We attended the Small Firms Association’s “Small Business Showcase” in Dublin on Thursday last. This was a chance for the 37 finalists in the SFA’s National Small Business Awards 2013 to flaunt their products and offered us a chance to witness the innovation of small businesses in Ireland and chat to many dynamic but very personable people. Each firm had their own stand and every economic sector seemed to be represented in the hall at Chartered Accountants Ireland on Pearse Street. Tourism, hospitality, manufacturing, IT services and there was the chance to sample many of their wares. The refrigeration company handing out free ice cream were a particular favorite.
The keynote speech was delivered by Dragon’s Den panel-list and successful entrepreneur, Bobby Kerr. After delivering a selection of jokes, some of which I have to say were more successful than others, Bobby gave an engaging speech, relating to the audience his experience of being a small business owner and how he believes that firms like those at the showcase represented the future of the Irish economy. Most useful was his top ten tips for surviving as a small business owner. We got a chance to meet with Bobby and discuss a few of our marketing strategies with him and he was a pleasure to talk to.
Having had the chance to try products from custom made golf clubs to Irish craft ales, and spoken to some of Ireland’s most promising entrepreneurs, we will be watching to see which of these firms will bag the prizes at the gala prize giving ceremony on 7 March.