Minister welcomes Entrepreneurial Innovators “Bizfest” Networking event as part of South East Action Plan for Jobs.

A free event called ‘Bizfest’ aimed at helping Irish companies to develop their networks and expand their business in 2017 is being hosted in Kilkenny on 20th October 2016 as part of the South East Action Plan for Jobs.

Now in its fourth year, the expanded Bizfest 2016 is hosted by the South East Local Authorities – Local Enterprise Offices in association Enterprise Ireland & Bank of Ireland. Bizfest aims to provide an opportunity for owners managers and their key staff across Ireland to make connections while immersing themselves in the experience, entrepreneurial spirit and stories of entrepreneurs like Ann O’Brien – Kent Stainless , Michael Hoyne, Merlyn Showering , Philip Martin - Blanco Nino Tortilleria, Mark Cradock – Maven TM and Cian Ó Maidín - nearForm

The event is hosted by Dragons Den presenter Richard Curran and was attended by over 340 businesses in 2015. 

Welcoming the event, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “As we all know, making the right connections is a vital part of doing business in this country. This is a very useful networking event for Ireland’s enterprise community featuring a panel of talented business people who have experience on the local, national and international stage. The event forms part of the ongoing supports of the Local Enterprise Offices across the country, designed to provide a forum where larger companies can engage with smaller companies and create opportunities for collaboration which will ultimately create more jobs in the long term.” 

Speaking about the event Colette Byrne, Chief Executive of Kilkenny County Council on behalf of the South East Local Authorities said “The Local Enterprise Office Networking Events are popular and lively events which generate much interest from businesses and help make connections happen which in turn develop key relationships, boost revenues and help maintain and create jobs”.  Byrne said “Bizfest is designed to help bridge the gap between SME's and large companies and this proved to be a successful model in 2015.”

Bizfest 2016

This years event is being delivered in an expanded format as part of the Regional Action Plan for Jobs and Frank O’Regan – Chairperson of the South East Action Plan for jobs said “Working collectively is key to the delivery of effective enterprise supports and economic development on a Regional Level and I am delighted to welcome this first event being hosted as part of the Regional Action Plan for Jobs”.

Bizfest 2016 is co-hosted by Bank of Ireland and Deirdre Shine, Branch Manager in Kilkenny added; “We are delighted to support Bizfest 2016 and would encourage all businesses from the area to participate in the event which will provide them with a fantastic opportunity to make connections not just locally, but with business peers right across the country.”

For further information on the event go to or e-mail