Rachel McCarthy, of McCarthy Flowers in Midleton, was runner-up in the Best Established Business Category, at Ireland's Young Entrepeneur Awards.

Rachel McCarthy, and the team at Ina McCarthy For Flowers, have further reason to celebrate this month, after the Midleton woman was recognised at ‘Cork’s Best Young Entrepreneur Awards’ last week.
The co-owner and manager at Ina McCarthy For Flowers in Midleton, Rachel finished runner-up in the ‘Best Established Business’ category, at the competition which is run under the banner of ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’. The awards presentation ceremony took place on Thursday 14 December, in the Republic of Work, on South Mall, in Cork City. Rachel was presented with her accolade and also received a prize of €5,000 investment for her business, to go along with the recognition of her entrepreneurial skills.
Speaking to the East Cork Journal this week, Rachel said; ‘‘I am just delighted. There were a lot of people in the competition – there were one hundred and fifty first off, then a hundred and then I was down to the last forty. I was really surprised and delighted. I registered two years ago and I couldn’t go to the ‘Boot Camp’, because my Mum was getting married that day! I got asked to enter again this year and I went for it.’’
Rachel also said that the shop has been extremely busy this month, as Christmas approaches. She believes that Ina McCarthy For Flowers is quite unique. ‘‘It is a mother-daughter run industry. There are a lot of ideas going around between the two of us. With Mum, she would have known loads of people in the area, so they all come in. I try to bring new ideas. I think that the combination of the two is a good combination,’’ Rachel explained.
Rachel’s Mum, Ina, added; ‘‘I am very proud of her. It’s deserved. She works incredibly hard.’’
Overall victory in the ‘Best Established Business’ category went to Cliona Sweeney O’Sullivan, the founder of Beautique Nail Salon in Cork City. Cliona, who hails from the area of East Cork, was awarded a €15,000 investment for her business.
This is the fourth year of ‘Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur’ initiative, which is open to people aged 18 to 35.