There are a number of training and management development programmes offered by both the Local Enterprise Office and other organisations/agencies from time to time that might be of interest to owner managers of small businesses. These include:

Start your own Business Programme

Start Your Own Business programme aims:

It is important to plan in advance of setting up a business. The Start Your Own Business Programme focuses on those with a business idea, likely to be coming from full-time employment, unemployment, recently made redundant and women returning to the workforce and unsure as to how to develop the idea into a business plan. The objective is to assist you in assessing your idea, its viability and to decide if you should proceed or take a step back.

Programme Modules:

The following is the typical content and breakdown of a Start your own Business training programme. Please click here to find your Local Enterprise Office and view the suite of training programmes provided.

Workshop 1: The First Steps to Starting a Business

This workshop will provide an overview of the types of business structures and how one goes about setting up a business

  • Assessing yourself and your situation – what are your personal financial requirements
  • Assessing your business idea – gathering basic information about the idea and the market
  • The main types of business structures
  • The foundation stones – tax registration, business name registration, insurance etc.

Workshop 2: Market Research

This workshop looks at what research must be carried out and how one goes about getting the information required to make decisions

  • Research the customers or target market
  • Research the competition
  • Understanding outside influences on the business e.g. economy, cost increases etc.

Workshop 3: Business Strategy & Introduction to Marketing

This workshop focuses on using the research gathered to come up with a strategy for the business. Strategy will be based on the business owners’ strengths, the current market situation and what the competition are doing. An introduction to marketing is also provided looking at identifying customers and understanding who the business should be targeting

  • Strengths Weaknesses Opportunity and Threats Analysis (SWOT)
  • Analysis of External Forces – Political, Environmental, Sociology (Consumer Behaviour), Technology (PEST)
  • Competitive Strategies
  • Introduction to marketing
  • Segmenting the market (looking at various market segments e.g. age, gender, location, business types etc.
  • Target Marketing (Identifying who are the business customers)

Workshop 4: Marketing

This workshop covers the basics of marketing and getting the customer to purchase from you. The workshop covers the 4 p’s of marketing:

  • The Product – understanding the products benefits and features
  • The Price – pricing strategies based on the competition and what the market will pay
  • The Place – location and distribution
  • Promotion – how will the product be promoted, how will you attract customers? How will you move customers from your competitors? How will you keep your customers?
  • Retaining Customers through good customer service
  • Networking as a tool to create business
  • Online marketing
  • Importance of branding and image

Workshop 5: Tax and bookkeeping

This workshop provides an overview of the self assessment tax system for self employed people. It looks at what bookkeeping needs to be done and also takes a practical look at ways of reducing the tax bill.

  • Registering for tax
  • How to keep proper records
  • Basic Bookkeeping
  • VAT
  • Revenue returns
  • Minimising your tax bill

Workshop 6: Financial Management

This workshop focuses on the importance of sound financial management in business. It covers identifying the cost base of the business, proper pricing methods and ways of improving and managing cash-flow.

  • Cost analysis
  • Detailed Pricing
  • Proper Budgeting
  • Cash Flow Management
  • Improving Cash Flow
  • Sources of Finance

Workshop 7: Business Planning

This workshop provides an overview of previous workshops as well as explaining the process of business planning. The workshop will focus on the next steps for the participants, setting goals and developing their business plan.

Accelerate Management Development Programme

The aim of the Accelerate Management Development programme is to provide the owner/manager with the management, leadership, business skills and knowledge to achieve sustainability and growth in their business.

The programme will help participants:

  • To effectively address their business challenges
  • To develop and grow their business

They will gain a greater understanding of:

  • Why they are in business and where their business is going.
  • Marketing their business
  • Continuous improvement
  • Developing the business owner/manager and their entrepreneurial capabilities
  • Sales and selling techniques
  • Managing the finances
  • Developing their business needs.

Programme Modules (Accelerate Management Development Programme)

The programme modules are as follows:

Module 1 Why am I in business? (2 workshops)

Create a vision for your business and a route map to achieving it.

Module 2 Finding and Keeping Customers

Understand practical marketing and promotional tools and be able to use these tools effectively to sustain and grow your business.

Module 3 How can my business do better? Identify opportunities for innovation in your business.

Module 4 Managing the Money Understand your financial position and how to improve the profitability of your business.

Module 5 Selling For Profit Use the appropriate selling models for your business and therefore sell more effectively.

Module 6 Being the Boss Self - Management in order to achieve your business goals.

Programme Structure:

  • Programme Duration

The programme is delivered over a six to nine month timeframe comprising of seven workshops and six mentor consultations.

  • Mentoring

Each participating business is allocated a mentor as part of the programme. The mentor assigned is drawn from a panel of highly skilled and experienced business mentors with particular expertise in assisting the growth and development of small businesses.

  • Peer Review

At the beginning of modules 2-6 there is an opportunity for participants to exchange ideas with their peers. Progress on implementation of programme business practices will be reviewed by the participant and their peers on the programme.


Retail Management Development programme

This programme consists of 4 day workshops (over 3 months) and onsite mentoring. The following topics to be covered in the workshops.

  • Developing Aggressive Sales Growth Strategies developing a retail marketing plan, driving sales through  promotions, creating a target driven sales culture
  • Negotiation, Branding and Developing First Class Customer Service - better buying and strategic purchasing, training in negotiation skills with buyers, simple customer service initiatives,  becoming customer focussed.
  • Strategic Retail Management - understanding retailer's unique selling points, exploring new directions, reviewing and communicating customer proposition, advertising, loyalty schemes, on-line marketing
  • Visual Merchandising - understanding display challenges, utilising your retail space to give the strongest  message to entice shoppers, delivering a high impact at low cost.
  • Mentoring / Training Action Report

If you are interested in participating in next available programme please contact Marcella Rudden at our office

New Frontiers Programme

New Frontiers is Enterprise Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme for innovative, early-stage start-ups. It is a three-phased programme, based in 14 campus incubation centres across the country. Each year, New Frontiers funds 150 companies.

If you believe that you are capable of building a sustainable new business, trading internationally, creating employment and generating revenue in your locality, you can apply for a place on Ireland's largest entrepreneur development programme. Programme is run by Institutes of Technology and funded by Enterprise Ireland.

Main Benefits of this Programme

  • De-risk your business model
  • €15,000 tax-free grant
  • No equity taken from your business
  • Hot-desk and incubation facilities
  • Introduction to government and private investment opportunities

For more information see:


The Food Academy Start Programme

The Food Academy Start programme is primarily targeted at start-up food businesses and current Local Enterprise office clients.

It is centered on workshops, designed by Bord Bia and SuperValu.. The workshops will be run by the Local Enterprise Office, with a local Supervalu retailer in the region participating in a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style pitch process.

The intensive workshops will provide companies with long-term business supports including consumer insight, technical advice, resource planning, commercial advice and marketing development. The output has a core commercial focus whereby all participants will have the opportunity to pitch their product or idea to their local SuperValu, with a view to securing an initial local listing and the potential to build from there. A suite of follow up supports will be exclusively designed by Bord Bia under the Food Academy banner to ensure the continued development of the companies.

For more information and to book a place see our on-line booking section .