TWO Cork-based businesses have been awarded Local Enterprise Awards from Cork County Council’s respective Local Enterprise Offices (LEO) in South Cork and Cork North and West. Companies ‘GROUND Wellbeing’ and ‘RetroKit’ received the accolade for building successful businesses despite the challenging times of the past two years.
They will now compete against 28 other businesses at the National Enterprise Awards in Dublin next month which celebrate the achievements of Ireland’s micro-enterprise sector.
Award winning Spa Consultant Peigín Crowley created her now burgeoning business ‘Ground Wellbeing’ at the kitchen table during the lockdown in 2020.
Born from a desire to make wellness and self-care accessible to all, Peigín has created a unique brand that is fast becoming a wellness staple.
Her 100% natural aromatherapy oils and balms help provide the answer to problems including insomnia, anxiety, and menopause and are expertly blended to be used at home. They are now available nationally through Brown Thomas and in some of the most exclusive spa retreats in the country.
Representing LEO Cork North and West, RetroKit, was founded by Xavier Dubuisson, Shay Kavanagh, and Susan O’Flaherty.
RetroKit is Ireland’s first digital platform dedicated to housing providers and the home energy renovation sector as a support in planning and implementing home energy upgrade projects at scale.
The platform uses big data and machine learning systems to facilitate decision-making, increase productivity and reduce costs. RetroKit’s mission is to empower clients to reduce the carbon footprint in housing, to alleviate fuel poverty, and improve the health and wellbeing of householders.
Speaking at a special luncheon to celebrate the award winners, the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan said: “I would like to congratulate GROUND Wellbeing and Retrokit on their awards and wish them all the very best as they progress in the competition.
“The past two years have been an extraordinarily challenging time for businesses, but it is heartening to see how new businesses have harnessed their expertise and energy to build hugely successful businesses that are going from strength to strength.
“I wish them all the very best in the awards. I am certain that we will hear much more from both of them in the coming years as they grow their respective businesses.”
Speaking of the award, Peigín Crowley, GROUND Wellbeing said: “The concept of GROUND is simple; to create luxury spa experiences at home with honest natural products that do the body good. Since the beginning, the LEO in South Cork has been enormous support with trading online vouchers, priming grants, mentoring, and the export programme.
“They have been there for me from the beginning which has been a lifeline in growing the business so steadily in such challenging times.”
Speaking of their award, Susan Flaherty, RetroKit said: “We were all too aware of the enormous challenge in Ireland and globally to retrofit millions of homes by 2030, so the aim of RetroKit is to make this process more efficient for retrofit professionals, allowing them to streamline their processes and reduce costs through digitalisation.
“As it is such a fast-growing sector, having the support of the LEO Cork North and West has been invaluable to us and we look forward to representing Cork North and our region at the national finals.”
Last year Cork County Council’s LEO offices in South Cork and Cork North and West approved grants totaling more than €1.1 million to assist local businesses.
Further details about the supports available to local start-ups and small businesses are available through www.localenterprise.ie.