22 January-7 February 2023
Showcase 2023
keyboard_arrow_left See all news

Recent News

23 Jan, 2023
The Dancehall - View the fashion event here
View the performance of the Dancehall fashion, dance and music event from the opening da...
22 Jan, 2023
Showcase Award Winners 2023 announced
Tom King of An Gobha Iron Works and Experience wins Overall Best Product Award for his i...
22 Jan, 2023
Showcase – Ireland’s Creative Expo® officially opens in Dublin
Over 4,000 trade visitors expected to attend three day event presenting the very best of...
22 Jan, 2023
The Dancehall
A unique celebration of design, music and culture by stylist and creative director Aisli...
19 Jan, 2023
What the Buyers say: Kate Coughlan, Head of Retail Buying, Avoca
Kate Coughlan, Head of Retail Buying at Avoca on why Showcase is a key date in her event...
09 Jan, 2023
keyboard_arrow_left See all news

An Interview with Karen Conroy of Enterprise Ireland

What are the key attributes that make Irish goods attractive to international buyers? 
Buyers are interested in working with brands that are sustainable, are made in Ireland, are of high quality and are innovative.   
This is an exciting time for Irish businesses in the consumer sector looking to begin to export or expand their current export footprint.   
In recent years we’ve seen Irish consumer businesses build quality global brands and Enterprise Ireland will continue to work with the sector to ensure companies can achieve their ambitions in global markets. 

Discuss the role of Enterprise Ireland in relation to new and established businesses

Enterprise Ireland’s remit is to work with Irish manufacturing and internationally traded services companies to support both their export  and job creation strategies.

We support companies at all stages of development. We work with start-ups with export ambition, we work with established Irish companies who now wish to internationalise their business offerings and we work with companies that have achieved export growth and have the potential to really scale their businesses in global markets. 

"Enterprise Ireland is bringing 60 - 70 key global players to Showcase this year to meet with exhibitors. This is an exciting time for Irish businesses in the consumer sector looking to begin to export or expand their current export footprint"

What services does Enterprise Ireland offer? 
Enterprise Ireland has a wide range of both financial and advisory services to support clients across six key business pillars. We have financial and advisory supports to assist companies enhance their strategic capacity, implement more efficient operational processes, focus their sales and marketing approach, develop their people management skills, tap into innovation opportunities and develop a robust financial plan.  

Tell us more about what your own role entails
I am a Senior Development Advisor working in the recently formed Consumer Retail Online department. As a team we work with clients engaged in Apparel and Textiles, Jewellery, Home & Giftware and Health and Beauty. 
Part of my role is to work with a portfolio of clients on a one-to-one basis, while the other part is to work collaboratively with my Ireland-based colleagues and the wider international consumer team across our 40 global offices to help clients enter new markets and promote the capabilities of the sector in global markets.  

What role does Enterprise Ireland play in terms of Showcase each year? 
The Global Consumer Team will bring between 60 – 70 key global buyers to the show to meet the Enterprise Ireland clients participating at the show and the other exhibitors.  This year, Enterprise Ireland’s International Buyers Hub will be located at Stand E94 in the Industries Hall.  Showcase is a fantastic opportunity and we’re really looking forward to this year’s event. 

"The UK remains a key market for Enterprise Ireland clients and we see opportunities for growth in the market"

How difficult has Brexit made it for Irish businesses to do business in the UK? 

Brexit has, of course, impacted all companies doing business in the region, however, Irish companies have adapted well to the new trading relationship.
The UK remains a key market for Enterprise Ireland clients and we see opportunities for growth in the market.    
In addition, we continue to work with clients to look beyond the UK for opportunities to enter additional international markets.   One example of this is the ‘Enter the Eurozone’ Programme which helps companies identify European export opportunities.  In 2021 exports to the Eurozone grew by 10% and it now accounts for 22% of all exports by companies supported by Enterprise Ireland.


How vital is it that Irish brands know how to market themselves online? Does Enterprise Ireland provide support to those engaged in craft and design? 
Having a customer-focused online presence is vital.  It’s one of the key lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic and Enterprise Ireland is supporting companies to develop and enhance their online offering.   
In recent years, our Online Retail Scheme has invested more than €28m in supporting 700 online projects in the sector.  In addition, we offer Digitalisation Vouchers to companies to improve their digital presence and have our own digital advisors who work one-to-one with companies to hone their online marketing and digital presence - especially when targeting overseas markets. 

"Between Brexit, the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, the trading environment is indeed challenging, however Irish companies are resillient and have the leaderships capacity and talent needed to overcome current challenges"

How challenging is the international business environment at the moment and are Irish businesses well placed to navigate such challenges? 
There is no doubt that the trading environment is challenging for all sectors at the moment – companies have been impacted by our new trading relationship with the UK, the Covid-19 pandemic and the impacts of the war in Ukraine.    However, Irish companies are resilient.  They recovered strongly from the Covid-19 pandemic and have the leadership capacity and talent needed to overcome current challenges. 




Processing. Please wait.