Irish Business Design Challenge calls for Mayo applicants with €50,000 Prize Fund

Entry is free of charge and closing date is October 28th

The Design & Crafts Council Ireland has launched the Irish Business Design Challenge in partnership with the Department of Business, Innovation and Enterprise, the Local Enterprise Offices and Enterprise Ireland. 

The Irish Business Design Challenge is a competition in which micro, small and medium Irish businesses (MSMEs) across all sectors in Mayo  and around the country are invited to share the challenges they are experiencing as a result of COVID-19 and the solutions they have designed to resolve and adapt to the current environment.

The aim of the Irish Business Design Challenge is to recognise the resilience and innovation of MSMEs in a year which has proven to be challenging for businesses as a result of Covid-19.  The competition will profile a selection of businesses over a number of weeks, during which an expert panel of judges and members of the public will have the chance to vote for their ‘hero business’.  Dearbhail McDonald, Author and Broadcaster, will chair the expert judging panel. 

The Irish Business Design Challenge is open to three categories of business including micro (1 – 10 employees), small (11 – 50 employees) and medium sized (51 - 250 employees).  There is an overall prize fund in excess of €50,000, with a €15,000 first prize for the winner of each category and 2,000 for the runner-up in each category.

Announcing the launch of the competition, CEO DCCI, Rosemary Steen said, I am delighted to launch the Irish Business Design Challenge alongside Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices.  Small businesses are of central importance to Ireland’s economy and we want to celebrate those businesses that have overcome so much over the past few months due to Covid-19.

We are calling on micro, small and medium Irish businesses that have reinvented their overall working model, in order to adapt and diversify quickly to meet the challenges they are facing in the current economic environment.  We want to hear from businesses who have developed or redesigned their products or services to meet current and future needs.  Through the Irish Business Design Challenge, we want to harness the ingenuity of the SME sector, to help other businesses and communities across Ireland.”

Encouraging businesses in Mayo to enter before the October 28th deadline, Elaine Moyles with Local Enterprise Office Mayo said:

“In the Local Enterprise Office, we are in the privileged position to work with some of the most innovative small businesses in the county and for many of them, intelligent design is at the core of what they do.  In recent months, we have seen this come to the fore as many have had to redesign their existing products, or pivot to new ones linked to their supply chain.  The Irish Business Design Challenge, which is supported by Local Enterprise Offices, is a fantastic way to recognise these businesses and highlight some of the innovative and brilliant design that is out there across our county. We would encourage every small business in Mayo to take a look at this competition and see how they can benefit from entering.”

Paul McKeown, Executive Director at Enterprise Ireland said, “This year has proven to be a difficult year for Irish business but for many it has consequently become an opportunity to develop and reinvent. Businesses of all sizes have been taking steps to design new products or services, shift their business model and/or develop new systems of management while also adapting to the new trading environment.

The Irish Business Design Challenge is about recognising the work undertaken by micro, small and medium Irish businesses who, despite responding to the economic difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic, have risen to the challenge.

With winner and runner-up prizes in three categories and  an overall prize fund of €50,000, we are recognising the resilience and innovation of SMEs nationwide and supporting emerging projects, products or services with the potential to provide solutions for a range of enterprises. We are keen to hear from SMEs about their new approaches to operation and I am encouraging all those who are interested to apply today.”

Speaking on her involvement in the Irish Business Design Challenge, Dearbhail McDonald, Author, TV and Radio Broadcaster said, “I am truly delighted to be involved in the judging process for this competition. Irish businesses have shown such strong resilience over the past few months and this competition is a great opportunity for them to show how they have adapted to the difficulties of the current working environment.”

The Irish Business Design Challenge is open for entries until 28th October 2020.

For further information on the Irish Business Design Challenge or to apply for the competition please visit