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Winners of LEO ‘Scholarship Desk Programme’ begin their journey at Boxworks

Four entrepreneurs recently took up their desk space at Boxworks Co. Work. Space. as part of a Local Enterprise Office Waterford scholarship programme.

The LEO Desk programme was created to facilitate those with a business idea or in start-up phase.  By providing a creative coworking and networking environment for the next six months, the businesses will be well positioned to put their specific goals in place with the aid of monthly meetings with a LEO business advisor.

The four businesses to take up their desk spaces at Boxworks Co. Work. Space are Ann Marie Deady, Peter Fortune, Sarah Bowie and Sinead O’Neill.

Ann-Marie Deady is the owner of AM Deady Design, a Branding and Illustration studio. Ann-Marie is passionate about working with female entrepreneurs in the Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle industries in bringing their visual dreams to life.  “Boxworks is an amazing space to work from. The co-working community is so supportive and being surrounded by creative professionals opens up all avenues for collaboration for my growing business. We have an exciting ongoing collaboration in the works and the co-working environment encourages this growth”

Peter Fortune, Founder, sells modern board games (such as Catan, Ticket to Ride, Pandemic), traditional board games (such as Chess, Backgammon, Carrom) and accessories (such as Dice, Card Sleeves). “We’ve seen good growth over the past year and have worked with existing members of Boxworks on the redevelopment of the store and brand that is due to launch soon. We want to launch our own line of board games with the new brand in the future.”

Cartoonist Writer and Tutor Sarah Bowie is Co.Founder of the Comics Labs of Ireland’s first Graphic short Story Prize in partnership with The Irish Times. Her ‘Socially Distanced’ comic strip, an observational look at life in a pandemic, updates weekly on Instagram at @sarah__bowie and her latest picture books are available online. Sarah is also founder of ‘Waterford Sketchers’ and hosts workshops in writing and illustration for libraries, schools, and colleges, and is available for private one-on-one and group tuition. Sarah is especially passionate about Visual Learning as an education tool, for both adults and children, especially those from immigrant or less literate communities.  “The LEO Desk Programme at Boxworks is giving me a fantastic opportunity to make connections in the vibrant start-up and freelance community in Waterford.  It’s already given me leads to new project opportunities, and I really enjoy the welcoming atmosphere that Emer and Jim have created in Boxworks.  I feel this is an environment that will really help me grow my business.”

Life & Business Coach Sinéad O’Neill qualified through the ILI, an accredited ACSTH programme with the International Coach Federation, the longest established and most respected Coach and Coaching Accrediting Body in the world in 2015.  “I’m in the process of establishing a new social enterprise and being chosen for this programme is a wonderful opportunity for me to come out of my home office and into a coworking environment surrounded by creative likeminded people.”

Jim “Flash” Gordan, Director, Boxworks added, “The Coworking environment is the ideal creative environment for startups and emerging entrepreneurs. To date, this Scholarship programme has supported 40 + entrepreneurs since its launch which included funding, mentoring, networking, collaboration with other in-house coworkers, work placements, employment and setting up in business.  Several recipients of this scholarship award remained in Boxworks after finishing the programme, renting an office space for their business until they outgrew our space. Others remain and run their business from Boxworks. It has been fully subscribed since its launch and highly successful.”

Jacqui Gaule, Local Enterprise Office Waterford, said, “There are a number of successful working hubs through-out Waterford which provide fantastic facilities for start-ups and small businesses in a productive, connected and positive working setting. And it is because these are here that the Local Enterprise Office can offer this programme to participants.  While providing mentoring and supports along with the chance to work with other businesses the aim is to assist these businesses to develop and grow in the future”.

If your business in pre-start, start-up or established business phase and would like to find out more about what business support services are available from LEO Waterford, call 0761 110 2905 or visit


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