Kilkenny companies urged to enter Irish Business Design Challenge

Kilkenny companies urged to enter Irish Business Design Challenge

Fiona Deegan, Head of Enterprise with LEO Kilkenny is urging local businesses to apply

Kilkenny businesses are being urged to enter The Irish Business Design Challenge which is a competition that recognises the resilience and innovation of Irish businesses that have adapted their business model and created solutions to overcome challenges presented by Covid-19.
Almost 400 businesses, including sole traders and micro enterprises, across all sectors have entered to date and Kilkenny businesses are being urged to apply.
The Irish Business Design Challenge had a prize fund of €50,000 and the deadline has been extended to November 13.
Each week in October , the judging panel nominated a ‘hero business’ as part of the challenge and CF Pharma Ireland Ltd, based in Kilkenny was named ‘Hero Business of the Week. Another Kilkenny business to receive the accolade of Business Hero of the Week was Alize’s School of Singing.
Other Kilkenny applications include Intosport (Johnny Dowling); CDS Architectural (Martin Stapleton); Etaoin Holahan (Fennellys of Callan) @fennellys_of_callan; Cake Face @cakefacepastry (Laura and Rory Gannon); Biddy’s Good Luck Horse Shoes www.biddysgoodluck (Anne Healy); Pembroke Hotel (John Ryan/Paul Broderick); Fioru Software Solutions #Fiorusolutions (Ann Marie McSorley) and Carl Lynch (
Fiona Deegan, Head of Enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Kilkenny spoke of how most of these businesses have availed of a range of supports from the LEO in the form of mentoring, training, business advice and financial assistance.
“We are delighted to have supported these businesses and are delighted they have entered the Irish Business Design Challenge and pivoted their businesses in order to provide much needed jobs in the local community,” she said.
Project Manager of the Irish Business Design Challenge, with the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, Liz Nolan also urged local businesses to apply.
“We welcome businesses from all sectors who have introduced innovation, pivoted, remained in business and managed to create positive impacts,” she said.
“While this is a national competition, we know Kilkenny has a number of fantastic, innovative businesses across a range of sectors and so encourage them to apply.”
Readers can see the entries and vote on The closing date for public voting is midnight on November 15.
Hero business

Fiona Deegan, Head of Enterprise with LEO Kilkenny also congratulated CF Pharma on receiving the accolade of ‘Hero Business of the Week’.
“CF Pharma availed of a range of supports from the LEO in the form of mentoring, training, business advice and financial assistance as a start-up,” she said. “We are delighted to have supported CF Pharma in its early stages and look forward to its continued expansion in Kilkenny in providing much needed jobs in the local community and commend Clare and her team on pivoting the business model during COVID-19.”
CF Pharma in Kilkenny manufactures and sells medical devices and topical healthcare products and have identified a need for a multi-use sanitizing product that would be safe for use in a variety of settings.
The company developed CleanRite, which has been approved by the Department of Agriculture as a skin, surface and contact food safe sanitiser and has also recently been approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for use against SARS Covid-2.
Managing Director Clare Hughes established CF Pharma in 2014.
“Prior to Covid-19, CF Pharma manufactured and distributed a range of biocide and medical device products for hospital and pharmacy setting using  hypochlorous acid as an antibacterial irrigation solution and we have a comprehensive portfolio of safety and clinical data testing to back all of our claims. 
“The key benefits are, unlike alcohol-based products, hypochlorous acid isn’t a skin irritant, it is pH neutral and has no known interactions or side effects,” says Hughes.
“When we developed CleanRite, we knew that it was the perfect product for use in schools.  There are concerns about alcohol-based products being used by children in terms of skin sensitivity, potential for abuse and flammability. 
“We tendered for and were successful in securing a place on the Department of Education PPE roll out for all schools. 
“We successfully fulfilled 10% of the school market on the initial round of orders and are continuing to grow these numbers daily as awareness continues to spread.” 
As a result of developing CleanRite, CT Pharma is predicting 60% sales growth on 2019 figures. They have hired 10 additional staff and have been granted permission by Kilkenny County Council to expand their premises by more than 1600 square metres beside their current facility in Hebron Industrial Estate.
 The Irish Business Design Challenge is an initiative of the Design and Crafts Council Ireland and is supported by the Local Enterprise Offices and Enterprise Ireland.
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