“Fearless” entrepreneurs brew up a storm at Fingal Enterprise Awards

“Fearless” entrepreneurs brew up a storm at Fingal Enterprise Awards
Local Enterprise Office confirms the name of the company that will represent Fingal at National Enterprise Awards in May

Small businesses from throughout Fingal were big winners at this year’s “FEARLESS” event, organised by Fingal Local Enterprise Office to celebrate Local Enterprise Week. The host of the exciting evening was Today FM’s Conall O’Morain.

The top prize of “Fingal Enterprise Award Winner” was presented with a trophy by the Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Darragh Butler, as well as scooping a cash prize of €2,500. The winner was “HOPE BEER”, Fingal’s biggest brewery (at Howth Junction), established by Wim De Jongh and Jean O’Mahony. Hope Beer will now go on to represent Fingal at the annual National Enterprise Awards in the Mansion House in May.
Other winners at the awards ceremony, held at the Riasc Centre included the award of “Highly Commended”, which went to Everest Granola, headed up by Seamus Tighe (Blanchardstown).

The overall winner, Hope Beer, is a new state of the art craft brewery which has already achieved a high level of success since commencing in 2015.
Having now reached the final of the National Enterprise Awards in May, Hope Beer will be competing against 30 other companies from every local authority area for a share of the €40,000 prize fund across thirteen categories.

Speaking at the ceremony, Paul Reid, Chief Executive of Fingal County Council congratulated the local entrepreneurs, saying: “Hope Beer is a very worthy winner of this major enterprise award, in recognition of what they have achieved here in Fingal in such a short space of time. Because of their drive and determination, the company is increasing its workforce to six full-time staff and has major plans to grow their business in the very near future.”

Eight local businesses in total were shortlisted this year, each of whom competed in the competition which was presided over by Michael Dawson, CEO and founder of One4All Gift Vouchers, Neal Morrison partner at McInerney Saunders, and Deirdre O’Neill from Enterprise Ireland.

The Awards were presented by the Mayor at the end of the “FEARLESS” event, which was the culmination of a busy “Local Enterprise Week” in Fingal.

In Fingal, over 1,400 people attended dozens of events during the week at venues across the county, organised as part of Local Enterprise Week. The nationally coordinated Local Enterprise Week, which took place from 6th – 11th March, aims to increase awareness of the range of supports and services available to micro and small enterprises from the 31 LEO offices in every local authority area.
Events covered a broad variety of topics that are of interest to small and micro business owner/managers. These ranged from Wellness at Work to Raising Finance for your Business, from the Business of Tourism to Smart Selling, from Doing Business at Dublin Airport to Public Procurement for Small Businesses.

Another headline event was “Brexit – the Real Implications for Business”, on Tuesday, March 7th, at the Carlton Hotel Dublin Airport, where a strong well-informed panel shared their insights as to the challenges and opportunities for small businesses in Fingal based on their understanding of the upcoming process. Ian Guider of the Sunday Business Post facilitated an expert panel that included Julie Sinnamon, Chief Executive of Enterprise Ireland, John McGrane of the British Irish Chamber, Simon MacAllister of EY, Patricia Callan of the Small Firms Association and renowned economist Dr Edgar Morgenroth of the ESRI. Two experienced business owners also shared their plans, Anne Reilly of Paycheck Plus and Stephen Malone of the Malone Group. A business audience of over 125 people engaged in a lively discussion, to explore the issues.

Concluding this year’s Local Enterprise Week, Head of Enterprise Oisin Geoghegan said “I am delighted that businesses throughout Fingal bought into Local Enterprise Week more than ever before. Entrepreneurs are continually looking for opportunities to grow and opportunities to network and learn. Owner/managers support each other, they work cooperatively with each other and they inherently like to see each other succeed. In Fingal Local Enterprise Office we have a role to play to ensure that our business community is provided with a supportive environment in which they can network, explore opportunities and one in which they can learn how to run their businesses more effectively.”