Local Enterprise Week 2020 launched

Media Release                                                                                    10th February 2020


Cork North & West Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Urged to Take Advantage of Local Enterprise Week 2020

The first week in March (2nd-6th March) will see small businesses and budding entrepreneurs gather across the country for Local Enterprise Week 2020.  An initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices, thousands of attendees are expected at over 300 events across the country during the week aimed at supporting small businesses and fostering entrepreneurship.

The programme events being run by Cork County Council’s Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West for Local Enterprise Week 2020 has been launched and with a range of events taking place from the 2nd – 6th March, there is something for everyone.  

On Monday 2nd March, a Speed Networking Event “The Only Way is Up” with key note Speaker Pat Falvey in Springfort Hall Mallow will take place from 8am to 11am.

Website Advice Clinics will take place in Fermoy, and Business Advice Clinics in Mallow.

An Information Day in Charleville Park Hotel on March 3rd  10 steps to Self Employment will allow participants the opportunity, with the guidance of an expert in the business development sector, to recognise the Good Business Practices necessary to develop and drive forward their business to realise their potential.

trading online voucher information seminar will take place in Mitchelstown’s Firgrove Hotel on March 4th. The vouchers are used to support small business looking to enhance their online trading presence. The vouchers offer financial assistance of 50% of expenditure to trade online, up to a maximum of €2500. Come along to the seminar to find out if your business is eligible for this funding. 

One of our highlight events for the week will take place on Friday the 6th of March as we  celebrate International Women’s Day2020 at the Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery. The event will include networking as well as a panel discussion and keynote speakers. It  is open to women in business across all sectors, whether you are an entrepreneur with a business idea, a new start-up or an established business.  The event will cost just €30 to attend and will include a lunch.  

 Our MC on the day will be Deirdre O’Shaughnessy. Deirdre is the editor and sometimes presenter of Cork’s leading daily talk show, the 96fm Opinion Line. She is a regular panellist and contributor on radio and TV shows as well as a freelance journalist for a number of national publications.

 Keynote speakers will include award winning retailer Jean McCabe from Willow in Ennis. Jean will share with us knowledge about how trading online works for her business and how it has greatly increased revenue for the business. Plus she has some marketing, promotion and customer service tips that could be used across any sector. Leaving behind a career in Engineering, the shop Willow was born in 2007. Starting out as 21 year old, with no experience, Jean fell in love with retail and grew Willow into the Retail Experience it is today. Winner of the Retail Excellence 'National Store of the Year 2019' shows that a small business can compete, you just need to know how! 

 Our second keynote speaker on the day will be Wicklow based Margaret Hoctor, Kilmullen Lamb. Having faced redundancy from a Senior Director role in 2013 in a leading Global Market Research company she found herself reviewing her situation and decided along with her husband to build the farm business. Fast forward seven years and they have diversified into lamb direct, where all their lamb is sold in full boxes, half boxes from the farm, online or in pieces in farmers markets. Margaret  is also is a trainer coach and speaker and  when not lambing  and working on the farm  is a  trainer  with the Entrepreneurs Academy sharing what her learnings are in ‘real time ‘with start-up’s. Margaret recently spoke at the Women in Ag conference in Sligo where over 600 women attended. Her story is told with honesty, humour and passion. Margaret is delighted to speak about her experience to date sharing her learnings along the way in both being in retail and farmers markets and  how she  has found that what is between our ears and our mindset is what matters most when it comes to self-belief  expansion and growth.

Our panel discussion on the day will include West Cork women in business “on the couch discussion” with Deirdre O’Shaughnessy. Including Caroline Murphy, Owner of West Cork Eggs and President of Network Ireland West Cork plus Katy Waering, Director of OMKO Ltd Bantry. Both Caroline and Katy are inspirational and uplifting speakers who will share their business stories with us while giving us tips on what supports are available in Cork for women in business.  Bookings are now open for this event from our website.

Free business advice clinics will take place throughout the week in Clonakilty, Dunmanway, Kinsale and Skibbereen. We are also running free website advice clinics in Dunmanway.

A trading online voucher information seminar will take place in Dunmanway. The vouchers are used to support small businesses looking to enhance their online trading presence. The vouchers offer financial assistance of 50% of expenditure to trade online up to a maximum of €2,500. Come along to the seminar to find out if your business is eligible for this funding.

We are running a free Brexit customs workshop in Clonakilty. Regardless of a hard or soft Customs Brexit, goods to/from the UK or transiting through the UK will be subject to strict compliance and documentation requirements.

The week is an opportunity for small businesses and entrepreneurs to sample the range of supports that are on offer from their Local Enterprise Office related to a whole host of areas. This will include financial supports, selling, networking, Brexit support, social media workshops, LEAN programmes and sessions dealing with how to make your business more sustainable.

Kevin Curran Head of Enterprise said “Local Enterprise Week is a chance for small businesses and for those possible future start-ups to see the full range of supports out there for them.  No matter what their business challenge or sector, the Local Enterprise Offices will be putting on events for everyone, be it LEAN workshops, pitch training, trading online, sales and marketing, mastering social media, or simply, how to start a business, then it will be covered.  It is also a great chance to network and broaden your connections in business so use it to the advantage of your business or business idea.”

Tim Lucey, Chief Executive of Cork County Council, in welcoming the initiative, noted that

“Entrepreneurs play a vital and essential role in communities throughout Cork. They stimulate the economy, create jobs, and represent the best of Cork, our people and products, on a local, national, and global stage. I am proud of the work that Cork County Council’s Local Enterprise Offices do in supporting local businesses and I look forward to continuing to work with them in support of our wider community.”

Successful local entrepreneur’s such as Marek Szepietowski from the award winning Health & Safety Publications, Mallow, will also be lending their support to Local Enterprise Week commented “Local Enterprise Week is a huge opportunity for any small business, even if you are only beginning, to think about starting a business.  You can get out there, see the wealth of supports on offer, the networks of mentors, experts and other businesses who can help you and take advantage.  The Local Enterprise Office is the best resource out there for a new business, so get out on Local Enterprise Week and see what it can do for you.”

The Local Enterprise Offices located in the local authorities and funded through Enterprise Ireland support over 7,000 small Irish businesses and entrepreneurs nationwide.  Since their establishment in 2014 they have helped create over 18,000 jobs and provide a range of supports to small businesses including mentoring, training and sector specific experts to help guide businesses at any stage of their development.



For more information:

North Cork contact: Joan Kelleher, Business Adviser, Tel: 022-43235, Email: joan.kelleher@leo.corkcoco.ie

West Cork contact: Christine Heffernan, Business Adviser, Tel: 023-8834700, Email: christine.heffernan@leo.corkcoco.ie