Irish design and craft businesses target international buyers

Business | Mon 11 Jan | Author – Business & Finance
art and craft

The network of Local Enterprise Offices has unveiled 97 different design and craft businesses, aiming to impress 5,000 buyers visiting the Enterprise Zone at Showcase in Dublin later this month.

The small craft and design businesses, representing 22 counties around Ireland, have all been supported by their Local Enterprise Office, making it possible for them to sell to international retail buyers from more than twenty countries such as the US, France, Japan, China and Italy.

Showcase at the RDS runs from January 24th to 27th and is the first major trade event of the year, organised by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland and promoted internationally by Enterprise Ireland.

A wide range of creative sectors will be represented within the Enterprise Zone this month, such as ceramics, knitwear, jewellery, interiors, skincare and giftware.

Kieran Comerford, chair of Local Enterprise Offices in the Local Authorities Network, said: “Many of the 97 small businesses within the Enterprise Zone are new start-ups or first-time exhibitors, making their debut in 2016. Thanks to practical business supports through the Local Enterprise Offices, these businesses are well-placed to secure substantial international orders during Showcase, helping to grow their order books, their export markets and their job creation prospects.”

Karen Hennessy, chief executive, Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, added: “We are delighted to be working once again with the Local Enterprise Offices in introducing Irish and international buyers to the latest exciting products from emerging Irish designers and makers at Showcase. This annual trade show, which is now in its 40th year, is instrumental in promoting Ireland’s well-recognised strengths for design and creativity to buyers from Ireland and over 20 countries around the world.

She continued: “I would like to commend and thank the Local Enterprise Offices for supporting small craft and design businesses in participating in the Enterprise Zone at Showcase. The exhibiting companies represent the wealth of creative talent in Ireland today and this dedicated area at Showcase plays a critical role in helping emerging Irish entrepreneurs develop their business and expand their client base.”

Photo: Colin White