The annual ILDN Enterprise Awards recognise the excellence of entrepreneurs nominated by local development companies and having been supported by the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection supports under the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance as well as by the Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP).

Margaret O’Connor Millinery & Design (Clare), Fabricate (Limerick) and KM Financial Brokerage (North & East Cork) were the three entrepreneurs announced as winners of the ILDN Regional Enterprise Finals in April 2019.

The Clare Local Development Company nominated winner Margaret O’Connor, Millinery and Design from the Burren. Having trained with Philip Tracey, made hats for the Royal Wedding and Lady Ga Ga, Margaret is a very talented milliner and now a successful entrepreneur.

Nominated by the PAUL Partnership, Karen Cunneen Bilbow won the ILDN Mid-West Enterprise Award for her company, Fabricate, which designs and manufactures bespoke quality lampshades, textile products as well as delivering craft training and workshops. Karen has moved her operation to County Clare and has attended training courses in the CLDC.

“All the companies and entrepreneurs at the ILDN Mid-West Regional Finals are winners in reality. They have created viable startups to viable, profitable businesses. They have all shown real determination, business acumen and market knowledge, and have benefitted from on the ground support of Local Development Companies and the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection. Congratulations to Fabricate as the winner, and KM Financial and Margaret O’Connor Millinery & Design as runners up. We wish them every success at the ILDN National Enterprise Awards next month,” said Eamonn O’ Reilly, vice-chairperson of ILDN.

The finals will be held in Tullamore on the 16th May.