Áine Breen – Liwu Jewellery
After moving to China in 2011, Áine Breen immersed herself in the local culture never knowing it would eventually lead her to setting up a business back home in Wexford.
Aisling Hanley – Keenwah Quinoa
As a busy mother of six, Aisling Hanley knows that parents want highly nutritious options when weaning their babies onto solid food.
Aisling Kelly – WB’s Coffee House
Having spent every holiday traveling around the world, Aisling Kelly has seen many interesting places, but there’s nowhere quite like home.
Amy Sherwin – Popzle
After 10 years working in packaging, supply chain and marketing roles in various multinational companies, Amy decided to take the plunge and fulfil her dream of creating a series of unique pop puzzles.
Antoinette Butler – The Butler Language Academy
It was her love of Kerry that inspired Antoinette Butler to set up The Butler Language Academy, a programme offering European students and adults a chance to explore the county while learning English.
Bernadette McCullagh – Dúinn Designs
Bernadette McCullagh always held a passion for patterns and colours, having studied textile design in Leeds University.
Bríd Graham – Splash Swim School
Working as a primary school teacher for 20 years gave Bríd Graham a valuable insight into building confidence in children. It is something she holds close to her heart as a swimming instructor and Director of Splash Swim School.
Brigid Riley – Fernwood Floral Design
Brigid Riley is the creative force behind Fernwood Floral Design with a design career spanning two decades and two continents, from fashion designer in New York City to event and ﬂoral stylist in Washington DC.
Claire Molloy – Sweet Living
After designing chocolate bars for Brian Dowling’s wedding, AP McCoy’s retirement party, Lorraine Keane and other celebrities, the cravings for Claire Molloy’s custom-made bars are growing stronger.
Claire Price – House/EDIT
After working as an interior architect in the high-energy hubs of Italy and London, Claire Price moved back home to set up a design studio in the coastal town of Sligo.
Caitriona Considine – Moher Cottage
With breath-taking views across the Clare countryside and Liscannor Bay, Caitriona Considine couldn’t have picked a better spot for the location of her gift and coffee shop.
Elaine Jacob – Dare to Dream lashes
Elaine Jacob Healy loved experimenting with makeup and she always wanted her own brand.
Finn Ní Fhaoláin – Fins Fit Food
By the time she was 10, Finn Ní Fhaoláin had travelled the world with her parents: sailing past glaciers in Alaska, watching cobras dance in India, and surfing in Donegal.
Fiona Kealy – The Bed Angel
Lying awake at night and thinking about others who were also having trouble sleeping gave wings to Fiona Kealy’s business idea.
Fiona Lee – Irish Food and Gifts
Having worked in hotel and catering management from a young age, Fiona Lee always had an interest in food.
Hazel Comyn – Hazel Comyn Designs
Her tulle skirts pushed her into the media spotlight and, just two years after launching her first bridal collection in 2015, Hazel Comyn is now an award-winning bridal designer.
Jac Keady – Caveman Grub
It was the infamous Irish breakfast roll that resulted in Jac Keady setting up her own healthy food range, Caveman Grub.
Jane O’ Connor – Savvy Security
Savvy Security could not be more aptly named. With a career spanning 15 years as an information security expert in companies like Symantec, IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and ESB, founder Jane O’Connor developed a savviness for providing security solutions.
Joanna Kelly – Digital Greetings
Leading up to her wedding in 2012, Joanna Kelly was looking for a unique way to announce the happy news but couldn’t find anything special enough.
Joanne Browne – Jo Browne
After receiving solid fragrant perfume from Greece as a young child, Joanne Browne vowed never to use spray perfume again. In 2013, she completed an aromatherapy course and used her new-found knowledge to make her own solid perfume.
Kabira Allain – Kymaïa
Born and raised in France to Moroccan parents, Kabira always had an interest in clothing and fashion.
Karen Keane – Bean and Goose
Having spent all her pocket money on chocolate as a child, it’s no surprise that Karen Keane aspired to create her own.
Kyna Brady – By Kyna
Kyna Brady always had a keen eye for fashion and design, and what began as a hobby led to her work as a Milliner and Bridal Headwear Specialist.
Ladonna McCartan – Nook & Cranny
Hearing customers talk about having to travel outside Portlaoise to find unique gifts gave café owner Ladonna McCartan a new business idea.
Laura Moloney – Laurel the salon
Having grown up with four older sisters, Laura was often the guinea pig for their make-up trials. This instilled in her a love of experimenting with beauty products and, by the time she reached primary school, she knew she wanted to be a beauty therapist.
Louise Egan – I-SPY Clothing
Sitting the Leaving Certificate and setting up a new business are two extremely stressful experiences – but Louise Egan has managed to do both in the past year.
Maria Brosnan – Bake it Easy
Maria Brosnan believes home baking is something that everyone should try more often, especially as a family.
Maura Sheehy – Maura’s Cottage Flowers
Maura Sheehy had always dreamed of having a cottage garden, but instead she devoted the outdoor space to her seven children.
Niamh Gaffney – Directionality
Following a life-changing experience in her own life, Niamh Gaffney set up her company Directionality, which provides coaching and consultancy to people dealing with life-altering challenges.
Nikki Reddy – Celtic Adventures
Just before Nikki Reddy joined ACORNS, she and her husband Dave launched their first Celtic Adventures centre in Clogherhead, Co. Louth in August 2016.
Orlagh Deegan – Choice Training
Selling garden potatoes outside her house at just 10 years of age, Orlagh Deegan was always destined to become an entrepreneur.
Sheena Dignam – Galway Food Tours
Helping her parents run their guest house in the Loire Valley, and studying culinary arts and wine in France, fuelled Sheena Dignam’s passion for top-quality food experiences.
Tara Brady – Ireland Planner
The idea for Ireland Planner came to Tara Brady while she was caring for her mother who had Alzheimer’s Disease. To help her mother stay engaged and occupied, Tara started researching activities in her home county of Cavan.
Trín O’Brien – Wellnice Pops
Trín O’Brien and her friend BJ Broderick may just have hit on one of the coolest ideas for a business – vegetable ice pops.