Kerry celebrates winning European entrepreneurial region of the year title

THE businesspeople of Kerry are celebrating after the county was awarded the prestigious title of European Entrepreneurial Region of the Year for 2011.

The award, which is designed to acknowledge regions with outstanding entrepreneurial vision and encourage local and regional authorities to do more to promote small business, was announced at a ceremony hosted by the EU Committee of the Regions in Brussels this week.

Kerry was one of just three regions in all 27 EU states to receive the accolade, along with Brandenburg, Germany and Murcia in Spain.

The judges were impressed by Kerry’s submission, which was made jointly by the Institute of Technology, Tralee and Shannon Development, who share a joint campus at Kerry Technology Park.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen said the award acknowledged Kerry’s proven track record of companies with global success.

“I visited Kerry Technology Park myself and saw at first hand the supportive environment it offers to companies throughout all stages of their business lifecycle, from initial business start-up through growth and onto stand-alone businesses.

“In addition, the co-operation and collaboration offered to companies by existing businesses on the ground also helps to ensure their mutual success in their respective businesses for the county,” Mr Cowen said.

Dr Vincent Cunnane, chief executive of Shannon Development, said his company aims to foster innovation and entrepreneurship at the technology park, which has a 90% success rate in business start-ups.

“That’s a full 10% higher than the national average. Having had three winners of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, we are proud of our outstanding entrepreneurs at the park,” he said.

Institute of Technology president Michael Carmody added: “One in five students now studies entrepreneurship in Kerry – more than any other county in Ireland.”


In October 1986, 52 mute swans, living peacefully on the Tolka in Dublin, were drenched in diesel oil accidentally released into the river. Swan-catchers went into action; only one bird died before they reached it.Richard Collins: Human crisis will offer chance for wild animal research

It's a typically Irish summer’s day of sunshine and occasional showers. Travel restrictions have been eased again and we venture forth to one of nature’s gems, Gougane Barra, deep in the mountains of West Cork.Donal Hickey: Gougane Barra has peace and wildness

When the ferryman pulls away from the pier and the salty spray of the sea hits your face the feeling of release from the mainland is deeply pleasurable. Your island awaits. Whether for a day trip or a holiday, the lure of the islands is as magnetic as ever.The Islands of Ireland: The lure of the less-visited

Top tips for the telly this week, courtesy of Arts Editor Des O'Driscoll.Five TV shows for the week ahead: edgy drama and new shows

More From The Irish Examiner