Fighting for business like Conor McGregor in the Octagon and networking with peers along a pier are just some of the eye-catching events taking place around the country as part of Local Enterprise Week (March 4th to 9th).

Aimed at new start-ups, existing business owners and those with a seed of a business idea, the calendar for Local Enterprise Week 2018 boasts over 300 events.  Run by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in every local authority area and supported by the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation, and Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Week runs from 4th March to 9th March.


It will see each of the 31 LEOs running a range of educational and innovative workshops, seminars and one-to-one mentoring for the small business community.


Sheelagh Daly, Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices, said; “For Local Enterprise Week 2018, with 300 events nationwide, there is literally something for everyone.  Whatever stage your business is at and whatever your need, there is an event for it where small businesses can access expert advice, information and supports.  Whether it’s financing, how to better plan for Brexit or how to trade more on-line, all the main business challenges are covered. 


“For LEOs, Local Enterprise Week is all about creating awareness of the supports that are there on a year-round basis for businesses locally. If you have a great idea for a business or if you’d like to grow your existing business even more, then the Local Enterprise Office is your best place to start and continue your enterprise journey.”


Business stylist Elaine Scully will be Styling for Success with the Local Enterprise Office Carlow on Thursday 8th March.  This will be an interactive talk on how to style yourself for success and the impact that looking well can have on your business and sealing that deal.


The Mega Trends event taking place with the Local Enterprise Office in Wicklow on the 7th March will see Iain Jawad of US Consulting Firm Frost & Sullivan look at the “mega trends” shaping our collective future and identify emerging industry and business model opportunities.


On the 8th March, Irish blogger in New York, Erika Fox will be joining the Local Enterprise Office Donegal for A Stitch In Time.  Erika will give an insight of what it’s like to handle PR for the likes of MTV and fashion stars Olivia Palermo and Whitney Port and a background on Erika’s success and her company Retro Flame.


Local Enterprise Office South Dublin will be hosting Conor McGregor’s famed coach John Kavanagh and broadcaster Ivan Yates as they engage in Fighting Talk.  Outside of the Octagon, Kavanagh has built his SBG business steadily over recent years while Yates has seen the ups and downs of Irish business and now gets to grill top business people on a daily basis. 


On Friday 9th March, 300 entrepreneurs will walk the 2.5km of Dun Laoghaire Pier as part of Local Enterprise Office Dun Laoghaire Rathdown’s programme of events.  The Peer to Pier Networking Walk will allow them to find new business partners over a brisk walk and a coffee or ice cream on the pier.


One of the fundamental elements of running a business, finding finance, will be extensively covered across the country. An example includes the Show Me The Money event in Fingal, which is hosted by the four LEOs in Dublin. This event will look specifically at how SMEs can source financing and what is out there for them, with speakers from Enterprise Ireland, Microfinance Ireland, the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland and InterTrade Ireland.


The key business challenge affecting all small businesses, Brexit, will be covered at the Enterprise Ireland Brexit Advisory Clinic taking place as part of Local Enterprise Week in Mayo on March 7th.  With most businesses due to be directly or in-directly impacted by Brexit, this gives all companies the chance to hear about the supports and advice available to them and to avail of one-to-one clinics to discuss their specific Brexit needs.


The impact of GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation -  on small businesses will also be covered extensively during Local Enterprise Week, with seminars planned for Cavan, Kildare, Cork City, Limerick, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Tipperary and Westmeath.


In addition, several key events during Local Enterprise Week are organised in collaboration with State Agencies and Government Departments including Enterprise Ireland, InterTrade Ireland, Microfinance Ireland, the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland, the Department of Social Protection and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. Other bodies, such as IBEC and Chambers of Commerce, are also supporting events during the week.


The full list of events in each of the 31 Local Enterprise Offices nationwide is available at