Entrepreneur Anne Bedos, who founded Rothar – a bike shop with a social focus – has won the 2011 David Manley Emerging Entrepreneur Award. Rothar is a not-for-profit organisation that recycles discarded bikes and provides training and job opportunities to people from disadvantaged communities.
Operating from Phibsboro, Dublin, this community-based bike shop sells refurbished bicycles, accessories and second-hand parts and offers classes on bicycle repairs. Bedos wins €10,000 in cash and more than €100,000 worth of mentoring and consultancy services from a variety of blue-chip companies. She is the eighth winner of the David Manley Awards and the first-ever female winner.
The 2011 David Manley Emerging Entrepreneur Awards were presented at a ceremony today at Mason Hayes+Curran, Barrow Street, Dublin, by Dr Chris Horn and Damini Kumar, European Ambassador for creativity and innovation. Businessman Alfie Kane chaired the panel of judges.
Originally from France, Bedos moved to Ireland in 2004. She founded Rothar in 2008 after working in the charity and community development sector for more than 10 years. To date, Rothar has salvaged more than 250 bikes, diverting 4 tons of waste from landfills.
It works closely with youth groups to train at-risk youth in bicycle mechanics, as well as building skills in basic business concepts. With a steady revenue stream from the sale of refurbished bicycles, Rothar is financially self-sustainable. A political scientist specialising in social inclusion and gender equality, Bedos is also an enthusiastic cyclist – and Rothar combines all these passions!
The David Manley Emerging Entrepreneur Awards has become the premier award in Ireland for emerging enterprises. They are dedicated to the memory of David Manley, who was elected president of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce in 2000 – 2001, and was particularly active in spearheading the interests of small and medium-sized businesses through his role.
Manley passed away in 2002 at just 50 years of age. His legacy has been recognised and carried forward by the Friends of David Manley committee. This group of friends and colleagues, with the help of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, Dublin Business Innovation Centre, Business To Arts and Social Entrepreneurs Ireland have created a mechanism to honour Manley and his work and retain the admirable way in which he inspired others during his life.
Kane said: “The judges were looking for entrepreneurs who impressed and excited us – with a passionate, can-do attitude and full of potential. Someone with the same qualities that made David Manley such an iconic person. We found that person in Anne Bedos. All three finalists were special but Anne just had that little extra something.”
The two runners-up this year were Angel Luis Gonzalez, PhotoIreland Festival (winner of the Emerging Arts Entrepreneur category) and Dr Emmeline Hill, Equinome (winner of the Emerging Business Entrepreneur category.) They each receive €1,000 in cash and mentoring.
“These awards are extremely important in recognising and rewarding innovative entrepreneurs who have taken the risk and started a new venture, especially in this current Irish economic climate,” explained Kumar.
“The prize of mentoring will be invaluable to help these new ventures flourish and I would like to congratulate all the finalists. I’m delighted to be celebrating these great entrepreneurs in Ireland who have shown passion, determination and innovation.”
David Manley Media Award
The second David Manley Media Award was presented today and was awarded to John Kennedy, editor of Siliconrepublic.com.
Kennedy was commended on his dedication and commitment to regular coverage of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs.
The judges for this award were Dr. Thomas Cooney, director, Institute for Minority Entrepreneurship at DIT, and Nicola Byrne, founder and managing director of 11890. Horn oversaw the judging.
The David Manley Media Award is run with the support of Kantar Media and managing director Dan Halliwell presented Kennedy with his award.
The David Manley Emerging Entrepreneur Awards was established in 2003 and nurtures the enterprising spirit in business, the arts and in the social community. Nine entrepreneurs were shortlisted this year and all will receive mentoring, courtesy of Enterprise Ireland.
The €100,000 in mentoring is provided by leading experts in finance, law, accountancy, management consultancy, payroll and accounts software, corporate and brand identity and public relations. Membership in the Dublin Chamber of Commerce is also included.
Rowena Neville, chair, David Manley Awards committee, said: “Our congratulations to everyone at Rothar, as well as to our other finalists Equinome and PhotoIreland Festival. Working together, the David Manley Awards sponsors and committee commit to making a measurable difference to the business of the winner, using our skills and expertise to help bring them to the next level of success. We’re really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”