Design & Crafts Council Ireland Call for Applicants at launch of the Irish Business Design Challenge

Posted 16.09.20

Competition launched to recognise and reward the resilience and innovation of micro, small and medium Irish businesses

L-R: Oisín Geoghegan, Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices, Dearbhail McDonald, Author, TV and Radio Broadcaster, Paul McKeown, Executive Director at Enterprise Ireland and Rosemary Steen, CEO Design & Crafts Council Ireland

Dublin, 16th September 2020: Design & Crafts Council Ireland today launched the Irish Business Design Challenge in partnership with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, the Local Enterprise Offices and Enterprise Ireland. The Irish Business Design Challenge is a competition in which micro, small and medium Irish businesses (MSMEs) across all sectors are invited to share the challenges they are experiencing as a result of COVID-19 and the solutions they have designed to resolve and adapt to the current environment.

The aim of the Irish Business Design Challenge is to recognise the resilience and innovation of MSMEs in a year which has proven to be challenging for businesses as a result of Covid-19. The competition will profile a selection of businesses over a number of weeks, during which an expert panel of judges and members of the public will have the chance to vote for their ‘hero business’. Dearbhail McDonald, Author and Broadcaster will chair the expert judging panel.

The Irish Business Design Challenge is open to three categories of business including micro (1 – 10 employees), small (11 – 50 employees) and medium sized (51 - 250 employees). The overall winner will receive a prize fund of €50,000, with a €15,000 prize fund for the winner of each category and €2,000 for the runner-up in each category.

Announcing the launch of the competition, CEO DCCI, Rosemary Steen said, “I am delighted to launch the Irish Business Design Challenge alongside Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices. Small businesses are of central importance to Ireland’s economy and we want to celebrate those businesses that have overcome so much over the past few months due to Covid-19. Through the Irish Business Design Challenge, we want to harness the ingenuity of the SME sector, to help other businesses and communities across Ireland.”

Commenting on the launch of the Irish Business Design Challenge, Paul McKeown, Executive Director at Enterprise Ireland said, “This year has proven to be a difficult year for Irish business but for many it has consequently become an opportunity to develop and reinvent. Businesses of all sizes have been taking steps to design new products or services, shift their business model and/or develop new systems of management while also adapting to the new trading environment. We are keen to hear from SMEs about their new approaches to operation and I am encouraging all those who are interested to apply today.”

Commenting on the competition, Oisín Geoghegan, Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices said, “In the Local Enterprise Offices we are in the privileged position to work with some of the most innovative small businesses from across the country, and due to Covid-19 many have had to redesign their existing products, or pivot to new ones linked to their supply chain.  The Irish Business Design Challenge is a fantastic way to recognise these businesses and highlight some of the innovative and brilliant design that is out there across the country.”   

Speaking on her involvement in the Irish Business Design Challenge, Dearbhail McDonald, Author, TV and Radio Broadcaster said, “I am truly delighted to be involved in the judging process for this competition. Irish businesses have shown such strong resilience over the past few months and this competition is a great opportunity for them to show how they have adapted to the difficulties of the current working environment.”

The Irish Business Design Challenge is open for entries from Thursday 17th September and applications will be accepted over the coming weeks. 

For further information on the Irish Business Design Challenge or to apply for the competition please visit

www.dcci.ie/irish-business-design-challenge

-ENDS-

For further press information, please contact:

Michelle Lynch FleishmanHillard Dublin at: michelle.lynch@@fleishmaneurope.com / 087 968 9016

Gill Madden, FleishmanHillard Dublin at: gill.madden@fleishmaneurope.com / 086 230 9070

Notes to the Editor:

About Design & Crafts Council Ireland
Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) is the national agency for the commercial development of Irish designers and makers, stimulating innovation, championing design thinking and informing Government policy. DCCI's activities are funded by the Department of Trade, Enterprise and Employment via Enterprise Ireland. DCCI currently has 59-member organisations and over 3,000 registered clients. dcci.ie

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