Miriam, Philip and Mary Cushen
Philip and Mary Cushen along with their daughter Miriam from Cushendale Woollen Mills will be representing Kilkenny at the 22nd National Enterprise Awards at the Mansion House, Dublin on 2nd June.
Cushendale Woollen Mills crafts unique contemporary Irish textiles with an unrivalled provenance dating back to the 13th Century. The family business crafts textiles of Irish wool, mohair and lambswool, in small batches from fleece to fabric, ensuring exceptional quality for the home and international market. It is the sixth generation of the family business and one of last remaining mills in Ireland who continue to operate as a vertical mill, working with the sheep’s fleece and processing it, all under the one roof.
Cushendale Woollen Mills will now be competing against 30 other finalists from every local authority area for a share of the €50,000 winner’s prize fund. Categories this year include ‘Best Export Business,’ ‘Best Start-Up’ and ‘Innovation,’ in addition to eight regional awards. There are also two new National Enterprise Awards this year with a “One to Watch” award and a “Sustainability / Green” award. Previous national winners from County Kilkenny included companies such as Mileeven, Mechanical Modular Solutions and MyBio.
Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Cllr. Fidelis Doherty said: “The National Enterprise Awards highlight the achievements and contribution of small business and showcase their success”. She added “We would like to congratulate Cushendale Woollen Mills on their achievements to date and wish them in the final stages of the competition”.
Speaking ahead of the awards, Fiona Deegan, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny said: “These Awards provide an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the contribution of small businesses to our local economy”. She added “They have endured two of the most challenging economic years and having negotiated that are coming out stronger and looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead”.
The National Enterprise Awards are one of a number of initiatives that the Local Enterprise Offices run, to foster entrepreneurship across the country. Others include Local Enterprise Week, the Student Enterprise Programme, National Women’s Enterprise Day and Local Enterprise Showcase. The Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities are funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland.
Established in 2014, the Local Enterprise Offices are the essential resource for any entrepreneur looking to start a business or any small business that is looking for support or advice to help them grow. Since their inception eight years ago, the Local Enterprise Offices have helped create over 20,000 jobs across the country. The LEOs work with thousands of client companies across Ireland in a diverse range of sectors offering mentoring, training, expert advice and financial supports to small businesses. For more information see www.LocalEnterprise.ie
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