Championing Small Businesses

18th August 2022

Posted In: Entrepreneurship

Christmas will come early for one local business this year as Champion Green, Ireland’s support local initiative, is giving small businesses the chance to win a €50,000 retail opportunity in partnership with Aviva Life & Pensions.

‘Readymade Retail’ was launched by Champion Green in the Blackrock Village Centre in Dublin.  The competition will see a small business with big ambition win a pop-up retail store in the prestigious south Dublin shopping centre, worth over €50,000 for a period of six months.

Online businesses looking to expand into a retail space, regional stores eager to test the Dublin market, or any small business wanting to capitalise on the busy festive and New Year sales period and beyond are invited to enter the Champion Green competition at

The prime pop-up shop is worth €21,550 (to include rent and rates excluding utilities), and is being provided by Aviva Life & Pensions on a six-month rental licence, from October 2022 to March 2023 inclusive.   Fit Out Specialist, Roccul, is offering additional fit-out advice and equipment, valued at €5,000, to the winning business.

The competition winner will have free parcel-sending for one year within Ireland, from An Post Commerce, to support online retailing, as well as a free direct mail campaign in south county Dublin, a combined value of €10,000.

A business planning session is also on offer to the prize winner, with well-known entrepreneur, SMEs champion and former Dragon, Bobby Kerr, who attended the recent competition launch.

Complimentary one year membership of the main Champion Green business group partners, Retail Excellence, the Small Firms Association and Chambers Ireland, is included too.

With a store marketing campaign from Champion Green and Bannerton PR, worth €15,000, in the mix, and business planning and professional mentoring from MentorsWork, the Government-backed scheme, the winner will have a remarkable ‘readymade retail’ opportunity to boost festive and New Year’s trade.

The competition is open to non-food SMEs that can stock and sustain a Dublin retail outlet for six months from October 2022.  The closing date is September 5thnext.


Champion Green is a movement to inspire people to support local, to do business locally, and to source local product and services, both in-person and online.  The aim is to help Ireland recover and to keep towns and communities vibrant for future generations.

It is the brainchild of businesswoman Marian O’Gorman, Chairperson of Kilkenny Design, whose family business has fostered numerous Irish craft and creative enterprises in over fifty years.

Jenny Donnelly, Aviva Life and Pensions, said, “We are proud to have supported Champion Green since it first launched in 2020, encouraging the growth of local businesses and start-ups.”

Blackrock Village Centre underwent a striking €10m refurbishment, managed by Aviva Ireland’s property team.  The Centre’s appeal as an accessible neighbourhood destination for food, fashion, accessories, healthcare, books, and technology has been greatly enhanced.

The Readymade Retail winner will join the Centre’s quality retail offering in a 479 sq. ft unit in a prime location with shop-fitting and design advice valued at €5,000 to ensure the winner’s consumer offering is seen in the best light, according to Tommy O’Reilly of Roccul. “We’re excited to support the Champion Green Readymade Retail winner in designing their pop-up store, and grateful that Aviva asked us to be involved in this initiative for fledgling retailers”.

Previous Readymade Retail winners include Irish design brand, Jill & Gill, and Ambr Eyewear, whose fashionable glasses are designed to help protect from the damage of blue light, for those frequently using screens.

With online retail now a sizeable aspect of most businesses, Champion Green partners, An Post, have a very generous ‘readymade retail’ prize of free parcel post, which the business can pass on to encourage customers, or can use to help off-set overheads.

“We are proud to encourage local online retail with our range of parcel solutions, meaning online shoppers and traders can rely on prompt affordable delivery of their goods”, Julie Gill, Commercial Marketing Director at An Post, said.

Champion Green is supported by Kilkenny Design and VISA, in association with Retail Excellence, the Small Firms Association and Chambers Ireland.  The initiative is backed by a €1m investment to drive consumer support for local enterprise and to help SMEs adapt and grow business.

Pictured (L:R) is Rachael McFarlane, SFA MentorsWork Project Manager; Evelyn Moynihan, CEO Kilkenny Group; Jenny Donnelly, Property Specialist at Aviva Ireland Property Fund Management, and Gabby Mallon, CEO of DLR Chamber (pic: Julien Behal).

See @championgreen #ChampionGreen #SupportLocal.