(Myself and my fellow winners with Minister Alex White)
Some of you may remember last summer when I was bouncing off the walls with excitement over being chosen for the IE Domain Registry's Optimise Programme. Myself and the 14 other winners (from 180 applicants) were each given €10,000 worth of consultancy to work on our websites and bolster our online presence. So to celebrate our completion of the programme, they had a ceremony for us in the Shelbourne and Minister for Communications, Alex White T.D. was on hand to present us with our awards.
This makes Sex Siopa the first sex shop in the history of the State, possibly the world (at least that’s what my initial Google searches have lead me to believe) to receive an award from a government official.
This is such a big deal, guys! It was an honour just to be included in the programme, and it shows just how far Ireland has come to have a mature conversation around sexual products and recognise an adult retailer as a legitimate and worthwhile part of the business community.
( Myself with IEDR Finance and Operations manager, Angela Butler and Gianni Ponzi from Blacknight)
Minister White spoke about the importance of SME's here in Ireland, which make up 99% of businesses in the country and employ 70% of our workforce. He also commended the IEDR on their terrific work over the years, helping businesses to boost their web presence both internationally and locally with a .ie domain. If you own a small Irish business, I would highly recommend applying for the Optimise programme this year. Applications will open on March 2nd.
My fellow 2014 winners are:
makeawish.ie - Charity organisation who grant wishes to children between the ages of 3 and 17, who are battling life threatening medical conditions throughout Ireland.
kilkennyhostel.ie - Hostel providing budget accommodation for up to sixty guests in the centre of Kilkenny.
loveachill.ie - Achill Island based company providing tourist and surfing related services while also producing bespoke gift products for wholesale and retail customers.
jfsports.ie - Retail sports shop specialising in running and football related products based in Carlow.
dublintaxitransfers.ie - An online booking agency which allows customers to book a taxi from Dublin Airport to destinations all around Ireland.
weldons.ie - A fourth generation family jewellery business specialising in diamond engagement rings, antique jewellery and Irish silver.
partymad.ie - Family run online business retailing fancy dress costumes, party supplies, and balloons throughout Ireland.
backstage.ie - Purpose built theatre located just outside Longford town which comprises a 212 seat auditorium and gallery and performance space.
donegalshop.ie - Dublin based family business retailing Irish crafts, knitwear, wool and tweeds from Donegal and other parts of the country.
extremeireland.ie - Tour provider offering daily tours of Ireland’s major attractions along with adventure tours and climbing and mountain skills courses.
missionpossible.ie - A Galway based SAAS cloud reward and recognition platform which enables companies to reward their staff by getting personal tasks completed for them whilst they are working.
stonechat.ie - A contemporary jewellery store specialising in hand-made Irish designs created in their in-store workshop and by selected designers.
office.ie - Dublin based provider of office supplies and services to the business sector throughout Ireland.
houseofireland.ie - A retail business specialising in the sale of Irish clothing, jewellery, china, linen and crafts.