The second annual Inner City Enterprise Awards took place last week with a ceremony in Smithfield, where some truly creative businesses were recognised at a reception attended by Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar.
The awards are organised by Inner City Enterprise (ICE) – a not-for-profit organisation established to advise and assist unemployed people in Dublin’s inner city to set up their own businesses, or to create direct self-employment.
Three categories were represented on the night: Best Female Entrepreneur, Best Male Entrepreneur, and Best Newcomer.
Helen Walsh, who set up Fitness, Wellness and Coaching, won the award for Best Female Entrepreneur; Daniel Cantwell won Best Male for his business, Ben & Anvil, while Best Newcomer went to Russell Simmons, of This Greedy Pig.
The Gazette spoke to the three winners as they accepted their awards in the Jameson Distillery, Bow Street.
Helen Walsh said she was “thrilled” to win. As an international health coach, personal trainer and one of the nation’s leading health and wellness experts, she set up her business in 2014.
“I do personal training work that tends to be quite specialised for people who may be recovering from cancer or a heart attack.
“I also teach 1980s aerobics classes, which are starting to get bigger and bigger, which is great. I also personally coach people, so if they’re stuck with different issues in life, I help them to plan.
“I’m 20 years qualified as a coach, and I’m 28 years qualified as a trainer. I also set up a social initiative within the business called Pass It On – so when people are finished with things, I find a home for them; things like televisions and computers.
“We’re also involved with the homeless and various other things; I’m really proud of that,” she said.
Based in Sandymount, Helen calls out to her clients’ homes for her work. On winning the award, she praised her fellow nominees, who she called “amazing”.
“I’m absolutely thrilled with the outcome, and my friends and family are here tonight to support me – it’s brilliant!”
Daniel Cantwell said it was “incredible” to win in the Best Male category. He told The Gazette: “We do effects for film and TV; we also do animation, both for advertising and children’s TV.”
Based in the Guinness Enterprise Centre, Daniel set up the studio with his wife, Ailbhe, in 2015.
His background is in graphic design, reflected in the many national and international design and animation awards won by the young company.
Speaking about his win, Daniel said it was “incredible”. “Starting up a business on your own is tough as hell, and things like this let you know you’re on the right track.”
Meanwhile, Russell Simmons took home the award for Best Newcomer. This Greedy Pig began life as a blog in 2010, showcasing the best of music, art and culture in Ireland and beyond.
Since then, it has grown into a collective that spans events, a record label and an online publication.
Russell works with a talented bunch of artists, designers, filmmakers and photographers who share a vision for inspiring, creative work. Speaking about his win, Russel said he felt “really great”.
“I wasn’t expecting to win at all. It’s a nice acknowledgement of the hard work I’ve been putting in. It’s nice that it’s being recognised and great to see an event like this happening.”