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Bundoran’s ‘Greenbee.ie’ is Category Winner in JFC/Teagasc Innovation Awards

14 March 2007

Two young entrepreneurs, Jo Nash and Gina Geagan, Bundoran, are the only Donegal finalists and winners in the JFC Innovation Awards for Rural Business.

Jo and Gina have developed a one-stop shop for everything for everything renewable, sustainable and green – greenbee.ie. Greenbee is an online virtual marketplace and directory promoting sustainable living. The service placed big emphasis on Irish companies and products and includes everything from food products to renewable energy sources and accommodation.

Jo and Gina competed against eleven other rural enterprise entries from all over the country.

The JFC Innovation Awards for Rural Business is a new award scheme aimed at farmers and the rural community with three separate categories - Environmental/Energy, Manufacturing/Technology and Rural Tourism/ Value Added Food Production/Services. It is a kick-start competition where prizes are awarded for business ideas and plans. The prize fund of €30,000 comprises cash, advertising, mentoring and business support. The overall winner’s prize is valued at €15,000.

JFC Group

Galway-based entrepreneur John Concannon of the JFC Group enthusiastically encourages new rural entrepreneurs to emulate his own success. The JFC Group started from humble beginnings with a £1,000 overdraft and the invention of a calf feeding bucket which featured on the Late Late Show in1989. The thriving JFC Group is now the biggest recycler of plastics in the UK with plants in Ireland and Poland and employs 200 people.

Ireland the entrepreneur island

Ireland continually features near the top of the list of the most entrepreneurially active countries in Europe, as published in the annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report. This award scheme encourages that entrepreneurial spirit in rural areas, particularly within the farming community. The objectives of the competition are: to encourage a flow of new ideas from rural areas, to help individuals develop a business idea and to motivate people to take an innovative approach to new business. The Awards are sponsored by JFC, Teagasc and the Irish Farmers Journal.