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Workplace Wellbeing Platform Founded By Derval O’Rourke Secures €200,000 Enterprise Ireland Funding

SAOL, a new workplace wellbeing platform set up by three-time Irish Olympian Derval O’Rourke and her business partner Greg O’Gorman, has secured €200,000 funding from Enterprise Ireland

The €200,000 investment is part of an initial seed funding round of  €400,000 that will fund the cost of the business plan and internationalisation, and is projecting the creation of 26 full-time jobs by the end of 2026. The Enterprise Ireland investment will also be used to expand SAOL to a global market.

The SAOL platform brings employers and employees together and creates a supportive and inclusive community. They will benefit from a range of live classes and events with expert coaches, programmes and challenges which will help them improve their wellbeing and self-confidence.

Employees can access on-demand programmes delivered across SAOL’s seven Wellbeing Values which includes all aspects of physical and mental wellbeing. SAOL has a team of experts on hand to offer advice as well as live talks and Q&As on issues such as financial wellbeing, mental wellbeing, fitness and nutrition.

Derval and Greg have been running the innovative for five years. However, after the workplace changes brought about as a result of Covid they wanted to create something that would allow employers to offer their employees a place to better connect and to take care of their wellbeing.  

They are joined by a team of experts who are on hand to offer advice as well as talks and workshops on issues such as mental health, financial wellbeing and stress management.

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney TD said, “I am delighted to see Derval and Greg advance their innovative wellbeing platform SAOL. They have already helped hundreds of businesses and employees through and it’s great to see the ambition behind their new platform backed with significant funding from Enterprise Ireland. I wish Derval, Greg and their growing team every success as they bring their unique insight into physical and mental well-being to a global audience.”

Speaking about the funding Derval said, “SAOL is a platform to enable employers to do something really positive for their employees to help support their overall wellbeing. There is significant evidence that employee wellbeing programmes have a cascading positive effect, resulting in boosted morale, positivity, enthusiasm, increased engagement, reduced stress and anxiety, enhanced problem-solving skills and even controlling chronic disease.  We have been receiving really positive feedback from employers and employees so far and we hope that we can bring SAOL to a wider audience thanks to the Enterprise Ireland investment.”

Donnchadh Cullinan, Manager, ICT High Potential Start-Ups with Enterprise Ireland said, “research by Cork University Business School titled ‘Healthy Workplace Ireland’ undertaken in 2023 clearly identified that businesses in Ireland are under-serviced when it comes to providing wellbeing support to employees. We are proud to back the SAOL platform created by Derval and Greg and we are confident that it will help to tackle some of the challenges faced by businesses in particular with burnout and increased levels of stress among employees. We look forward to working with the SAOL team to realise their global ambition.”

Source: Enterprise Ireland

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