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Taoiseach Micheál Martin is visiting London as he commences Enterprise Ireland’s global programme of events for St. Patrick’s Day. Joining Enterprise Ireland CEO, Leo Clancy, Taoiseach Micheál Martin met with Irish companies who are scaling in the UK market, along with their UK partners.
Emphasising the importance of collaboration and partnership in the global business environment, Enterprise Ireland is marking St. Patrick’s Day by hosting over 60 trade events globally for Enterprise Ireland clients and international partners to boost business collaboration and partnerships internationally.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s visit to London is a significant event in this programme, as the UK is the largest export market for Enterprise Ireland client companies, representing 29% of total exports and valued at €7.5bn in 2020, making it a critically important market for Irish businesses.
During his visit to London, the Taoiseach yesterday met with a number of Irish consumer focused businesses who are scaling in the UK market at engagements hosted by Enterprise Ireland. These clients include award-winning cosmetics brand Sculpted by Aimee and athleisure business Peachylean which secured funding on BBC’s Dragons Den, as well as Revive Active and Solvotrin Therapeutics who sell online and into major UK retailers such as Boots, Holland & Barrett and QVC UK.
These engagements, in the Embassy of Ireland in London, were also attended by Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy, where these Irish business leaders had the opportunity to meet and provide insights on the opportunities in the UK market.
Five Enterprise Ireland supported health and wellbeing companies participated in a roundtable discussion with the Taoiseach and Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy, which also included representatives from Irish companies Sculpted by Aimee, Peachylean, Revive Active, Solvotrin Therapeutics and Thérapie Clinic.
While traditional Irish brands remain as popular as ever with UK consumers, this event showcases a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovation from Ireland which is resonating with UK customers, particularly in the health and wellbeing sector, in a whole new way. These firms that participated in the event plan to scale and grow in this sector, including Sculpted By Aimee who recently launched on QVC UK and has a retail expansion plan for the market which they are due to announce soon.
During this visit to London, the Taoiseach also yesterday met with Irish film & TV production company Pioneertown Productions and Sky, as they announced a major global deal with leading distribution company CAKE to sell their hit Sky Kids show DRAW WITH WILL. The deal also includes their RTÉ programme WILL SLINEY’S STORYTELLERS.
As well as delivering solutions for global challenges, Irish companies employ almost 1.2m people around the world, and it is estimated that these businesses employ 120,000 people in the UK.
This was the first major event in Enterprise Ireland’s Global Programme of activity for St. Patrick’s Day, which is being supported across the world by the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and a number of Government ministers. Over the coming days they will participate in business events with Enterprise Ireland clients and international partners across the US, Europe, UK, IMEA and Asia Pacific regions.
Speaking in London, the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin T.D. said: “Ireland and the UK have an important trading relationship, one that has served both markets across a number of sectors for generations. The UK is our closest neighbour and remains a critically important market for Irish businesses.
“From manufacturing to high-skilled engineering services, from consumer products to the creative industries, Irish companies are deeply integrated into the business community and customers they serve here. The health and wellbeing and creative content companies that I met today in London represent the strong opportunities that innovative Irish companies can benefit from in the UK market. I am delighted to visit London to support these companies and to commence Enterprise Ireland’s global programme of events for St. Patrick’s Day.”
Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, said: “For Enterprise Ireland and our clients, the UK continues to be a market of vital strategic importance, particularly as a key first market for new exporters and for companies that are looking to scale.
“Despite the hurdles faced in recent years, the future of this important trading relationship is bright and there are many significant opportunities on the horizon for our innovative and ambitious business leaders.
“The UK will always remain core to the strategies of growth-orientated Irish companies. Our recently launched strategy ‘leading in a Changing World’ has set out ambitious UK growth plans, setting a target of increasing exports to the UK from €7.5 billion to €8.4 billion in four years.”
About Enterprise Ireland:
Enterprise Ireland is the Irish Government's trade and innovation agency. We invest in the most innovative Irish companies through all stages of their growth and connect them to international customers across multiple industries.
Our goal is to build successful, long-term business relationships between international companies and Irish partners. With 40 offices worldwide, Enterprise Ireland's teams of industry experts consult with international businesses to understand and solve their business needs.
Sculpted By Aimee
Aimee Connolly, CEO
Sculpted by Aimee is an award-winning Irish Cosmetics brand founded in late 2016 by makeup artist Aimee Connolly. With headquarters in Dublin, the company ships to over 20 countries worldwide, with the UK being the primary export market. Sculpted by Aimee products are available via top UK marketplaces and online retailers including Cloud10 Beauty, Boots.com and QVC.UK. Sculpted by Aimee is an Enterprise Ireland High Potential Start-up and has been supported with its international expansion strategy which leverages the existing social media of founder Aimee Connolly. The company has experienced exceptional growth over the past five years, with strong revenue growth expected for 2022.
Will Sliney and Jonathan Loughran, Co-Founders
Pioneertown Productions was formed in 2021 by world-renowned Marvel comic book artist Will Sliney and award-winning producer Jonathan Loughran with the aim to become the leading global producer of original children’s art based edutainment (educational entertainment) across TV series, films, comics, books and natural extensions into publishing, merchandise, e-learning tools, and more, for audiences all over the world. Will Sliney is best known as the co-creator of the Star Wars character Ren, and for his work on comic books such as the Marvel's Fearless Defenders series, the graphic novel Celtic Warrior: The Legend of Cú Chulainn, and the monthly series Spider-Man 2099. Co-Founder Will Loughran formerly ran the Irish Film Board’s LA office, the Irish government’s equity wing for film & TV investment, attracting over $650m worth of productions to shoot in Ireland over the past 15 years.
Utilising a modern method of teaching art skills not currently seen anywhere, Pioneertown Productions has already produced 3 seasons of original shows Draw With Will for Sky Kids/NOW TV, and Will Sliney’s Storytellers RTE in 2021 alone, with a growing slate of new original shows in active development.
Sharon Keegan, CEO
Peachylean, is an award winning, Dublin based athleisure business providing stylish, high quality, supportive leisurewear for women in sizes 6-26 giving women confidence and self-esteem to love their body's.
Founded by CEO Sharon Keagan in 2018, the company designs a range of inclusive and supportive active wear products think ‘Spanx for the gym’. In 2021 Peachylean featured on the BBC1 show the Dragons Den, securing offers from 3 out of 5 dragons. A D2C digital first business, Peachylean sells to customers in 23 countries, including the UK, France, Spain, Germany and the US, with the UK seen as a key export market for the company. The company has experienced significant growth in recent years, growing 300% in 2021 and further strong growth expected for 2022.
Kevin Barry, National Sales & Operations Manager
Revive Active is Ireland’s fastest growing super supplement brand. The company designs, manufactures and sells cutting edge premium health food products and supplements for the Irish, UK & International markets. Founded in 2011 by Daithi O’Connor, Revive Active currently has a portfolio of 10 products, exported throughout the world to over 48 different countries. In April 2019, Revive Active opened its own manufacturing plant in Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. The 929sq m (10,000sq ft) facility in Mullingar, which is supported by Enterprise Ireland has given the company full control over the supply chain, product quality and adherence to leading industry standards controls. The company sells to premium retail partners in the UK.
Pat O’Flynn, CEO
Headquartered in Cork, Solvotrin Therapeutics is an Irish healthcare company focused on cutting edge science to optimize established therapies for unmet consumer needs. Established in 2010 by CEO Pat O’Flynn, the company launched its first product Active Iron TM into Ireland and UK in 2016. Developed by scientists at Trinity College, Dublin, Active Iron uses a patent protected protein carrier to deliver Iron, while uniquely avoiding the common side effects i.e. constipation. Building on rapid growth in the UK and Ireland, Active Iron is now available in 12 markets worldwide, notably China, US and Middle East. The UK accounts for 33% of total sales and the product is sold in premium UK retailers.
Philip McGlade, CEO
Thérapie Clinic is a cosmetic clinic brand which offers an array of aesthetic treatments including laser hair removal, anti-wrinkle injectables, fillers and skin treatments. Established in 2002 by Philip McGlade, Thérapie are Europe's number one aesthetic clinic and has grown to 67 clinics in both the UK and Ireland with plans to open a further 100 clinics in UK over the next couple of years. Thérapie are Doctor Led clinics providing FDA approved treatments and have performed over 10 million treatments since their establishment. Headquartered in Dublin, their business plan includes independently licensing their tech platform/patient management system globally and an own brand range of health and beauty products. Thérapie employs over 1200 people with 2000 new jobs being created in UK and Ireland over next 3 years. Future expansion plans have been identified in the Middle East and USA next year.