Kildare County Council’s Enterprise Office launched Kildare’s Digital Champions, to recognise the best digitalisation cases from Kildare’s business scene. A judging panel with expertise in digital strategy and export development were overwhelmed with the volume of applicants and shortlisted almost 40 businesses as finalists in 4 categories.

The event took place in MERITS with guest speaker Áine Kerr.

Jacqui McNabb, Head of Enterprise and Economic Development said,

In launching this concept - Digital Champions, we wanted to acknowledge and promote those who have developed their digital processes, digital marketing impact and e-commerce presence to enhance their products or services. And in doing so, inspire others to take that digital leap with the support of the local enterprise office. I am immensely proud of the global ambition demonstrated by all our finalists.


MERITS based HUB360, led by John and Denise were named Export Champion. Their logistics platform demonstrated market innovation and the scope of export growth across multiple sectors and geographies impressed the judges.

Led by James Byrne,, an Irish online destination for sustainable living and was stand out in their personalisation of e-commerce as a business model. Having recently won 'Irish Ecommerce Website of the Year' in the Irish Ecommerce Awards they were names Kildare’s Experience Champion.

Babogue, founded by Certified Child Sleep Consultants, Erica Hargaden and Janet Creighton impressed with the community they have developed across their social media platforms, engaging their clients with not only their product but in a support system with each other. Babogue was named Kildare’s Engagement Champion.

Bobby Harpor of The Vocal Academy, a music school in Lexilip, has taught Hollywood actors and helped students all over Europe, USA, Canada and even China. How? Digitisation of all the business’ processes, from start to finish. This has given the business scalable export potential and hugely impressed the judges as Kildare’s Digitisation Champion.


Considering an overall winner, Kilcullen’s Made Personal Limited promoters were stand out. Quite simply, they excelled across all categories with huge export success, an extensive portfolio of international clients, unrivalled UX, client engagement at every stage of the selling process including an impressive aftersales approach. Made Personal was named Kildare’s Digital Champion 2022.

Robert Kennedy, CEO Made Personal Limited acknowledged the support of the LEO Team in growing their business from a leather goods manufacturer to creating an e-commerce powerhouse in Made Personal:

From day 1, personalisation in our product and e-commerce elevated our business above the competition. We’ve are so proud to have received this award and recognition.

Sonya Kavanagh, Chief Executive, Kildare County Council added,

Digital transition is changing business models at increasing pace. Businesses and organisations that stand still can no longer compete. I would urge all businesses to reach out to the Local Enterprise Office. Whether you don’t know where to start or if you are embarking on a digital project of considerable scale, the scope and calibre of support offered by our Local Enterprise Office is unrivalled.

Each winner has received investment into their business, a custom-made trophy and consultancy support to further enhance their export strategy for 2023. 2022 was the first edition of this scheme which will roll out annually. It focused on businesses where innovation and creativity are embraced daily, and where digitalisation is seen as an opportunity not only to safeguard one’s own business model for the future, but also to expand it.


Sonya Kavanagh, CE Kildare County Council, John O’Niell and Denise O’Kelly of HUB360 (Export Champion) and Áine Kerr


Sonya Kavanagh, CE Kildare County Council, James of (Experience Champion) and Áine Kerr


Sonya Kavanagh, Janet Creighton and Erica Hargadon of Babogue (Engagement Champion) and Áine Kerr


Sonya Kavanagh, Bobby Harpor (Digitisation Champion) and Áine Kerr


Sonya Kavanagh, Alan, Robert and Gary of Made Personal (Overall Winner Kildare’s Digital Champion 2022) and Áine Kerr


All of Kildare’s Digital Champion Winners with Áine Kerr, Sonya Kavanagh, CE Kildare County Council, Jacqui McNabb, Head of Enterprise and Economic Development KCC and Claire Dunleavy, Senior Enterprise Development Officer, LEO Kildare.