Stylish pairing for Enterprise Ireland
IT'S NOT often the Punt gets to write about fashion, but two of Ireland's best-loved fashionistas are also proving to be pretty savvy in the boardroom. Sonya Lennon and Brendan Courtney, the double act famed for sticking fascinators on grannies and espousing the benefits of nude stilettos on 'Off The Rails', have just secured about €50,000 from Enterprise Ireland (EI) for their fledgling internet business Frockadvisor.
Frockadvisor offers a sales platform for independent clothing retailers – the duo say only 19pc of independent retailers are online – as well as an enhanced experience for customers where shoppers can communicate with each other and give advice. The business has had interest from the UK, Italy and Australia. Ms Lennon and Mr Courtney have an impressive list of business interests – they're juggling clothing line Lennon Courtney and busy broadcasting careers alongside Frockadvisor, and have written two books.
Still, The Punt was unmoved at the actual sum of investment involved in their business. The amounts involved in female-orientated funding programmes run by Enterprise Ireland or the Department of Jobs always seem to be minuscule; €250,000 nationwide competitive feasibility funds, for example. This might seem like a healthy figure but consider this – EI wrote off €125m between 1999 and 2012 on investments that went sour.
Sort of puts things in perspective, doesn't it?