Today marks the beginning of Local Enterprise Week, running from March 6th – 10th, which will see over 300 events taking place nationwide for small businesses and budding entrepreneurs. Now in its 9th year, the nationwide initiative is supported by Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities, giving attendees the opportunity to sample hundreds of events that will help them start or grow their own businesses.
All events taking place during this year’s Local Enterprise Week support key Local Enterprise Office themes of innovation and competitiveness, market diversification and export development, digitisation, and sustainability. The events are open to all from burgeoning entrepreneurs to established businesses, giving them the opportunity to access expert advice on key areas of business from financial skills, raising funds, exporting and boosting your business online, to future trends such as sustainability and digitalization.
In addition, there are five National Spotlight events that are available for free online, with one taking place on each day of Local Enterprise Week. These events will focus on Exporting with Enterprise Ireland, Digital Skills with Google, Sustainability and Cost Saving with top green and lean consultants and how to innovate within your business.
Some well-known Irish names are set to provide insight, including RTE broadcaster Richard Curran, Fashion Editor, Deirdre McQuillan, former Irish international Packie Bonner, Broadcaster and entrepreneur Sonya Lennon, sports journalist Brent Pope and former Kilkenny manager Brian Cody who will focus on building and sustaining a winning team.
John Magee, recently appointed Chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices, states: “Local Enterprise Week is a fantastic opportunity for SME’s and potential entrepreneurs to gain further insight, knowledge and build connections, with over 300 informative events taking place across the country.
In Ireland, there is a huge appetite for a career in business, and Local Enterprise Week will help educate and showcase how this can become a reality for many, alongside all of the different supports available through the Local Enterprise Office. I encourage all businesses or anyone with a great idea to take advantage of the events taking place. This is a week to learn more, see how to get started and how to make it happen.”
Each of the 31 Local Enterprise Offices will be running a full programme of events. All events taking place during this year’s Local Enterprise Week all support key Local Enterprise Office themes of innovation and competitiveness, market diversification and export development, digitisation, and sustainability.
Last year over 11,000 businesses availed of Local Enterprise Office mentoring support, for example, while over 42,000 received LEO training and capacity development supports. In 2022, over 4,000 enrolled in the Start Your Own Business programme, over 370 in the Lean for Micro programme, and over 400 in the Green for Micro programme.
Deirdre O’Neill, Senior Regional Development Executive with Enterprise Ireland, said; “Enterprise Ireland is delighted to support and be involved in Local Enterprise Week. Working closely with the Local Enterprise Offices across the year, this week is a chance for small businesses to focus on key areas, the areas where they can make a real difference for their future ambitions. This may be in relation to digitalization or becoming more sustainable, or those who have ambition to grow internationally and begin to find new markets.
If you are a business who wants to grow, internationalise or innovate, then there is something for you at Local Enterprise Week and we would encourage every small business out there to see what is happening in their area this year and take that next step.”
On behalf of the local government sector, Sonya Kavanagh, Chair of the CCMA Business, Tourism, Enterprise, Innovation and Urban/Town Economic Renewal Committee said: “Local Enterprise Week offers a great opportunity for anybody who wants to start or grow their business to get inspired and motivated. Events during the week will give you insights and add to your knowledge on important topics that can make a real difference to your business competitiveness.
The week also puts a spotlight on the range of supports, advice and information available to businesses through their Local Enterprise Office. We would urge everyone to make the most of the week and to remember that your Local Enterprise Office is also available year-round to help your business to thrive.”
Details for all the events taking place across the country during Local Enterprise Week, from March 6th to 10th, are available at www.LocalEnterprise.ie/Week