An award winning local entrepreneur has been honoured by the city’s chamber of commerce following the global success of her product.
Grainne Kelly, chief executive and founder of Bubblebum, was awarded the Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Award at the Chamber’s annual dinner on Friday. The award was made by the Chamber in partnership with British Telecom.
Bubblebum became the world’s first inflatable car booster seat in 2009. It is now available for sale in 21 countries, in several continents. It is ideal to travel with, and can fit into a handbag, shoulder bag, schoolbag, or car glove compartment. Bubblebum meets car safety regulations in all jurisdictions in which it is sold, including Europe and the United States.
Sinead McLaughlin, chief executive of the Chamber, said the Bubblebum had solved a massive problem for families with young children. “This year’s worthy winner developed a simple solution to a weighty problem that has tortured many families for many years. When I first saw this product I thought perfect: now why have we waited so long to solve this cumbersome problem?
“Grainne, identified a product gap. Determination to develop a product to meet the market need introduced Grainne to the world of innovation, where the conversations were about product development, health and safety and regulation. “Having established the need Grainne had an overwhelming desire to bring a successful product to market.
She overcame many obstacles in her own down to earth practical way - what she didn’t know, she found out, when she didn’t understand, she asked for help, but most importantly of all she stuck with the vision.
“The result is a young Derry business, that is successful, dynamic and going places. It is an example of the enterprise that the Chamber hopes will sprout across our city to make it a better place to live and a better place to do business in.”
The award to Grainne Kelly is merely the latest in a sequence of accolades for her and her product: Belfast Telegraph Business Woman of the Year Award 2010-11; Ulster Bank Business Achiever Awards 2011; Ernst & Young; Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist 2011; Mother & Baby Travel Item 2010-11; Practical Parenting Travel Item 2010-11.