Ian Kelly and Anne-Marie Greene, DUC
In our Ones to Watch section, we highlight some of the top movers and shakers in Ireland. This week we feature DUC.
What is it?
DUC is a bag product line based on a one-for-one business model. We work in partnership with the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation (CNCF); each DUC range has a purpose and with the purchase of a bag we provide educational and medical supplies to vulnerable children in Vietnam. For example, with every school bag sold we purchase a school kit – this gives a child an opportunity to succeed in school and a chance to break the poverty cycle.
Who’s behind it?
The founders of DUC are Ian Kelly and Anne-Marie Greene who have been working with the children of Vietnam since 2012 after their first visit to Ho Chi Minh City. From then on, inspired by the work of the Christina Noble Foundation, they have consistently fundraised and returned every year to buy shoes for the children in the orphanages or water tanks for local families living on the Mekong Delta. In August 2017, they decided to launch the DUC brand with a view to providing more continuous support for the work of the foundation.
How is it funded?
DUC has received no funding from any government bodies and it is completely funded by both founders with the help and support of Bank of Ireland.
Like any other business, growth is the goal. The more the business develops and grows, the more children’s lives can be changed, so, naturally, bigger is better! Currently DUC bags are in a small number of retailers in Ireland, but the aim would be to expand to more stores throughout Ireland and Europe as well as distributing internationally, eventually.
This year has seen the launch of five new collections which will hit Irish stores in April. Not only are there new designs but there are new humanitarian links, too. The new DUC bags will provide valuable support to the School of Visually Impaired, funds for baby formula and school supplies for ongoing operations, and swim bags for children attending lessons along the delta. The ultimate goal is to provide continuous support for a variety of ongoing projects run by the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation, branching out into a plethora of operations, gradually making a difference – one bag at a time.
Business & Finance, Ones to Watch
Business & Finance, in association with Comtrade Digital Services, recognises Ireland’s most dynamic emerging businesses in ‘Ones to Watch’.
Ireland is alive with a vibrant start-up scene and the entrepreneurs featured are shaping the country’s economic landscape.