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Meet the Greenshoots Emerging Entrepreneurs 2016

Aileen O’Connor – HeritageWorks

Aileen’s previous background was in behavioural psychology and training. Over two decades, she worked in supporting roles with diverse groups (for example, elderly people; children; youth; intellectually disabled; volunteers; Traveller women) and had an ongoing involvement in the community and voluntary sector. After coming to Beara with her young family in 2010, she worked in a small community-led museum, experiencing first-hand the joys and challenges of this kind of project. This led her to complete a social science master’s degree in Management in the Community and Voluntary Sector.

It was the lack of employment opportunities in Beara that led Aileen to consider becoming self-employed. She explored her idea by doing a ‘Start Your Own Business’ Course and several short courses with Fáilte Ireland, including Sales & Marketing and Business Finance. In 2015, she started Heritageworks with a colleague.

HeritageWorks is a new, innovative way of working with communities to develop their cultural heritage. It provides a one-stop-shop for developing heritage projects, with services ranging from concept development, project management, design and, finally, installation and animation of exhibitions, trails and other heritage attractions.

Aileen says “At HeritageWorks we aim to develop a relationship with the community or group we are working with, and we believe it is this relationship that produces the best stuff. We have experience from working on the frontline of community development all the way back, and can be with you, problem-solving, every step of the way”. www.heritageworks.ie


Cara Tremayne – Bee Weed Free

We have all heard of a roll out lawn but the idea that vegetable and ornamental gardening could be just as simple does not occur to most people. Roll Out Garden mats work in a similar fashion to a roll out lawn but are far more productive. 

The mats are 100% Organic and contain no GM ingredients.  The mat is made from 100% coco coir fibres and is fully compostable.  This is a no waste product.  Roll Out Garden Mats eliminate the need for sowing seed, transplanting or potting on of young plants making gardening much simpler for beginners and people who have limited recreational time. These mats allow the gardener to roll out the mat containing plant seeds in situ where they will grow at the correct spacing with minimal effort.  The seeds are housed in modules which protect the plants as they grow from fluctuations in temperature or moisture, the modules also contain feed so there is no need to feed the plants throughout the growing season. 

The mats have the added benefit of weed suppression which reduces the workload even more!  With an initial focus on vegetable and cut and come again salad production I hope to branch out further into mat growing annual and perennial flowers too!  Ireland has a very strong green image when it comes to food production and I would like to use this business opportunity to promote horticulture and food production in Ireland with the goal of supplying the product on an international level in the near future.


Dana Swanton – localsales.ie

Dana’s background is in data analytics and research. She is using this experience and knowledge to develop an app for the retail sector. This app will be a resource to help shoppers to save money. It will display retail sales information (e.g. fashion) by type and location. 



Don O’ Herlihy – Wind-up Dog Animation

Wind-up dog Animation is an animation studio based in Macroom, Co.Cork. We create animation and illustrations for domestic and international animation studios, video game companies and websites. We also offer a commission service for individuals wishing to have a custom animation or illustration created for special occasions such as Wedding invitations and birthdays.

There are many different styles of animation within the industry, at Wind-up dog we focus on traditional hand drawn animation techniques combined with the use of computer software allowing us to draw and animate digitally rather than on paper. This allows us to maintain the charm and appeal of hand drawn animation and also keep the production process as efficient as possible.
The animation industry in Ireland and internationally is booming both on broadcast television and online. We have identified markets within the industry that are currently untapped, we hope to service these markets and create a world class animation studio within the Munster region.

Tel: 086 2675494  Email: windupdoganimation@gmail.com


Eilbhe O’ Donovan – Quaking Grass Studio 

Quaking Grass Studio – images of a quiet life on a forgotten peninsula

Beyond the Wild Atlantic Way comes this series of unusual storybook images; combining the traditional illustration media of ink & print-making, Quaking Grass Studio creates quirky & humorous designs in a contemporary minimalist style.

Eilbhe has worked in the Arts for over 10 years, working in such diverse areas as deorative painter to art mentor for people with disabilities. As a qualified teacher of Art & Design, Eilbhe lived and taught overseas from Spain to Burma before deciding to settle in West Cork where she lives with her husband, border collie, 2 cats and a plethora of unusual free-ranging birds. Completing a purpose-built Art studio in the garden, Eilbhe has been working on expanding her range and is exploring the possibilities of venturing into fabric and textile design for the interior market.

She also runs art classes for kids and is planning a series of adult art sessions in various forms, from traditional weekend workshops to ‘Arty Hen Party’ escapades.



Geraldine Quinlan – Aurora Natural Skincare

Aurora Natural Skincare is an exciting new skincare range for sensitive skin.  It is handmade by Geraldine Quinlan on the shores of the Wild Atlantic Way in Kilbrittain, West Cork.  She carefully blends two of nature’s superfoods locally harvested organic seaweed and organic calendula with high quality plant oils to create this safe, effective and luxurious skincare range. Contact Geraldine at auroranaturalskincare@gmail.com or find us on Facebook


Grace Harding – The Idyll

The Idyll is a wellness travel website. We promote destinations and businesses in the wellness niche, while inspiring readers to take healthier holidays. Through articles, reviews and social media campaigns, we offer various forms of non-traditional advertising for companies in Ireland and abroad.

Wellness travel is a rapidly growing sector of tourism and The Idyll aims to cater to this new generation of travellers. On our website, we explore all of the ways that travel can make people happier and healthier. By regularly producing fresh and engaging content, we aim to continue growing our online presence. 

Grace previously worked as a project editor for a major publishing house. She went on to intern and write for a travel media company, before setting up her own wellness travel website, The Idyll.


Judy Ratliff – Jude’s Confections

Judy’s Confections is a small business based in West Cork. I hand make chocolates, using locally sourced materials when possible. The idea for the chocolates has evolved out of a desire for tasty dark chocolates with honest flavours. When I started making chocolates, it was to fulfill my own needs but I soon discovered that friends and family were queuing up. A business was born! Find us on Facebook


Marion Kiely - Upstream 

Upstream is an Occupational Health & Safety Consultancy which strives to bring about positive change in organisations and workplaces by focusing on ‘Safety Differently’ and the prevention & management of Work Related Stress. 

Safety Differently’ is a concept born by Professor Sidney Dekker and it looks on safety as an ethical responsibility, it measures success on the presence of positive outcomes, and it looks at people as the solution.  Marion gained great insight into ‘Safety Differently’ on a weeklong Master Class in Human Factors and Safety with Professor Sidney Dekker in Holland in 2015.

Psychosocial Risk Factors (commonly referred to as Work Related Stress) are one of the main contributors to illness and absenteeism in workplaces today in Europe.  Legislation requires that all hazards (including psychosocial) in the workplace are identified and that controls are put in place in order to eliminate or prevent harm arising from the risks associated with these hazards.  Upstream will help organisations to identify the 6 main psychosocial risk factors in their workplace, and help in putting preventative measures in place to prevent injury.  This will lead to increased wellbeing amongst employees and help business to thrive.


For more information, contact Marion on 0876409975 


Michael Mulligan - Mulligan and Associates – Coaching Consultants

In September 2015, Michael completed an MA in Coaching Psychology in UCC. He currently works as a consultant for Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) and combines this as a group facilitator for the Cork Education & Training Board (CETB) and Cork Sports Partnership (CSP). 

As a consultant with LHH, Michael enables career transition and progression by meeting clients on a one-to-one basis and utilising practices and procedures developed by LHH.

As a group facilitator for the Cork ETB Michael has designed various courses including the “First Steps” programme and Team Development workshops.  The “First Steps” programme builds confidence and upskills participants with CV and interview skills while also preparing individuals for the workplace environment.  The aim of the “First Steps” program is to provide 6 – 9 month internship opportunities for young adults who are long term unemployed. 

Michael has developed programmes – “Personal Effectiveness & Development” and “Career Preparation” – for the Cork Sports Partnership.

The “Personal Development & Effectiveness” program provides participants with an understanding of how to develop self and others in a sporting environment using coaching tools and techniques.  While the “Career Preparation” enables participants develop CVs, cover letters, networking techniques and proposals for sports coaching and business opportunities.


Naomi Smith – Cork Photo

Founded in 2014 by Naomi Smith and Louise Maher Cork Photo began as an artist led festival running for the month of July. During Cork Photo month emerging and established photographers present works in all manner of places, from galleries and other arts venues to local businesses and heritage sites across Cork City and County.

The project continues to grow and with the help of Greenshoots, the Cork Photo team are working hard to establish a viable business promoting contemporary photography and artists sustainability here in Cork.

2016 sees the launch of Cork Photo Gallery, showcasing the works of local and international artists working in photography and related media. Situated in the beautiful surrounds of Fitzgerald Park. Cork Photo offers a broad range of arts based workshops catering for all levels of engagement. www.corkphoto.com


Here’s how Greenshoots helped us:

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Greenshoots 2016 Come celebrate with us

Date: September 2, 2016

NewKidsOnTheBlock Greenshoots 6 Gets Underway

Date: March 21, 2016

information Info session

Date: January 29, 2016