Opportunities for local women in agri-business to be highlighted at Ploughing


Opportunities for local women in agri-business to be highlighted at Ploughing

This year’s Local Enterprise Village at the National Ploughing Championships will be home to 50 businesses started by women and Local Enterprise Office South Cork is encouraging more women to consider starting their own enterprise in the agri-business sector.

The National Ploughing Championships, taking place from September 20th to 22nd, have become Europe’s largest outdoor event with 281,000 visitors last year. To help small businesses and start-ups make an impact on the rural economy, Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in the Local Authorities network are introducing a new product launch and demonstration area within the Local Enterprise Village for 2016.

Of the 84 companies that will be showcasing their products and services, with the support of the LEOs in every county and city, approximately 50 of them were founded or co-founded by female entrepreneurs.

The female entrepreneurs inside the Local Enterprise Village operate within a wide range of business categories, across food, drink, skincare, children’s toys, books, jewellery, fashion and giftware. Services for the agri-sector are also represented, such as soil, milk and water testing, manufacturing of sprayer attachments and genetic identification services.

Speaking about this event, The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D. said: “the Local Enterprise Village at the National Ploughing Championships is a wonderful initiative run by the Local Enterprise Offices. The fact that 50 of the companies showcasing their products and services there were founded by women is very encouraging. Female entrepreneurship is an untapped source of ideas and innovation that has the potential to make a significant contribution to the local economy.  Female entrepreneurs are setting up businesses in a much wider range of areas than previously. I want to fully support all women that have innovative ideas and wish to set up their own business. It’s good to see that Enterprise Ireland and LEO strategy is working and the proof of that can be seen here in this initiative. I want to congratulate the LEOs for the success of this event.”

Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office South Cork said: “There are lots of growth opportunities in the agri-business sector and in the rural economy generally, for both business-to-consumer and business-to-business companies. For example, small businesses inside the Local Enterprise Village generated sales and orders worth nearly €645,000 last year. Following in the footsteps of the 50 businesses in the Local Enterprise Village that were either founded or co-founded by women, we’re encouraging more aspiring female entrepreneurs here locally to start their own business in this sector and to seek out the supports that are available to them through the Local Enterprise Office.”

The Managing Director of the National Ploughing Association, Anna May McHugh said: “There is an unprecedented number of diverse and exciting businesses exhibiting at the Local Enterprise Village, at this year’s National Ploughing Championships, and it is highly encouraging to see that so many of these companies were founded by inspirational women.  This is a unique opportunity for these small businesses to showcase their products to the large number of visitors that Ploughing attracts.”

More details around the Local Enterprise Village are available through www.localenterprise.ie and by searching #localenterprise on social media. The 85th Annual National Ploughing Championships run over three days, from September 20th to 22nd in Tullamore, Co. Offaly and tickets are on sale through www.npa.ie