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Cork design and craft companies in the spotlight at International Showcase Event

Creative entrepreneurs from Cork City and County are in the spotlight this week, promoting local craft and design to an estimated 5,000 national and international buyers at Showcase in Dublin, Ireland’s International Creative Expo.

Working in partnership with the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) around the country incl. LEO Cork City, LEO South Cork and LEO Cork North and West, have set up a dedicated area within Showcase this week – the Local Enterprise Showcase - enabling over 100 designers, manufacturers and craftspeople to sell directly to international buyers.

The three companies supported by Local Enterprise Office, Cork City exhibiting at the event in the RDS this week are:

  • Alex Thiel of Alex Thiel Designs
  • Alex Chernenko of Kauza Ltd.
  • Joanna Kamiska Wujek of Jokamin

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Heather Humphreys T.D., visited the Local Enterprise Showcase yesterday (Sunday, January 21st) to meet the start-ups and first-time exhibitors that have been supported by their LEO. Speaking in the RDS, Minister Humphreys said:  “Helping micro and small craft and design companies take part in major trade events like   Showcase, is just one of the supports available to the sector through the Local Enterprise Offices. I am delighted to have had the opportunity to see so many talented Irish designers at the show as they secure orders for the coming year.  Many craft businesses are based in rural communities where they are providing local jobs for local people. The quality of the products on display at Showcase is testament to the level of creativity, innovation and craftsmanship in Ireland today. This is a sector with continued growth prospects. Through grant assistance, mentoring and training, the LEOs can help more craft and design businesses grow their sales and exports.”  The Minister was joined by Sheelagh Daly of the Local Enterprise Offices, Karen Hennessey of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, Stephen Hughes of Enterprise Ireland and Anna-Marie Delaney of the CCMA Economic, Enterprise, Community and Culture Committee.

Adrienne Rodgers, Head of Enterprise, LEO Cork City said: “At international trade fairs like Showcase, making the right first impression on buyers is key, especially if you’re a new start-up or first-time exhibitor. As part of the supports provided by the LEOs, companies were given expert advice and training around on-stand selling and presentation skills. With over 5,000 buyers expected, Showcase is the ideal platform for micro enterprises and smaller businesses to attract trade customers from more than 20 countries.” 

As part of the Showcase awards programme, Karen Hennessey, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland and Rita Guinan of the Local Enterprise Offices presented the Local Enterprise Showcase award to Brian Dunne of Soul Engraver in Dublin City (supported by LEO Dublin City). Highly commended awards were presented to Conor Cogan of Bearded Man in Meath (supported by LEO Meath) and Martin Hogan of Craftek in South Cork (supported by LEO South Cork).

Showcase is a partnership between the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland and Showcase Ireland Events Ltd., with support from Enterprise Ireland in promoting the trade show internationally through their network of offices overseas. Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, said: “Showcase plays a critical role in growing the international reputation and commercial potential of Ireland’s vibrant Irish design and craft sector, providing exhibitors with an annual opportunity to connect with Irish and international trade buyers and secure orders for the coming year. Thanks to the support of Enterprise Ireland, the show continues to attract buyers from across the globe. The network of Local Enterprise Offices also plays a central role in the show, mentoring and supporting micro and smallenterprises in exhibiting at the event. We are delighted to work in partnership with the LEOs in highlighting the wealth of talent amongst emerging creative enterprises across Ireland, and in supporting their commercial potential through the Local Enterprise Showcase.”

Showcase opened on Sunday (January 21st) and runs until Wednesday (January 24th) in the R.D.S. in Dublin. Further details about the Showcase Creative Expo are available from and details about the supports available to local design and craft companies are available from


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