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George Boyle

Fumbally Exchange

Awardee 2012

Fumbally Exchange
Trevor White
Tony Griffin and Karl Swan

Fumbally Exchange is a creative movement that is transforming working practices, stimulating recovery and driving innovation in enterprise by providing creative workspaces in vacant spaces for experienced professionals.

The Challenge

The ongoing economic crisis is running hand-in-hand with a revolution in how the commercial world is serviced and structured. Many of the people affected by redundancy are experienced professionals with high levels of education, experience and expertise. Their skills are ideal for reactionary, nimble recovery – but they are stifled by risks and barriers, a hostile statutory framework and a defensive environment.

Owning your own business is a key survival strategy in this world of shifting priorities and fluctuating practice. Meanwhile, vacant space is on the rise across urban areas. Empty spaces are inevitably perceived asdangerous places.

The Idea

Founded by architect George Boyle in the heart of Dublin’s Liberties in 2010, Fumbally Exchange (FEx) provides an innovative approach to tackling these challenges. Fumbally Exchange is a creative movement that is transforming working practices,  stimulating recovery, cultivating regeneration and driving innovation in enterprise.

By providing creative workspaces in vacant spaces for experienced professionals, FEx aims to minimise risk, cultivate collaboration and foster innovation among entrepreneurs. FEx provides creative facilities in key locations and sectors and runs mentoring, workshops, exhibitions, apprenticeships and other programmes.

The Impact

Nesting into a hub of this sort reduces barriers to reinventing or restructuring a business – or going out on your own. This allows creative and innovative professionals to focus on the opportunities around them – making work, together. In less than 18 months, FEx has brought more than 75 businesses to life, growth or recovery. FEx provides real, measurable uplift to the local environments and communities around it, with local businesses registering modest, but measurable, increases in turnover.

Already a second hub has been launched in Balbriggan and plans are coming together for the growth and expansion across Ireland, into other sectors, and
around the world.

From here on, the story of Ireland is the story of recovery. And there is no better example of recovery, and how recovery is going to be achieved, than what we are seeing here.

Eamon Gilmore, TD. Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade

George Boyle, Elevator Award, 2012

Fumbally SquareFumbally Square

George Boyle at the Fumbally LaunchGeorge Boyle at the Fumbally Launch

The Tánaiste at the launch of Fumbally ExchangeThe Tánaiste at the launch of Fumbally Exchange


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Phone: +353 1 685 3191, Email: info@socialentrepreneurs.ie

Company No: 433846, Registered Charity No: CHY 17524, © SEI 2016

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