Kildare Wins National Title Second Year Running


NEA Group 1

Oisin Geoghan, Head of Local Enterprise Office Network, Head of Enterprise, Kildare County Council Jacqui McNabb, Minister Pat Breen T.D. (Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection), Sonia Deasy, Founder Pestle & Mortar and Sonia Kavanagh, Director of Services, Kildare County Council at the National Enterprise Awards Final 2019.

Minister Pat Breen announces winning companies from Kildare, Kilkenny, Galway and Cavan

Pestle & Mortar, a global skincare company that was founded in Kildare, has won the top prize at this year’s National Enterprise Awards, organised by the Local Enterprise Offices to celebrate Ireland’s best small businesses.

Pat Breen T.D., Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, made the announcement in front of 230 guests in the Mansion House in Dublin this week (May 29th).

The Newbridge-headquartered company, launched by Sonia Deasy in 2014, is now a global skincare brand and stocks its products in thirteen countries including the US, the UK, Australia, Bermuda and Thailand. Inspired by Deasy’s sixth-generation Indian heritage in natural healing, Pestle & Mortar is the first skincare company to win the overall title in the competition’s 21 year history and is backed by Local Enterprise Office Kildare and Enterprise Ireland.

This is the second year in-a-row that the top title has been clinched by a Kildare company, with Terra NutriTech of Athy winning the top prize last year.

Presenting the awards on stage, Minister Pat Breen said: “I want to pay tribute to all the winners and finalists in this year’s National Enterprise Awards. Their drive, determination and passion for building successful businesses and creating local jobs is what this competition is all about. This year’s winners, like all those in previous years, represent the backbone of Ireland’s enterprise success and contribute hugely to the economic vibrancy of their respective regions.  All this year’s finalists and winners have been supported by my Department through the Local Enterprise Office network.   The Government, through the Local Enterprise Offices, will continue to play its part in helping to prepare small business for the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Congratulating the Kildare winners, Jacqui McNabb Head of Enterprise, Kildare County Council said: “Pestle & Mortar are very deserving winners of this prestigious national title. They have created a global skincare brand here in Kildare and they have ambitious plans to develop new products and win more customers in Asia and Australia in particular. By embracing innovation, they have become an international success story and the team in Local Enterprise Office Kildare are very proud of their achievements.”

An ice-cream manufacturer in Cavan, Ice Cream Treats, won the ‘Innovation’ award this year (backed by LEO Cavan); the ‘Best Export Business’ award went to Kilkenny-based Mechanical Modular Solutions (backed by LEO Kilkenny) and Clean Cut Meals, which makes and delivers portion-controlled healthy meals, won the ‘Best Start-Up Business’ award (backed by LEO Galway).

Winners share a €40,000 investment fund and eight regional awards were also presented by Minister Breen. These were won by:

  • Gym + Coffee in the Dublin Region (backed by LEO Dublin City)
  • ABS Engineering Control Systems Ltd in the South West Region (backed by LEO Limerick)
  • Dotser Ltd in the Mid East Region (backed by LEO Offaly)
  • VirtualVet in the South Region (backed by LEO Waterford)
  • Harte Outdoor Lighting in the South East Region (backed by LEO Wexford)
  • MMG Welding in the North West Region (backed by LEO Donegal)
  • Rivval Ltd in the North East Region (backed by LEO Monaghan)
  • Skillko Ltd in the West Region (backed by LEO Mayo).

Previous winners of the National Enterprise Awards have included Irish Yogurts (in 1998), Obelisk (in 2000), Digiweb (in 2004) and DesignPro (in 2013).

Funded through Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities were established by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in 2014 as the ‘first-stop-shop’ for anyone wanting to start or grow a small business. Over the last five years, LEOs have helped companies create 18,640 new jobs (net) and have provided €81.5 million in direct financial assistance to over 5,000 business projects. LEOs have also organised over 40,000 business mentoring appointments and provided enterprise training for 144,830 participants since 2014 (