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Galway’s young entrepreneurs share €50,000 fund



Galway’s Best Young Entrepreneur Awards….Michael Fitzgerald, CEO OnePage CRM, with Dara Lynch of Twizt Hydration, Winner of Best New Idea; Cian Brassil of Cloud Dock, Best Start Up Business and Pat Divilly, Best Established Business and Overall Winner of Best Young Entrepreneur, Galway, joined by Breda Fox, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office, Galway. Photo Martina Regan.

Twizt Hydration; CloudDock and Pat Divilly Fitness have been announced as overall winners in the Ireland Best Young Entrepreneur competition for Galway with Pat Divilly Fitness named as Galway’s Best Young Entrepreneur.

The companies were presented with their Awards by the Mayor of the City of Galway, Councillor Donal Lyons at a reception in the Local Enterprise Office this week.

The Awards are part of the Local Enterprise Office overall aim to support and recognise young entrepreneurs as part of this national competition.

The prizes worth €50,000 for Galway can be used to create new businesses and help existing businesses strengthen their product offerings to the Irish and export markets. The entrepreneurs and their businesses were judged on areas including: business plans; marketing strategy; finance; the use of technology and innovation in the business and the entrepreneurial skills of the business owner.

Receiving the award for the Best New Idea category was Dara Lynch from Twizt Hydration. Twizt Hydration offers a comfortable hydration solution that can be used seamlessly during runs to aid hydration. This in-turn enhances performance and compliments the overall running experience.

The recipient of the Best Start-Up Business was Cian Brassil of CloudDock. CloudDock acts as a universal adaptor for cloud storage companies making them compatible with each other. CouldDock offers a platform for users to share folders and works across services seamlessly. So, for example, a Dropbox user can work with a Google Drive user, without ever needing to have a Google Drive account or vice versa.

The winner of the Best Established Business was Pat Divilly Fitness, which started as a small fitness class on Silverstrand beach in May 2012 and has quickly become one of Ireland’s most recognised health and wellness companies serving over 800 clients globally each month with his online presence. The business also operates a successful fitness studio in Barna.

“Twizt Hydration; CloudDock and Pat Divilly Fitness are great examples of young business people who are making a mark in Galway and their respective marketplaces. As young entrepreneurs under 30, we are proud of their remarkable achievements to date and confident that these individuals and their companies will continue to carve out and develop a niche for their products here in Ireland while slowly developing their markets in the UK, Europe and the US,” said Breda Fox, Head of Enterprise for the LEO.

Twizt Hydration; CloudDock and Pat Divilly Fitness will represent Galway city and county at the Regional Irelands Best Young Entrepreneur Awards which will be held on October 29. The National Awards will take place in December.

Connacht Tribune

Four Galway firms among Ireland’s Best Managed Companies



The Corrib Oil Group was named among Ireland’s Best Managed Companies at the 14th annual awards programme, led by Deloitte. Pictured were Nikki Canavan, Senior Director, Bank of Ireland, Corrib Oil Group directors Eamonn Dalton and Sean Heaphy, Director, and Brian Murphy, Partner, Deloitte.

Four Galway companies have been awarded Ireland’s Best Managed Companies accolade at the 14th annual awards programme, led by Deloitte in association with Bank of Ireland.

This year, Deloitte recognised 136 indigenous companies at the awards representing 25 of the 32 counties across Ireland. This is the first year where the awards programme returned as an in-person event following the pandemic and culminated with a gala awards ceremony at The Convention Centre Dublin.

Amongst the winning companies this year were SalesSense International ltd and Corrib Oil Group. SalesSense International ltd achieved platinum having won for the seventh consecutive year, while Corrib Oil Group was recognised for the first time. Acorn Life and Collins McNicholas Recruitment were both requalifying winners.

The network of companies chosen has a combined turnover of €13.9 billion providing over 51,000 jobs across Ireland across a range of sectors – from retail and hospitality to manufacturing and construction.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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More than one third of adults have no pension



The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has published new research outlining Irish adults’ preparations for their retirement.

The research findings show that a high percentage of consumers do not have any pension plan in place. When asked their reasons for not having a pension in place, 32% stated that they have yet to get around to it, 20% feel they are too young and a further 20% don’t feel they can afford it.

Almost a quarter (23%) of those in the 55-64 years age group – those who may expect to retire in the next decade – reported that they don’t currently have a pension in place. 77% of this age cohort expect to qualify for the State Contributory pension as one way of funding their retirement.

Of the 735 adults who took part in the research, two thirds (66%) stated they would be using the State Contributory pension to help fund their retirement. The research also shows that 32% of those questioned were unaware of the amount of the State Contributory pension payment (currently €253 per week).

Respondents intend to supplement their pension plans with a variety of other forms of retirement funding, including, selling a property (24%), rental income (23%), equity release (15%) and selling a business (14%). One third of those aged 25-34 expect to use funds from the sale of a property or income from a rental property as a source of funding in retirement.

Kevin O’Brien, Member of the CCPC, said: “This research suggests a lack of provision for adequate retirement income among a considerable cohort of Irish adults.

“It raises concerns therefore around the long-term financial well-being of consumers, with 38% having no pension in place.

Of those surveyed, many cite the time to set up a pension or being too young as barriers to making pension provisions.

“Pension planning is key to maintaining financial well-being in retirement and it is evident from this new research that many Irish adults do not have the necessary provisions in place to provide for a secure retirement, despite the significant tax reliefs available on pension contributions.


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Connacht Tribune

Local Ireland welcomes move to 0% VAT for news publishers



Local Ireland, the association representing 32 weekly paid-for newspapers around the country, has welcomed the decision by the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to remove VAT on newspapers.

President of Local Ireland Declan McGuire said: “This is a very important move for news publishers.

“Zero per cent VAT will allow local newspapers around Ireland to invest in journalism and in the transition to new digital business models.

“News publishers have faced a series of major challenges over recent years, most recently the huge increases in the cost of newsprint. This move will help support jobs in the industry and sustain the quality of our service to readers.

“We very much appreciate this endorsement by Government for the valuable role we play in our communities and the public service content we provide.

“I would like to thank the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure and all the Ministers, TDs and Senators from across the political spectrum who have given their support to our campaign to end VAT on journalism.”

Executive Director of Local Ireland Bob Hughes said: “Local news publishers are the lifeblood of the communities they serve. Along with our national colleagues represented by NewsBrands Ireland, we play a vital role in Ireland’s democracy.

“Today’s decision will protect the future of trusted, professional journalism in Ireland against the tide of global disinformation that threatens to undermine healthy democratic debate and analysis.”




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