The Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West has announced its programme of events for Local Enterprise Week which runs from March 7-11. Local Enterprise Week is a national event across all 31 LEO’s and is aimed at anyone thinking of starting a business, new start-ups and growing SMEs, and a week-long schedule of events will include workshops, seminars, networking evenings and business advice clinics.
In 2015 the LEO in West Cork approved grants for local SME’s totalling almost €380,000, an increase of 26 per cent from 2014 and approved funding for Trading Online Vouchers for 48 businesses totalling almost €100,000, an increase of 71 per cent from the previous year. The Clonakilty office also hosted 101 training events and advice clinics in 2015, which almost 1000 small business owners availed of.
Among the events being hosted throughout Local Enterprise Week will be the unique ‘Well Seasoned; Building a Better Business’ event which will feature The Happy Pear brothers Steven and David Flynn who are soaring in the Irish food business stakes as well as restaurateur, TV personality and Masterchef judge Nick Munier. The event, which will be MC’d by Geraldine Harney of RTE, will focus on what it takes to build a successful food brand and how food entrepreneurs can take advantage of future trends. Five local businesses will also partake in an open forum panel discussion with Nick Munier, which takes place on March 10 in Inchydoney, with pre-booking advised.
Other events throughout the week include a trading online vouchers seminar in Carrigaline, an intellectual property seminar, networking events and a special craft event ‘Making It in Craft – maximising your sales’, which will take place in Skibbereen. As part of International Women’s day on March 8, a new ‘Women in Business’ programme will also be launched with an information morning in Fernhill House, Clonakilty. The launch of a network for Cork’s Young Entrepreneurs will also take place on Thursday March 10 in Cork City Gaol.
Speaking of the upcoming Local Enterprise Week, Kevin Curran, Acting CEO, LEO Cork North and West said, “We are really excited to launch the schedule of events for this year’s Local Enterprise Week. Day to day we deal with a broad range of businesses from food to craft, technology and retail and I believe we have something for everyone in our line up.
“The West Cork LEO aided more than 120 local businesses in 2015 alone through grant approval and clinics and guided dozens of entrepreneurs who are just at the beginning of their business journey. These figures have been increasing year on year and events like Enterprise Week will encourage even more business people to come to us for advice and guidance long in to the future.”