” Wins National Start-Up Award

Fingal Company “Hope Beer” Wins National Start-Up Award

Taoiseach presents National Enterprise Awards with Minister Mitchell O’ Connor and Minister Breen

Hope Beer, a micro-brewery supported by Local Enterprise Office Fingal, wins ‘Best Start-Up’ at gala event in Dublin’s Mansion House

A craft beer company from Fingal has won the ‘Best Start-Up’ category at this year’s National Enterprise Awards (on May 25th), which is organised by the Local Enterprise Offices every year to celebrate the achievements of Ireland’s micro-enterprises.

With the help of Local Enterprise Office Fingal, Hope Beer opened a state of the art environmentally-friendly micro-brewery at Howth Junction in 2016 to brew a range of award winning craft beers, based on Fingal stories. The company’s founder, Wim de Jongh, and his team were presented with the ‘Best Start-Up’ Award by An Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny T.D., the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D. and the Minister of State for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen T.D. at a black-tie ceremony in the Mansion House.

Representatives of Local Enterprise Office Fingal and Fingal County Council, including Head of Enterprise Oisin Geoghegan and Director of Economic, Enterprise and Tourism Development in Fingal County Council, Ed Hearne were also at the event.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Oisin Geoghegan, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Fingal, and chairperson of the organising committee for the National Enterprise Awards, said: “Micro-enterprises in Fingal, like Hope Beer, which make up more than 90% of all businesses in Ireland, are powering the national and local economy with the Local Enterprise Office Fingal as their ‘first-stop-shop’ for accessing enterprise supports. I’d like to pay tribute to the team at Hope Beer and this ‘Best Start-Up’ award is a celebration of their courage, vision and success.”

Paul Reid, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council said: “For thousands of small companies like these winners and finalists at the National Enterprise Awards, the Local Enterprise Offices through the Local Authorities Network have become a first stop shop for business. The National Enterprise Awards help to celebrate these companies’ achievements. In Fingal we have a proud and successful track record at these Awards and I’m delighted that once again Fingal has triumphed with Hope Beer securing the “Best Start-Up” prize”.

Local Enterprise Office Fingal supported companies have achieved great success at the National Enterprise Awards over the years with an impressive list of winners, including InvizBox Ltd. (Skerries), Keogh’s Crisps (Oldtown), Simtech Aviation (Dublin Airport Logistics Park), software business “IFS Ltd.” (Dublin 15) and IBAT College (Swords).

At the 2017 National Enterprise Awards, another Dublin company, Acutrace in South Dublin, won the overall award, Hexafly in Meath took the award for ‘Innovation’ and Monaghan Brothers Bar Furniture Manufacturers from Mayo won the ‘Best Export’ category.

The Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny T.D. speaking at the Awards said: “Congratulations to all the micro-enterprises and small businesses that are being honoured and celebrated through the National Enterprise Awards this year. The winners here tonight are examples of the confidence, ambition and creative talent at Ireland’s core.”

He added: “Local Enterprise Offices exist to help small Irish companies starting out. Since the LEOs were established in 2014, they have supported in excess of 11,000 new jobs. We will continue to deliver on that potential, continue to unearth the new generation of entrepreneurs and continue to promote a culture of self-help and self-start, across every county, parish and community in Ireland. Unemployment has dropped from 15.4% to 6.4% in recent times and LEO offices have played their part in this. Jobs are now growing in every region in the country.”

Minister Mitchell O’ Connor said: “I am delighted to join An Taoiseach, Minister Breen and the Local Enterprise Offices to celebrate the outstanding entrepreneurial achievements of Ireland’s micro and small businesses at the National Enterprise Awards. My priority as Minister is to ensure that an environment exists that nurtures entrepreneurship, innovation and job creation in every part of Ireland. The Local Enterprise Offices are a key element of that supportive environment and I would like to pay tribute to their vision and hard work.

“Heartiest congratulations to all of the winners tonight, and to all of the participants in this year’s competition who are an inspiration to others to consider entrepreneurship as a career”.

Minister Breen said: “National Enterprise Awards showcase Ireland’s most innovative micro-enterprises and small businesses, putting their stories of success into the national spotlight. As Minister for Small Business, I want to do everything I can to help nurture Ireland’s entrepreneurial potential and to help more people start-up and grow their own business across every region. I would like to join An Taoiseach and Minister Mitchell O’ Connor in adding my gratitude and congratulations to all of this year’s participants, finalists and winners, who are representing the 31 Local Enterprise Offices here in the Mansion House.”

Eight regional awards were also presented at the ceremony this evening and the winners were:

  • Acutrace in South Dublin (for the Dublin Region)

  • Irish Host Family Ltd in Kerry (for the South West Region)

  • Broghies Ireland in Kildare (for the Mid East Region)

  • Pip and Pear Chilled Baby Food in Waterford (for the South Region)

  • Studyclix in Sligo (for the North West Region)

  • Aphix Software Ltd in Louth (for the North East Region)

  • 9th Impact in Galway City (for the West Region)

Sheelagh Daly, Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices, and Oisin Geoghegan, Chair of the National Enterprise Awards organising committee and Head of Enterprise with Fingal, also spoke at the ceremony.

All of the award winners share a €40,000 prize fund from the Local Enterprise Offices, to help fund expansion and further growth.

The full list of results and details about the supports available to micro-enterprises and start-ups through the network of Local Enterprise Offices can be found at