Cork County Businesses Announced for National Enterprise Awards

Cork County Businesses Announced for National Enterprise Competition


Six burgeoning County Cork businesses have been recognised with regional awards, with two chosen to represent Cork North and West and South Cork at the National Enterprise Awards which take place in Dublin in May.

Enibas was announced as the winner for Cork North and West. Sabine Lenz of Enibas contemporary jewellery will now represent Cork North and West, while Damien McDonnell of Polar IceTech will represent South Cork at the national finals. Both winners received €5000 each in prize funds comprised of cash and one to one business mentoring, at a special awards ceremony at County Hall.

Sabine Lenz, originally from Germany started her business in the early 90's, making jewellery in a caravan powered by a generator at her home in Schull. Her pieces quickly became recognisable for their thoughtful Irish inscriptions and she began to supply Kilkenny shops before opening her first shop in Schull where her collections are still made and another in  Kinsale. Today Lenz employs X people and sells her pieces all over the world via her Enibas website. The South Cork winner Damien McDonnell set up Polar IceTech in 2005. Polar IceTech are Dry Ice Blasting Specialists who work with Irish industries to maximise their production time, increase the efficiencies of their equipment and reduce their carbon footprint by offering eco-friendly cryogenic cleaning solutions. Today Polar IceTech employs 10 people and operates across the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe. Polar IceTech have multiple sites with headquarters in Cork and Belfast.

Sabine and Damien will now go head-to-head with twenty nine other high achieving business people to win a share of the €20,000 national prize fund. Run every year by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in the Local Authorities Network, the National Enterprise Awards were set-up to celebrate the achievements of Ireland’s micro-enterprise sector. Previous Overall & Local Winners include Irish Yoghurts, West Cork Distillers and Glenilen Farm Products.

At the awards ceremony, Kevin Curran, Head of Enterprise for Cork North and West spoke of the importance of recognising local businesses that are not only building successful enterprises for themselves but also creating vital employment in their local areas. "The past 12 months sparked an obvious increase in new businesses in our region and it is heartening to see so many more businesses on our winner's heels for the coming years. The National Enterprise Awards highlight these local success stories and give them the recognition they deserve and we are proud to have Sabine represent us at the finals in May."

Also speaking at the awards, Sean O'Sullivan, Head of Enterprise, Cork South said, "We received our highest number of applications for this competition this year and our judges had a difficult time deciding on a winner but we believe Damien McDonnell and his business Polar IceTech has what it takes to represent the region well at the national final in Dublin. The businesses we support, those with up to ten employees are, I believe, the lifeblood of Ireland's economy and we are proud to work with them and help them realise their full potential. I wish Damien all the very best as he progresses to Dublin in May."