Ambassador for Intertrade Ireland

24Intertrade-Ireland-Business-Ambassadors-2014-Clare-KA-1-150x150The Burren Smokehouse was recognised as shining light of the Irish SME sector in a recent reception at the Mansion House and the Residence of the Irish President, the Áras an Uachtaráin.

The InterTradeIreland Business Ambassador initiative was launched on 8th October 2014. As an Ambassador, our story will be told, and in doing so, other SMEs will hopefully be inspired to seek the support they need to grow and develop their business.

Just as a little note as to how important InterTradeIreland's role is: €20 million in business value have been generated by 63 Irish companies who have participated in InterTradeIreland programmes!

The Burren Smokehouse was one of those 63 companies acknowledged for their contribution to enterprise and innovation across the island of Ireland. They were awarded ‘Business Ambassador’ status by InterTradeIreland at a special event held in the Mansion House in Dublin. The event was hosted by Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD.

Intertrade Ireland Business Ambassador 2014Every county in Ireland was represented by the Business Ambassadors, who were nominated as companies that had successfully embraced innovation; developed new cross-border markets or secured venture capital with InterTradeIreland’s support. Representing the full spectrum of industries, the 63 companies have generated approximately €20 million in additional business value to the Irish economy so far.

As you know, the Burren Smokehouse is an artisan producer of smoked fish products supplying to worldwide high-end customers within the specialist deli, restaurant and retail sectors. Through InterTradeIreland’s FUSION programme, we generated an artisan product achieving a shelf life extension of 25% without any compromise to the quality.

Over 250 guests attended the event which included Government representatives, consisting of, Ministers of State, TDs and Senators. The group of InterTradeIreland Business Ambassadors were also invited to meet President Michael D. Higgins at a special reception at Áras an Uachtaráin to mark their achievements where he described the companies as ‘the finest of Irish entrepreneurial spirit and innovation’.

Speaking following the event, Margaret Hearty, Acting CEO, InterTradeIreland said: “We have supported businesses from a diverse range of sectors right across Ireland and we are extremely proud of their achievements. These firms represent many of Ireland’s most resilient and ambitious SMEs that are a testament of what can be achieved through enterprise and innovation. It is important that we recognise their success which we hope in turn will inspire other businesses to seek the support needed to develop and take their business to the next level.”

She added: “While the value of cross-border trade has not been immune to the recession, we are encouraged by the recent upturn. The cross border market is an important export market for many first time exporters with one in five companies from Ireland trading in the Northern market – generating nearly €1.2 billion in 2012 in cross-border trade of manufactured goods alone. These companies show what can be achieved through North-South collaboration and business development.”

InterTradeIreland, the cross-border body that provides SMEs with funding, information, advice and support has greatly helped small businesses to identify and develop trade and business opportunities across the island.

Since 2003, InterTradeIreland has helped more than 25,000 companies with cross-border information and services, supporting over 6,000 SMEs through its trade and innovation programmes. The result has been over €885 million worth of trade and business development and the creation of 3,000 jobs through its programmes. For every €1 invested in InterTradeIreland, it provides a twelve-fold return in business development value.