Around the country, 14,500 small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs expected to attend over 380 events during Local Enterprise Week in March.
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D. has welcomed plans by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) to host more than 380 inspiring events around the country for an estimated 14,500 start-ups, aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners during Local Enterprise Week 2017. The focus of Local Enterprise Week is to increase awareness of the range of LEO supports and services available to micro and small enterprises.
Running from March 5th to 10th, all 31 LEOs, including LEO Wicklow will be celebrating Local Enterprise Week with a range of events for start-ups, aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses in their area.
Entrepreneurs of all ages will have the opportunity to participate in workshops, seminars, advice clinics and one-to-one mentoring in areas such as: starting a business, trading on-line, marketing, and finance in the context of Brexit.
Highlights of Local Enterprise Week in County Wicklow will include The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Open day on Tuesday March 7th in Wicklow County Campus, Rathnew, from 10.00am. Eminent Speakers, including John Finn of Treasury Solutions Ltd will share his views on Finance in a Brexit Environment and The Positive Economist, Susan Hayes Culleton of Hayes Culleton Ltd will lead a panel discussion on how companies can prepare a financial road map for growth. Attendees at the open day will also have the opportunity to meet representatives from business support agencies and financial institutions in our exhibition area and avail of free one to one 30 minute financial advice sessions throughout the afternoon. This is a free walk in event.
On Thursday, March 9th the LEO are running the first of a 2 day Training Course “Marketing for SMEs” this course will cover the essentials of marketing a business using a tightly controlled budget. Participants will be shown how to develop their overall marketing strategy, including branding, market research, building an online presence, and other practical techniques that help to grow and strengthen businesses in challenging times. The course is led by renowned trainer Terry Harmer, is excellent value at €100 for 2 full days with day 2 of the course taking place on March 16th. Places are limited so early booking is advised.
On Friday 10th March, reputed trainer Noel Davison will give a free seminar on Trading online and the Trading Online Voucher Scheme. This seminar will help participants to understand and determine the best approach to establish and increase their online presence and how companies can avail of funding from the LEO of up to €2,500 to establish an e-commerce enabled website. To register for this free online trading seminar, or to book onto the Marketing For SMEs training course, please book online at localenterprise.ie/Wicklowor phone 0404 30800.
Local Enterprise Week officially kicks-off on Sunday, March 5th with the national final of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur (IBYE) competition in Google Headquarters in Dublin. IBYE, which is an initiative of the Local Enterprise Offices and supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Enterprise Ireland, achieved an unprecedented number of entries across all 31 LEOs with more than 1,800 young people competing for the €2 million IBYE investment fund. Local Enterprise Office Wicklow have 2 National Finalists in the IBYE competition on March 5th in Croke Park with Cathal O’Sullivan, from Greystones representing the County in the Best Idea Category with his product Game X while Shane Bonner of Newmarket Kitchens in Bray who will be competing in the Best Start Up Business Category.
Welcoming the extensive range of events planned by the LEOs for Local Enterprise Week, Minister Mitchell O’ Connor said: “I am very impressed with the comprehensive programme of events organised by the LEOs for Local Enterprise Week 2017. I would encourage every start-up and small business owner to make it their business to check out and participate in the events taking place in their locality. It is important that anyone starting or growing a business is fully aware of the extensive range of enterprise supports that are available to them. As set out in the Action Plan for Jobs, 2017, I also want to encourage more micro and small businesses to grow international sales and diversify into Europe and beyond. The LEOs are the first-stop-shop on hand to help entrepreneurs and small business owners embark on this journey.”
Sheelagh Daly of the Local Enterprise Office Wicklow said that Local Enterprise Week was the ideal ‘shop window’ to show the wide range of supports on offer to start-ups, sole traders and small businesses in Wicklow. She said: “Local Enterprise Week, which takes place from March 5th to 10th, is a collaboration on a local and national scale between LEOs, local business communities, Government Departments, other units within Local Authorities, and State support agencies. We hope these events will inspire and motivate hundreds of entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs in County Wicklow. Small businesses continue to be the backbone of our local economy, with huge potential to grow and create jobs.”
Speaking about Local Enterprise Week, Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council Bryan Doyle said “Local Enterprise Week is an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs and business owners to engage in a variety of events customized to the needs of small business in the County. The Open Day on March 7th which focuses on Finance for Business Growth presents an excellent opportunity to hear expert opinion on how businesses in Wicklow can realise their ambitions for growth helping them to secure and grow jobs and fuel the local economy into the future.”
Details for all events can be found at www.localenterprise.ie/wicklow and the Local Enterprise Office are strongly advising businesses to book well in advance.
Photo: At the national launch in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation on Kildare Street in Dublin, the Minister met with successful entrepreneurs, including Jeanne Mahony of Hope Beer in Fingal, Diarmuid Byrne of EquiRatings in Carlow, Lisa Johnston of Cillian Johnston Cabinet Makers in Wicklow, and Ian Dunne of Dunne Eco in Offaly. All four have benefitted from training, mentoring and financial assistance from their LEO.