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Businesses from all over Kerry and further afield had lots to smile about following the hugely successful SMILE Resource Exchange event in The Brehon on Wednesday 26th October.
Over 60 participants from 50 businesses attended the free event which was based on the concept that "one's waste could be another's resource", and encouraged the sharing and exchanging of resources in order to reduce costs and help the environment.
SMILE (Saving Money through Industry Links and Exchanges) Resource Exchange will work with the businesses who attended to foster partnerships and develop the 160 potential exchanges that were identified on the day which will allow them to exchange reusable resources. For the companies involved, these prospective exchanges have the potential to save money, reduce waste going to landfill and develop new business opportunities.
This positive business networking event marked SMILE Resource Exchange’s recent expansion into Kerry, Clare and Limerick; and at it, attendees had the opportunity to learn more about SMILE Resource Exchange, as well as identify partnerships through facilitated networking sessions. Those in attendance also heard some interesting business case studies from Jerry Dwyer of Lee Strand Co-operative Creamery Ltd., Pat Griffin of Temmler Ireland Ltd., and Will Holden of Agility Logistics Ltd. about how their organisations have adopted environmentally friendly and money saving measures, similar to what can be achieved through membership of SMILE Resource Exchange.
Following the event, Michelle Green, Project Manager, SMILE Resource Exchange said “We are delighted to have identified 160 potential exchanges between 50 businesses at our first Kerry event, which was a tremendous success. Since its inception, SMILE Resource Exchange has identified over 1,000 potential matches between businesses as well as identifying thousands of euros of cost savings for businesses; and while it will take our team some time to quantify and calculate potential cost savings to businesses from our Kerry event and expansion, we’re really looking forward to achieving similar statistics in the region.”
All resources offered through SMILE Resource Exchange are either free of charge or below market value. Through the events, and the SMILE Resource Exchange website and with assistance from the dedicated support team, businesses can identify resources they would like to exchange such as reusable items, by-products and surplus products.
Tomás Hayes, CEO of Kerry Enterprise Board, gave the Opening Address at the event, and was enthusiastic about interest in the initiative: “It is encouraging to see so many business people from Kerry and beyond turn out for this SMILE Resource Exchange event which proactively supports businesses, and joins enterprise and environment together in a unique and innovative way. We’re living in a time when businesses are, and need to be, more conscious of the environment and economy, and this innovative initiative allows them to do just that.”
SMILE Resource Exchange is project managed by Macroom E and is supported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Kerry County Enterprise Board; and Limerick/Clare/Kerry Regional Waste Management Office; as well as Cork County and City Enterprise Boards; Cork County and City Councils; Limerick County and City Enterprise Boards; and Clare County Enterprise Board in the other regions it is active in.
SMILE Resource Exchange’s series of free events that take place this autumn continues with a a joint Limerick/ Clare event on November 23rd in The Radisson Blu Hotel, Ennis Road, Limerick, and entrepreneurs and businesses from all sectors are invited to attend. To register for this event, or for further information on SMILE Resource Exchange visit http://www.smileexchange.ie or call (026) 20520.