Upcoming Courses at Cork Local Enterprise Office

Selling Online – using popular marketplaces


  • Part 1 – 18/05/21 – 09:00 to 13:00
  • Part 2 – 20/05/21 – 09:00 to 13:00


Getting your product or service in front of potential customers is key to driving success for any business.  This two-part course aims to give participants the knowledge and skills to know which marketplace suits their business and how to achieve success when selling online through these marketplaces.  Further details are available at:







Does your business export / import …to, from or though the UK?


If yes, then the FREE  ‘Prepare your Business for Customs’ workshops will be of interest and benefit to you.  Understand Customs / Compliance & Rise / Customs Clearance Procedures / Customs Authorisations ….and more.


Arranged by LEOs Cork and Kerry, participants have a choice of dates over the coming months:


  • 25/05/21
  • 16/06/21
  • 28/07/21
  • 18/08/21


For further information and workshop content, go to:






Marketing & Sales – effective ways of attracting and retaining your ideal clients


  • Part 1 –  25/05/21 - 09:30-13:00
  • Part 2 -   01/06/21 - 09:30-13:00


Combining traditional and digital means of attracting business, this course allows participants to develop a deeper understanding of their target market and best ways to communicate.  Over the two half-day sessions, practical goals will be set to improve communication skills, build better relationships and networks, and explore what is involved in selling and marketing in a business.







Food & Drink Starter Programme


  • May 26 and June 2, 9, 16
  • 09:30-13:00


Essential for anyone embarking on a food production enterprise, this four-part course will cover the basics including:

  • Costing & managing finance
  • Distribution & logistics
  • Identifying your USP
  • Food safety
  • Interpreting Irish food market trends







Website built … what’s next?


  • 26/05/21
  • 09:30-11:30


You’ve got your website built but where should you be investing time and effort now?  This webinar will cover content, available promotional tools, discuss benefit of blogs, news etc., tracking and different set-ups. Click on the following link for further details:








GradStart offers Local Enterprise Office client companies financial support to hire top graduate talent and develop a talent pipeline.  One Irish or International graduate can be hired at any one time for a two-year period by eligible companies.  During the placement, the company must define the project aligned to its growth plan for each graduate to complete.  Graduates must also be assigned an in-company mentor to support their development.


Key points to note:

  • The application submission date for GradStart will also be the earliest date on which the new grant aided employee may be recruited.
  • Companies must be incorporated.
  • Companies must operate in the manufacturing or internationally traded services sector.
  • Companies must employ a minimum of 5 staff
  • Roles in any discipline are eligible for support, except for direct sales and direct marketing positions.


For full details please click on the following link on LEO Cork City’s website….





Green for Micro


Green for Business is Good for Business


A new initiative from the Local Enterprise Offices, the Green for Micro programme will help prepare small businesses for the low carbon, more resource efficient economy of the future.  This is a FREE programme, available to businesses with up to 10 employees.


For further information on the Green for Micro programme, view case studies, and how to apply etc ….go to ….



Also, the following is the link to recording of last week’s lunchtime webinar (21st April) on the Green for Micro programme, organised by Cork Chamber / Energy Cork / LEO Cork City …

http://www.energycork.ie/index.php/resources/  (First video on the list)




Trading Online Voucher (TOV) Scheme … and … Business Advice Clinics


Check out dates and other details for these FREE supports provided by LEO Cork City, on:





outdoor seating at restaurant


Grants for Outdoor Seating and Accessories 2021


A new grant scheme, supported by Fáilte Ireland in partnership with Local Authorities, is now open for applications.  Grants are available to support businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector in enhancing their outdoor dining offering.  Any restaurant, café, bar, hotel, visitor attraction or other hospitality/tourism business where food is sold for consumption on the premises.  The scheme is open to existing businesses located throughout Cork city.  Full details and application form is available on Cork City Council’s website, at:




Closing date for receipt of completed applications is 30th September 2021.




Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) Internationalisation/BREXIT Survey


Do you trade with the UK?


EEN Ireland supports SMEs to import, export and internationalise.  By completing the following short survey, you will help EEN Network Ireland to further develop services and supports ….






Easing of Restrictions



All remaining construction can commence, meaning the industry will be fully reopened.


MAY 10


A maximum of three households or six people from any number of households can meet outdoors to socialise, including in private gardens. The six-person limit does not include their children aged 12 or younger.

Organised outdoor gatherings can be attended by a maximum of 15 people.



Inter-county travel will resume.



Outdoor training for adults in pods of a maximum of 15 people can resume.


Retail and cultural attractions:

May will see a phased reopening of non-essential retail. Click and collect by appointment and outdoor retail can recommence from May 10. From May 17, all remaining retail will be allowed to reopen.

Galleries, museums, other cultural attractions are all allowed to reopen. Libraries can reopen for lending services.


Personal services:

Hairdressers, barbers and beauticians can all reopen for customers by appointment only.

Hairdressers, barbers and beauticians can all reopen from May 10.



50 guests will be permitted at the service, whether it be civil or religious.

For the reception, there will be a maximum of 6 people allowed for indoor gatherings, with 15 people allowed for outdoor gatherings.



50 mourners are permitted at the service.

The Government has advised that related events, either before or after, should not take place.


Religious services:

Religious services can resume, with a limit of 50 people attending.



The numbers permitted on public transport is to increase to 50% of normal capacity.


Vaccine Bonus:

May 10 will also see a vaccine bonus come into play.

It means indoor private home visiting can be permitted (without masks or social distancing) in the following cases:

fully vaccinated people can meet indoors with other fully vaccinated people as long as there are no more than three households present.

fully vaccinated people can meet indoors with unvaccinated people from a single household, provided that they are not at risk of severe illness.



(subject to the public health situation at the time)



From June 2, hotels, B&Bs, self-catering accommodation and hostels can reopen.

However, services must be restricted to overnight guests and residents.

JUNE 7 (subject to the public health situation at the time)



Visitors from one other household can be permitted indoors.



Outdoor services in restaurants and bars can resume. Groups will be limited to a maximum of six people.



Outdoors matches can recommence. However, no spectators will be permitted.

Gyms, swimming pools, and leisure centres can reopen for individual training only.



The number of guests who will be able to attend a wedding celebration or receptions can increase to 25


Source: https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-40278137.html


Addition of a significant body of artworks to the National Collection

Art Acquisitions Crawford Mary McCarthy


Minister Martin announces the addition of a significant body of artworks to the National Collection


Today, Minister Catherine Martin announces that 422 artworks by 70 artists will be added to the National Collection thanks to the €1m fund provided to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and the Crawford Art Gallery in October 2020.


The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media has been working with the National Cultural Institutions through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to develop meaningful ways to support artists across the country at this challenging time. In October 2020, Minister Martin committed €1m from her department to IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery to fund the purchase of artworks by artists living and/or working in Ireland. The investment enabled the two institutions charged with collecting contemporary art to work collaboratively to support artists by buying existing artworks, bringing much needed financial resources to the sector.


IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery have been working tirelessly to realise this progressive goal for the National Collection and today, the Minister announces the list of works which have been acquired. The body of 422 artworks by 70 artists from across the country has been selected through a rigorous process by both institutions to ensure strategic and thoughtful acquisitions for the nation. Spanning from 1972 to 2021, the works consist of paintings, photographic work, drawings, sculpture, installations, moving image, sound work, film, digital work, embroidery and performance. This is a significant boost to both collections, strengthening and enhancing the breath of style of work, making them truly representative of contemporary Irish practice and available for the public to enjoy for generations to come.


As the cultural repositories for the country, the role of the National Cultural Institutions is to reflect Ireland and her people and tell the story of our country. This is the first time in over a decade that substantial funding has been specifically allocated towards building the National Collection to reflect contemporary culture.


The Minister recognises the immense talent in the arts in Ireland as well as the significance of being represented in the National Collection. At a time when exhibition opportunities are limited, the fund has enabled IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery to promote artists, supporting and enhancing their reputations by acquiring their work for the National Collection to enable them to practice as artists, now and into the future.


The Minister said:


We are all aware of how difficult a time this has been for everybody in the artistic community.  I am delighted to provide funding to IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery so that they can support living artists by the purchase of their work.  I am confident that our National Cultural Institutions will do justice to these artists in how they represent their work.”   


The Minister went on to say:

This has also been a challenging year for all our institutions but it has also offered an opportunity to think about museums and what they mean to people and how we share those precious artworks that form part of our National Collections.  I look forward to see how IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery will share these new additions nationally and internationally where they can be widely viewed by the public and act as a reservoir for future enjoyment, inspiration and research.”


Artist, Sandra Johnston, whose work has been acquired by IMMA, said:

It is a real honour for me to have artworks included in the IMMA collection, especially because of the ephemeral, fleeting nature of public performance actions. So, I am gratified by the curiosity the curators have shown in exploring with me the total picture of how such an artwork is conceived, executed and disseminated beyond the live moment, which is a crucial framework for understanding the surviving artefacts.”

Artwork 'Eden' by Tom Climent

Artist, Tom Climent, whose work has been purchased by the Crawford Art Gallery, said:

The acquisition of my work by the Crawford Art Gallery for the National Collection has been a great boost for me. Even more so now with galleries closed and opportunities to exhibit reduced. It is not just the monetary income but the recognition and affirmation in my work that is hugely encouraging. Having a painting on public display means it lives on and hopefully reaches so many more people. Thanks to all the team in the Crawford Gallery and the help of The Sternview Gallery for making this happen.”



Irish Museum of Modern Art


No of works acquired:

197 works (89 paintings, 32 prints, 26 drawings, 12 publications, 11 performance works, 10 sculptures, 10 moving image works, 5 installations, 1 photographic work, 1 audio work)

Dates works were made: 1972, 1977, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021


Crawford Art Gallery


No of works acquired:

225 works (100 paintings, 58 photographs, 14 prints, 28 drawings, 8 sculptures, 4 installations, 1 soundwork, 5 digital films, 1 art quilt, 6 embroideries


Images of artists’ work acquired by Crawford Art Gallery is available on request from: dyanehanrahan@crawfordartgallery.ie  Phone: 0868278151


A selection of the artworks just added to the collection will be exhibited at Crawford Art Gallery from 24 July  to  5 September 2021 and the works will appear in other collection shows from the Summer 2021 on.


Process adopted by IMMA and the Crawford Art Gallery

Drawing on extensive research and internal expertise, both institutions worked in consultation with external advisors to adopt a rigorous selection process. This ensured that the works purchased were in line with their respective acquisition policies, filled identified gaps in representation and contributed to strengthening the collections for the nation.


Full List of Artists


Crawford Art Gallery

Aideen Barry

Sara Baume

Stephen Brandes

Angela Burchill

Declan Byrne

Elaine Byrne

Tom Climent

Yvonne Condon

Elizabeth Cope

Gary Coyle

Stephen Doyle

Rita Duffy

Amanda Dunsmore

Kevin Gaffney

Debbie Godsell

Michael Hanna

Marie Holohan

Katie Holten

Brianna Hurley

Andrew Kearney

John Keating

Fiona Kelly

Anne Kiely & Mary Palmer

Roseanne Lynch

Brian Maguire

Evgeniya Martirosyan

Danny McCarthy

Roseleen Moore

Peter Nash

Ailbhe Ní Bhriain

Íde Ní Shúilleabháin

Nuala O’Donovan

Sarah O’Flaherty

Tom O’Sullivan

Michael Quane

Jennifer Trouton

Charles Tyrrell

Daphne Wright



Bassam Al-Sabah

Marie Brett

Sarah Browne & Jesse Jones

Anishta Chooramun

Amanda Coogan

Vivienne Dick

Edy Fung

Emma Wolf Haugh

Patricia Hurl

Sandra Johnston

Eithne Jordan

John Lalor

Breda Lynch

Alice Maher

Leanne McDonagh

Eoin McHugh

Alastair MacLennan

Sibyl Montague

Maïa Nunes

Brian O’Doherty

Alanna O’Kelly

Sarah Pierce

Atoosa Pour Hosseini

Alice Rekab

Nigel Rolfe

Dermot Seymour

Rajinder Singh

Anne Tallentire

Cléa van der Grijn

Eimear Walshe

Government launches €10m fund to help companies cut emissions

Photo by Tyler Casey on Unsplash

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said

The road to recovery after the pandemic, must be a sustainable one.


The Government has launched a new €10 million fund to help businesses take action to drive down their emissions and embed sustainability in how they work.

The Climate Enterprise Action Fund, which will be administered by Enterprise Ireland, will fund up to 850 companies at an early stage of exploring climate and sustainability to develop a high-level company action plan.

It will also fund up to 100 more advanced companies to develop comprehensive multi-annual business plans with climate change and sustainability actions integrated into the company's overall strategy.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the road to recovery after the pandemic, must be a sustainable one.



As the world aims for net zero emissions by 2050, the transition to low carbon has become a defining force for business. For Irish companies, this means opportunities to compete and grow as global investment in a greener future accelerates. But it also creates the need to comply with enhanced regulations, as well as the demands of investors and customers for credible sustainability impact and reporting.

The new Climate Enterprise Action Fund supports Irish companies to build the capabilities required to deliver sustainable products, services and business models. This is done via three supports: The Climate Action Voucher, Green Start and Green Plus



The Climate Action Voucher is available to eligible companies to access up to 2 days independent technical or advisory services support related to the current and future operations of their business. The voucher may be used to obtain services from approved providers (directory link available below).

The objective of the Climate Action voucher is to help companies prepare a plan for the low carbon, more resource efficient economy of the future whether a company is starting out on their green transformation journey or have already started. Scientific evidence shows that we must act now to limit global warming to 1.5°C to avoid the catastrophic consequences of climate change. This translates to halving greenhouse gas emissions every decade starting now to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

It is expected that outcomes of this short assignment will lead to further training/technical feasibility/innovation/ capital projects, i.e. it will start companies on a journey of activities.

READ MORE : https://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/Productivity/Build-a-green-sustainable-Business/Climate-Action-Voucher/Climate-Action-Voucher.html



The aim of the GreenStart assignment is to improve environmental performance through greater resource efficiency helping companies achieve competitive advantage and greater market share through enhanced credentials and cost savings. Projects may vary in scope from implementing a structured environmental management and reporting system to understanding the carbon or environmental footprint of products or services.

Companies can apply for grant support towards the cost of hiring a Green consultant/trainer to undertake a short in-company assignment.

Eligible assignments may include:

  • Guidance with basic Environmental Management System based on ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’ continuous improvement philosophy
  • Guidance with developing a corporate sustainable strategy and aligning to national/international frameworks e.g. Origin Green, UN Environmental SDGs, CDP.
  • Guidance with Life Cycle Assessment
  • Guidance with Circular Economy thinking and transition to circular economy business models

Companies can apply for grant support towards the cost of hiring an Environmental consultant/trainer to undertake a short in-company assignment which will introduce environmental best practice systems and structures, achieve cost reduction targets and lay a foundation for future environmental improvement projects.

For more information including eligible activities, download GreenStart Assignment Guidelines (.docx)



A GreenPlus project is a medium-scale training project facilitated/supported by an external environmental expert.

The aim of the project shall be to develop a high level of environmental management capabilities, drive environmental efficiencies and achieve improved sustainability by establishing and embedding continuous improvement systems and behaviours. This will increase the agility and resilience of client companies to climate change impacts.

Eligible activities include developing a comprehensive climate change and sustainability plan and aligning to international standards and frameworks.

In order to support the change process within the company, the grant can also be used to cover part of the salary cost for up to 10 company green project team members over the project duration. The goal of the project team members is to develop and implement environmental best practice within the company by learning themselves and subsequently training others in environmental improvement tools and techniques. The project team members will be responsible for driving continuous environmental improvement and efficiency.

Projects may vary in size and scope but will typically be 12 months in duration.






Business Confidence Stabilising


Press Release
19 April 2021

  • 84% of respondents reported business confidence, an encouraging trend and upward trajectory from the 68% in Q3 of 2020.
  • 42% of respondents anticipate an increase in turnover in the second quarter of 2021
  • The Q1 2021 survey shows confidence levels in the Irish economy at 52%.
  • The continued support for and commitment to the economic recovery and resilience, including COVID supports is the number one priority for business.
  • Covid-19 as the top threat to business growth.
  • The majority of businesses indicated SDG 5: Gender Equality, SDG 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 13: Climate Action and SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure as top business action areas under the UN SDG framework.
  • Audio/Visual commentary, listen & download here: https://www.corkchamber.ie/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Paula_Cogan_Ec_Trends_Q1_2021.mp4

In the latest Cork Chamber Economic Trends Survey, supported by Ulster Bank, Cork Chamber asked the business outlook on the second quarter of 2021 and the year ahead, and member thoughts on the most recent business quarter, Q1 2021, encapsulating the period within which Ireland moved into its third Level 5 lockdown. The Q1 2021 trends report on the business priorities for the Cork region, and business action areas under the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Cork Chamber President, Paula Cogan, commenting on the results, “Q1 2021 has been an incredibly challenging time right across the board. At the outset of the pandemic in 2020, we talked of resilience, and the most recent quarter has certainly required a huge amount of resilience from businesses, communities, and individuals everywhere. It’s an encouraging testament to the Cork business community that, while there have been what seemed like insurmountable challenges at times, these were tackled and approached with the pragmatism and determination that shines through time and again from businesses here in Cork.


We saw a very positive steadying of business confidence in this first quarter with 84% of respondents reporting business confidence, consistent with the previous quarter Q4 2020 which noted 83% of respondents indicating confidence, an upward trajectory from the 68% in Q3 of 2020.

Ms Cogan added, “The latest survey also shows that 42% of respondents anticipate an increase in turnover in the second quarter of 2021 where we should see the pent-up demand in the economy being supported by the reopening expected in the months ahead. We also report that 43% of respondents are expecting an increase to employee numbers over the 12 months ahead, with businesses clearly planning for the reopening. Government must support this planning with timely engagement that supports and facilitates these efforts, offering as much certainty and communicating on developments as early as possible to the business community.”

Ms. Cogan continued, “The latest trends also report an encouraging stabilisation of confidence in the Irish economy with 52% of respondents reporting confidence, a marked increase from the 29% in Q3 2020. Business members indicated the continued support for and commitment to the economic recovery and resilience, including COVID supports as the number one priority for business. This was followed by international & regional connectivity, and the championing of issues relevant to Cork as key priority areas that the business community are keen to see continued emphasis and progress on. All areas which are crucial if we want to see confidence grow.”

Pat Horgan, Head of SME Banking with Ulster Bank commented, “It is very encouraging to see the much-needed boost in confidence in first quarter of 2021. With the vaccine rollout continuing and the potential easing of further restrictions on the horizon, many businesses will be looking forward to welcoming back their customers after a difficult few months. While COVID-19 remains the top threat to business growth, according to this latest survey, we know from speaking to our customers that Irish businesses are resilient and we are actively supporting our business customers every day, by working with them, listening to them, and lending to them.”

President of Cork Chamber, Paula Cogan concluded, “As part of the Q1 2021 trends survey we also asked members about business action areas under the UN Sustainable Development Goals. When asked on which of the 17 UN SDGs are championed most strongly, the majority of businesses indicated SDG 5: Gender Equality, SDG 3: Good Health & Wellbeing, SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 13: Climate Action and SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure as the top priority areas currently. It is reassuring to see the awareness and note the engagement with the UN SDGs from across the business community as these set out an international blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable, resilient future long term and for all.

CBA Cork Business of the Year winners announced at virtual ceremony


~Two retailers Kilkenny Design and Diana O’Mahony Jewellers
pick up top awards~

~ President of the CBA Eoin O’Sullivan said it was a night of many firsts ~

Kilkenny Design and Diana O’Mahony Jewellers claimed the top awards at the Cork Business Association’s ‘Cork Business of the Year Awards’, which were held virtually for the first time since the annual event began 64 years ago on Saturday night, 17 April.

Kilkenny not only won the overall Large Cork Business of the Year prize, but they also picked up Best in Retail, while Diana O’Mahony was recognised as the overall SME Cork Business.

Meanwhile, Professor Mary Horgan at UCC was named Champion of Cork for her outstanding contribution to health care, in particular for her role in the Covid-19 pandemic, while Event Plan picked up a special award for demonstrating resilience and innovation in one of the most difficult trading years in Cork’s history.

Michael Magner’s boys accepted Cork’s Vienna Woods Best Family Business Award, while we saw businesses on Princes Street celebrate in style on Twitter after winning Best in Tourism Arts and Events for their Eat on the Street initiative, which is dominating the national headlines.

Best Cork VFI Pub went to Clancys Cork, Best Cork Restaurant was picked up by The Glass Curtin, Best Hotel was presented to The Montenotte, and palestinian Izz Cafe won in their category for epitomising spirit in the face of adversity.

Breakthrough Cancer Research was recognised as Best Professional Services Business for their outstanding contribution to creating new treatments for cancer patients and their innovative campaigns, while Fota Island Resort picked up the Best in Digital award for their creativity online over the past year.  The region’s first design-led boutique hotel, The Dean, won the Best New Business Award.

Each winner was given the opportunity to make a 5 word speech at the online ceremony, which was MC’d by Bobby Kerr and attended virtually by the Lord Mayor Cllr. Joe Kavanagh, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, CEO of Cork City Council Ann Doherty, a string of dignitaries, and over 500 members of Cork’s business community.

Guests picked up their ‘Taste of the City At Home’ dinner earlier that day from the Imperial Hotel.  The 6 course feast was an innovative chef collaboration between The Kingsley, The Imperial, The Metropole, Cork’s Vienna Woods, Cork International and Nash19, and showcased the wealth of producers and growers in the Cork region.  It was paired with champagne sponsored by Centra, Heineken beer and wine.

President of the Cork Business Association Eoin O’Sullivan (M&P O’ Sullivan), said, “It was a night of many firsts - it was the first time that hotel chefs in Cork collaborated on an At Home dining experience, it was the first time that we opened the awards up to public vote, and it was the first time in 64 years that the CBA celebrated virtually.  It was also the first time I saw people donn dickie bows with flipflops!  I am very proud to follow in my father’s footsteps as President of the CBA, an organisation that plays a vital role for businesses in the greater Cork City region”.

The awards, which are run in partnership with JCD, Peninsula, Centra and media partner The Irish Examiner, recognise the outstanding contribution of businesses and individuals working diligently across a variety of business sectors in Cork City and suburbs.

Commenting, Marian O’Gorman who is now chair of Kilkenny Design after it was announced last week that Evelyn Moynihan would take over the role of CEO, said, “We are blown away by our win in the Best Retailer category, and winning the overall large business award. The last 12 months has been very challenging for our business, yet I’m so proud of how the Kilkenny team adapted, and maximised the opportunity to grow our online business, and launch Champion Green. Winning the 2 x awards is testament to the passion and commitment from the entire Kilkenny team. We are really proud of our Cork roots, and we look forward to working with the business community of Cork as we reopen and welcome people back into the city and town centres all over the county. The mission of Champion Green is to make Support Local a year round habit, and by working together, we will all Rise”

Commenting on the winners, President of the CBA Eoin O’Sullivan continued, “I would like to congratulate each individual finalist and winner, as these are the people who are at the beating heart of our city, driving our local economy. Each and every one of them demonstrated innovation, perseverance and overcome extreme challenges presented to them in 2020.

“A special well done to Diana O’Mahony Jewellers, who are celebrating 40 years on Winthrop Street.  Over that time, they have not only innovated their offering but they have continued an exceptional level of personal family-led service. You are always greeted with a smile when you go into Ronan and Mary, they have done so much for Winthrop Street and for Cork over the years, and I am truly delighted that the judges awarded them this huge honour.

“I would also like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Marian O’Gorman, Evelyn Moynihan and their team at Kilkenny Design on demonstrating such incredible innovation over the past year - they should be so proud of their nationwide initiative that champions all Irish businesses.  Marian has done so much for the local Cork economy over the years, from employing hundreds of staff to being on the board of Visit Cork, and we are very proud to call her our own.”

The overall winners are...

Cork Business of the Year, Large BusinessKilkenny Design
& Best in Retail
sponsored by Cork City Council: Kilkenny Design
In response to the challenges facing retail in  2020, Kilkenny Design launched the Champion Green movement to drive the recovery of SME businesses, an initiative that was adopted nationwide.  Their Green Friday campaign, an alternative to Black Friday launched in 2019, also became mainstream in 2020, while Kilkennyshop.com grew significantly.  Kilkenny has 4 shops, 2 restaurants, it’s online team, a national warehouse and offices all based in Cork.  The organisation is led by Cork business-woman Marian O Gorman, who is also on the board of Visit Cork.  Kilkenny Design is the largest retail champion of Irish design and craft, representing over 250 Irish designers and makers nationwide.

Cork Business of the Year, SME:  Diana O’Mahony Jewellers
The family run Diana O’ Mahony Jewellers, run by Ronan and Mary Kennedy, is celebrating 40 years on Winthrop Street this year and has been a Cork business staple since 1978.  Dealing in antique jewellery, they are also the only retailer dealing in antique silver in the city.  The store is always staffed by a family member, and you are guaranteed an authentic local Cork welcome.  The retailer has responded to many challenges over the years from flooding to Covid-19 and they continue to show resilience, to reinvent and innovate.  The Kennedys recently invested in redecorating their premises, they launched a new ecommerce website, and they are committed to improving their street-scape and supporting other businesses in the community.

Best VFI Pub sponsored by the VFIClancy’s Bar and Restaurant
Clancy’s Cork is one of the city’s oldest pubs dating back to 1824 and is a Cork landmark. Located on Princes Street, Clancy’s was completely renovated and reopened in 2019, and it is now a key dining attraction in the city. In response to Covid 19 restrictions, Clancy’s was one of main traders who came together to pedestrianise Princes Street and create Cork’s newest outdoor dining tourism experience. The owners also took the brave step and further developed the building by creating a unique rooftop garden in addition to more interior works, to ensure the safety of both customer and staff. The business employs a team of 80 employees and they are committed to a strong community presence.

 Best Restaurant sponsored by The English Market: The Glass Curtain
Located in the Old Thompsons Bakery, which was once a culinary institution and part of Cork’s DNA since 1826, The Glass Curtain showcases the amazing produce available here in Cork, while incorporating influences from around the world.  The Glass Curtain remodelled their offering in 2020 following lockdown and were the first restaurant in Cork to set up the “Finish At Home” service. This transition in business offering ensured that they were able to maintain 100% of their kitchen staff and 50% of service staff. In fact, this “At Home” service has increased the awareness of the business as the restaurant had just opened its doors in December 2019.

Best Hotel sponsored by M&P O’Sullivan Ltd.: The Montenotte Hotel
The family-owned destination city resort, The Montenotte, goes from strength to strength each year.  In 2020, the owners continued to invest in the premises and the management team innovated its offering.  They installed a new look heated ‘Panorama Botanical Terrace’, created by designer Jane Galloway, to encourage al fresco dining, and a new rooftop terrace for guests.  The Montenotte was also one of the first hotels locally to diversify into a click and collect model, and they donated €5 from every afternoon tea order to Our Hospital Heroes at The Mercy Hospital Foundation during the first lockdown.

Best Café sponsored by The English Market: IZZ Café
This award-winning Palestinian café, which opened in 2019, is run by husband and wife team Izz and Eman Alkarajeh.  The couple epitomise spirit in the face of adversity having overcome the odds of moving to a new country, learning a new language, and spending time in Direct Provision. Despite being directly impacted by Covid closures, they showed enormous generosity supplying healthcare workers with free food and donated in excess of 500 free face masks to the public.  Since opening 2 years ago, they have attracted praise from a number of high profile food critics including McKenna Food guide and Darina and Rachel Allen.

Best in Professional Business Services Sponsored by ETC: Breakthrough Cancer Research
Breakthrough is working hard to make sure our family, friends and communities across Ireland have access to the best treatments for cancer and never have to hear the words, there is no hope.  They work to significantly impact the number of children and adults who can survive this disease by funding world-class research for new treatments that currently have very little treatment options.   To recruit the next generation of donors and to raise funds, this Cork-based charity created The Shop that Nearly Wasn’t in February 2020. This pop-up shop in Temple Bar was 100% stocked and staffed by cancer survivors. Half of the shop remained empty to highlight the urgent need for more research to create more survivors to fill that space.

 Best in Digital sponsored by B2B Signs and B2B Print:  Fota Island Resort
Nestled at the heart of a tranquil island on a 780acre estate, Fota Island Resort with its breath-taking scenery and leafy woodlands is an idyllic location. In 2020, Fota digitalised as many services for guests as possible as part of their innovative new safety procedures.  They also increased engagement with customers on digital platforms when they were closed with a virtual Easter Egg hunt, an online Halloween RiddleQuest, and various classes including recipe demonstrations, at home spa treatments, and fitness classes. Staff were offered virtual at home care, including at home facials and fitness, in addition to online upskilling opportunities.  Fota’s lodges also remained open to provide accommodation for essential travel.

Best in Tourism, Arts, Events sponsored by Irish Hotels Federation: Princes Street – Eat on the Street
Princes Street Eat on the Street is a project inspired by the resilience of restaurants, stakeholders and Cork City Council working together. In response to Covid-19 restrictions, traders came together to pedestrianise Princes Street and reimagine it as Cork’s newest outdoor dining tourism experience.  The positive impact of this initiative has seen the project mirrored in other parts of Cork and indeed throughout the Country.  The transformation of Princes Street has without doubt been one of the stand-out responses to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and demonstrates true community spirit and commitment to business in Cork.

Best New Business sponsored by the Local Enterprise OfficeThe Dean Cork
The Dean Cork is a wonderful new asset to Cork and is the region’s first design led boutique hotel. The 6th floor of the fun and daring property is home to Sophie’s rooftop restaurant and bar, which boasts 360 degree views from the River Lee to the city skyline. 2020 was an extremely tough and challenging year for the hospitality industry, however nothing was going to stop The Dean Cork from opening its doors to the public in December 2020.

Best Family Business sponsored by AIB: Cork’s Vienna Woods Hotel
Set in beautiful woodlands on the peak of Glanmire, Cork’s Vienna Woods is a listed country house with a rich dramatic history which has been uniquely preserved.  Since taking ownership in 2006, Michael Magner, his family and his team have worked tirelessly and invested significantly in rebuilding the property and offering.  It is now known for fairy-tale weddings, spectacular corporate events and an award-winning restaurant. In 2020 during the first lockdown, the Magners bravely invested a further €500k in a new ‘Glass Room’ conservatory space and a private dining room with its own kitchen, a first for Cork.  The team at Vienna Woods is committed to driving tourism in Cork and to supporting local, from sourcing local produce to hiring locally.

 Special Resilience & Innovation sponsored by Fáilte Ireland: Event Plan
Event Plan, a leading Cork-based conference and event management company, was one of the first in the country to adapt their events business model following the devastation brought to the sector by the Covid-19 pandemic. The creative team, who used to work on high profile events like the National Ploughing Championships and UCC’s CUBS Conference, quickly diversified by collaborating with audio visual and digital specialists CAVS to establish Munster’s first virtual events studio, VE Studio Cork.

Champion of Cork sponsored by Munster Technological University (MTUProfessor Mary Horgan
Professor Horgan was awarded for her outstanding contribution to health care, in particular for her role in the Covid-19 pandemic. She was quoted recently by The Irish Examiner as one of the ‘Women changing Ireland today’. Professor Horgan is President of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, the first woman President since 1654 and the first Cork-based person since 1818.  She is a consultant in Infectious Diseases at Cork University Hospital, is a member of NPHET, is on the advisory board of the GAA COVID committee, and the World Rugby Return to play strategy.  Professor Horgan is also Chairperson of the National Research Ethics Committee for COVID19, is a member of the Report for Rapid Testing COVID19 for the Minister for Health, is a Professor in the UCC School of Medicine, and is former Dean of Medical School in UCC.  She is a role model for women in health and a fantastic ambassador for Cork.


The voluntary social committee responsible for the event were Niamh Murphy (ETC, event Chair), Claire Nash (Nash 19, dinner organiser), Jeanine Hovius (CBA), Vicki Crean (AIB), Karen McCarthy (CBA), and Mary Leneghan (ETC). The CBA’s aim is to recognise the dedication and success of Cork businesses who have positively contributed to the prosperity of Cork, as a city centre, a business hub and a community.

For more see CBAAwards.ie CorkBusiness.ie #CBAAwards #TasteoftheCity



SECAD Launches Free Sustainability Training Programme for Food Businesses across South and West Cork


SECAD Launches Free Sustainability Training Programme for Food Businesses across South and West Cork

Free Practical Training Programme for Small, Medium and Artisan food producers to understand and commit to more sustainable business practices.

Food Business owners across South and West Cork will be eager to sign up to SECAD Partnership CLG’s newly announced and free Sustainable Food Training Programme which kicks off next month. The programme (which has limited spaces) has been developed with Small, Medium and Artisan food (and beverage) producers in mind and aims to educate and empower these businesses in various areas where they may be experiencing challenges regarding sustainability.

Having identified challenges faced by food and beverage producers in relation to sustainability such as; sustainable sourcing and supply chain practices, packaging, energy, water and waste, consumer education, carbon emissions, renewable energy and climate change, the trainers of SECAD’s Sustainable Food Training Programme, will share expert knowledge and advice based on years of professional experience in these areas.


In line with the Global Sustainable Development Goal 12.3: “By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.” Ireland has committed, through the Food Waste Charter, to take responsibility and actions towards achieving this goal. Businesses, Industry leaders and individuals are encouraged to prioritize the prevention of Food Waste at every point within the supply chain. With that in mind, SECAD have developed this training programme which will give practical guidance to food business owners, so that they can further pursue environmentally conscious actions within their business operations.

The modules covered in the training programme will include:

  1. Sustainability – The What and The How (To include green finance and green procurement)
  2. Our Food and Our Environment
  3. Resource Efficiency (Managing energy, water and waste)
  4. Climate Change – Measure your Carbon Footprint
  5. Communication – Engaging the Marketplace – Understanding Consumer Behaviour and Sustainable Consumption
  6. Circular Economy Proposition Design
  7. Managing Food Waste
  8. Building a Sustainability Culture – Engaging Employees & Suppliers
  9. Packaging, Storage, Transport & Distribution: Sustainable Supply Chain Design
  10. Design Thinking, Innovation & Sustainability

Speaking about the launch of this new training programme, Assistant CEO of SECAD Suzanne Kearney said:

Globally, more than one quarter of food produced is wasted, with food loss and waste contributing 8 to 10% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Now, more so than ever before, it is vital that we all do our level best in being as sustainable as possible, and we here at SECAD are committed to doing just that. We are delighted to see such a high level of interest in this training programme so far. It will be undeniably beneficial to food and beverage businesses to enable them to become more sustainable, resilient and to gain competitive advantage in the market. This will also have a positive knock-on effect in their communities and the food producing sector in the region. The content of the training programme will be delivered by leading experts in their respective areas, and we are thrilled to have such talented and experienced industry professionals onboard.”


Experienced trainers on the course will include professionals from SustHub; one of Ireland’s leading Corporate Sustainability and Circular Economy companies, The Clean Technology Centre (CTC) based at Munster Technological University; providing consultancy to organisations in all key areas of sustainability, and finally Change by Degrees; a sustainability consultancy with over 20 years international experience in climate and environment strategy, communications and employee and customer engagement.  

This programme will run from April 2021 to November 2021(with a break across July and August) and attendees will take part in the following:

  • 10 x 3-hour training modules (delivered online)
  • Site visits to businesses considered to be pursuing best practice in the area of sustainability and/or resource efficiency (subject to COVID 19 government restrictions)
  • One to one training as relevant to their business needs
  • Networking opportunities with food businesses

The closing date to sign up for this free course is Monday the 5th of April 2021, with training starting on Wednesday the 14th of (South Cork) and Friday the 16th (West Cork). Places are limited and business owners are encouraged to log on to www.secad.ie/food to register for a place now. #SustainableFood

Companies that wish to participate in this training programme must satisfy the following criteria:

The Sustainable Food Training Programme South & West Cork is funded under The LEADER Food initiative which is jointly managed by the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Approvals for the awards of funding under this initiative are made by Cork County Council’s LEADER Local Action Groups which are a subgroup of the Local Community Development Committees. (LCDCs)


SECAD Partnership CLG (SECAD) is a Local Development Company established in 1995. SECAD has two main development objectives; promoting and enabling (i) Rural Development and (ii) Social Inclusion within the communities of South, East and West Cork.  SECAD delivers a range of local and community development programmes including LEADER 2014-2020, the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme, the Rural Social Scheme, Tus, PEIL 2014-2020, ERASMUS + and others.

LEADER 2014-2020 is funded through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development- Europe Investing in Rural Areas.

SECAD’s mission is to provide a range of innovative and effective rural development and social inclusion supports to motivate and enable communities to create a more vibrant, sustainable and inclusive society. Their vision is to be a leading European community development organisation delivering exceptional service to clients and promoting innovative collaborations to address issues of disadvantage and sustainability with their public, private, academic and community partners. As a local development company, SECAD works with a range of different clients and stakeholders in rural areas including: community and voluntary groups, disadvantaged target groups, job seekers, businesses (including private and social enterprise), farmers, schools and the corporate sector.

SECAD has evolved as an organisation managing a single funding programme into a platform managing a wide range of funds and services including, social investment and employment support programmes implemented on behalf of a number of Irish Government Departments and State Bodies. SECAD currently delivers a number of major programmes along with other smaller schemes and initiatives. See an overview of under the ‘Programmes & Funds’ tab of this website. For more information visit www.secad.ie


Trainer Profiles

SustHub, a ClearStream Solutions Business

SustHub is a training division of Clearstream Solutions, one of Ireland’s leading Corporate Sustainability and Circular Economy companies. Although the process of Carbon Management and Sustainability training is relatively immature in Ireland, Clearstream has built up a strong local and international client base and has extensive knowledge and expertise in this specialist area over the past 12 years. We have a panel of both internal and external consultants who have completed many similar consulting and training projects.

Recognition - Clearstream has won the Green Small Organisation Award at the Irish National Green Awards, the EnviroCom Special Merit Category award and we were also awarded the Dublin Chamber Sustainable Business Challenge (SME). ClearStream is also a member of the Enterprise Ireland Green Service Providers.

Clients - Clearstream Solutions works with many industry leaders in Ireland including Mercury, Keelings, Kingspan, RDS, United Drug, ESB, Butlers, BOI and Gas Networks to implement sustainability best practice in their organisations and supply chains. In addition, we support the global operations of a number of multinational organisations including Microsoft, Flex, Cisco, Vodafone, Symantec, Honeywell, GE, and Bertelsmann.

Experience - The Clearstream team, and its partners, have delivered numerous internal and external training programs on the topic of sustainability since being established in 2009. Clearstream Solutions is the Irish partner of the global CDP organisation (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project). In cooperation with CDP, Clearstream manage the CDP Ireland Network, a group set up to support, train and encourage the development of corporate sustainability through the disclosure of Climate Change policy and carbon emissions performance. Clearstream has delivered numerous training courses, reports and workshops covering a range of Sustainability, Circular Economy and Carbon Management subjects as part of its global client engagements. It also provides coordination and project management services to a number of clients on their sustainability projects and is the secretariat for the CDP Ireland Network.


SustHub Trainer profiles

Brian O’ Kennedy

Brian is a co-founder of SustHub, and as CEO of Clearstream Solutions, he has over 20 years’ experience in sustainability, global supply chain management and procurement particularly in the areas of IT, Media, Print and Packaging. Brian has a degree in Economics from Trinity College Dublin and Certification in Sustainable Management/Training from BSI Group. He has delivered numerous local and international training programs on Sustainability and the Circular Economy, including as a trainer and advisor on the creation of DCC’s own MODOS programme. He is currently studying Circular Economy at TU Delft.

Dr Declan Bogan

Declan is co-founder of SUSTHUB and CEO of innovate2zero (www.innovate2zero.com) a strategy, innovation and sustainability consultancy business. Working with over 100 organisations, on multiple engagements, Dr Declan Bogan has been immersed in the world of innovation, systems and design thinking across all areas of business at strategic, product portfolio, human, service, process, customer experience and total proposition levels From the bench to the boardroom, with micro to multinational organisations, Declan has worked internationally and locally with senior leaders and executives in Fortune 500 global household brand names across the total value ecosystem as they look to evolve their proposition. He has also mentored and coached many start-ups on their business proposition evolution, all with a sustainability/climate focus. He has a particular interest in the employee as stakeholder. He ran the ClimateKIC accelerator in 2018 for 13 sustainability focused startups. He has a qualification in the circular economy from TU Delft.

The Clean Technology Centre (CTC), MTU

The Clean Technology Centre is an independent, not for profit organisation established within Munster Technological University and has been providing innovative and effective resource efficiency solutions since established in 1992. The team at the Clean Technology Centre have a proven track record and varied experience in research, technical environmental analysis and reporting, behaviour change, public engagement, training and communication.

Experience - CTC’s work in resource efficiency approaches and research has been highly acclaimed and has driven national and regional programmes and methodologies. CTC has managed 3 key NWPP Resource Efficiency Programmes between 2018 and 2020 (Green Business Programme, Green Hospitality Programme and Green Healthcare Programme). CTC has successfully carried out over 100 national and international, pure and applied environmental research projects since its inception - both individually and with over 120 partners from 31 countries. CTC has also worked directly with 25 Irish local authorities, provided assistance to 50 Irish hospitals and worked with over 300 Irish companies, through its own consultancy activities and in its past role in the Green Business Programme. CTC has assisted 12 companies in the implementation and certification of their environmental management systems to ISO 14001.

Clients - public sector bodies, local authorities, semi-state organisations, business and industry, tourism and hospitality, the waste management industry and others.

CTC Trainer profiles

James Hogan, Programme Manager, CTC

James Hogan is an environmental scientist and environmental consultant with the Clean Technology Centre since 1995. James has managed a number of national resource efficiency programmes which include the Green Business Programme, the Green Hospitality Programme, and the Savour Food Programme. He currently manages the “Going Green” programme for the LEO office in Longford which is providing resource efficiency advice and mentoring to 31 micro businesses in the midlands. James has delivered training to business on sustainability issues for 15 years through the programmes outlined, including the Green Business Programme which hosted regional resource efficiency seminars which attracted a wide range of business sectors and technology suppliers to discuss developments in resource efficiency, with a focus on energy and water efficiencies and waste prevention. He has hosted close to 100 seminars for businesses on the resource efficiency and cost savings. James has developed and delivered a resource efficiency module over the last 8 years for Tourism and Hospitality students at CIT. As a qualified Energy Auditor under the AEE he has carried out resource efficiency assessments for over 200 businesses.

Dr Colum Gibson, CTC

Colum Gibson is an environmental chemist who has worked with CTC for 18 years. He has extensive experience working with industry, the waste sector, LAs and communities. Colum has worked with a wide range of organisations, in terms of size and sector, through a variety of resource efficiency-based projects both in Ireland and abroad. Colum is currently involved in several national programmes including Green Seafood Business, the Local Authority Prevention Network and is the project leader of the EPA’s Stop Food Waste programme. He is also programme manager of the EPA’s Food Waste Charter business programme and co-manages the HSE’s Green Healthcare programme which involves work on water conservation, food waste reduction and energy efficiency. Colum is the project leader of an EPA research project looking at assessing and quantifying the reuse sector in Ireland and led the recent research project on reducing commercial food waste in Ireland. Throughout these projects Colum has been involved in producing reports, communication materials and the development of case studies. Through these projects Colum has been directly involved in the development and delivery of a variety of environmentally focused training programmes targeting SMEs.

Keelin Tobin

Keelin has been an Environmental Researcher at CTC since 2017. Formerly, she was the Coordinator of Cork Food Policy Council and continues to sit on the steering committee. Keelin leads the social media and online engagement of Stop Food Waste and is a consultant for Savour Food, a business focused project offering direct support to food service businesses. She is a trained and experienced Chef, recipient of the Young Chef Award at the 2012 Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery at Oxford University. She lectures to Culinary Arts students in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality. Keelin worked on the national commercial food waste research, participating in approximately 30 food waste audits in restaurants, canteens and retail sectors. She has contributed to the development of several food sustainability publications (e.g. the Stop Food Waste Seasonal Foods Calendar (2020), Less Food Waste More Profit (2019), the Food Waste Resource Pack for Home Economics (2019) and the Stop Food Waste Pocket Guide (2018)). She has extensive experience conducting on-site food waste assessments, presenting at seminars and conferences, carrying out research and writing reports. Keelin has an MA in Anthropology of Food, a Master of Business degree and a degree in International Development and Food Policy.

Change by Degrees

Change by Degrees is a sustainability consultancy with over 20 years international experience in climate and environment strategy, communications and employee and customer engagement. Our consultancy services enable businesses to grow better, by responding effectively to the increasing demand for sustainable business practice, through workshops, SDG mapping, strategy development and best practice policy guidance. We bring environmental sustainability and climate change know how to your business to help you assess climate risk, build resilience, secure supply chains, attract and retain staff, respond to changing regulations and communicate your impact with legitimately. Our tailored advice and communications planning will increase employee loyalty and productivity and ultimately reduce business costs. Change by Degrees have delivered training and workshops to businesses in Ireland on all aspects of sustainability policy and strategy, employee education and engagement and on reporting and communications. We tailor our training services to each clients’ needs and industry.

Clients – Change by Degrees clients include Musgrave, the National Treasury Management Agency, Gas Networks Ireland, Ervia, Irish Water, Poppulo, Dept of the Taoiseach, Depart of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Cork City Council, SECAD, and the Blue Haven Collection.

Recognition – Change by Degrees are Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awardees 2018 and were shortlisted for the Women Mean Business Awards and the Cork Chamber Digital Awards in 2019. We are members of the Enterprise Ireland Green Service Providers.


Change by Degrees Trainer profiles

Dr Tara Shine

Dr Tara Shine spent 20 years as an international climate change negotiator and adviser to governments and world leaders on environmental policy. She was Special Adviser to the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice and The Elders before setting up Change by Degrees, a sustainability consultancy based in Kinsale, Co. Cork. Tara is Chair of the Board of the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED) and a member of faculty and lead facilitator for the visibility stream of Homeward Bound, a global leadership programme for women in science. She is author of ‘How to Save Your Planet One Object At A Time’ published in April 2020 by Simon and Schuster. Tara has also recently been appointed as the co-facilitator of the Structured Expert Dialogue of the Second Periodic Review under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).Tara is a science communicator and TV presenter and will present the 2020 Royal Institution Christmas Lecture.

Madeleine Murray

Madeleine Murray spent six years in academia tutoring, teaching, writing and researching as an Archaeologist in the School of Archaeology UCD and the National Museum of Ireland. She also worked for years as an Archaeological Manager in the private sector. She is expert in employee sustainability engagement, narrative crafting and messaging and is passionate about making complex information accessible, helping businesses to create and tell their sustainability stories. Madeleine has a Diploma in UX Design making her the first Irish sustainability adviser to use sustainability and UX as a problem solving tool for business. She was winner of the 2020 Emerging New Business Award at Network Cork. Madeleine is also a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman holding several company directorships, one of which was incubated on the High Potential Start Up Course in The Rubicon Centre, C.I.T.