2 March 2016
By Elaine Murphy
The first nationally co-ordinated ‘Local Enterprise Week’ led by the Local Enterprise Offices takes place around the country this March, and from Monday 7th to Friday 11th, the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Cork City will host a wide array of events for the local business community and those seeking to embark on new ventures.
Aimed at anyone thinking of starting a business, new start-ups, and growing SMEs, 19 separate events including workshops, seminars, information and networking sessions with guest speakers, and business advice clinics, are being hosted across the city during the week-long initiative.
Local Enterprise Week provides business owners, managers and entrepreneurs with an opportunity to take time out of their busy schedules to hear from other business owners and practitioners. The week also provides an opportunity to make new contacts through networking, as well as learning more about the wide range of supports available through LEO Cork City to entrepreneurs and the local small business community, from grants to mentoring, and from training to business advice.
Most events are free to attend and all local businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs are invited to take part in these. Topics that will be addressed include accessing finance, ideas generation, using technology to build a better business, retail excellence, and building sales.
Local Enterprise Week kicks off with a “Future Proofing Your Business” event at 9.30am on Monday, March 7th in the Clarion Hotel, Cork City. This event will focus on three key areas for SMEs – Health and Safety, Taxation, and Insurance and Pension Provision.
On Tuesday, March 8th at 12.30pm, the “How to attract the Silver Euro” event in the Imperial Hotel, will focus on how to make businesses more accessible to an older generation. On the same day, retailers looking for tips from some of the best in the business should consider attending the “Speed Mentor your Retail Business” at 6pm in the Millennium Hall, City Hall. Here retailers and related businesses will get invaluable advice from leading retailers and retail experts in breakout speed mentoring sessions and hear about the latest retail trends.
On Wednesday, March 9th, a “Making Sales” event will take place at the Port of Cork at 5.30pm. Attendees at this seminar will be treated to a range of practical tips on how to generate sales and improve their revenue. This session will be delivered by Pat Lynch, a self-made business man, who has founded some very successful businesses over the last 20 years. Pat will share his knowledge on how to grow your sales and add value to your business.
An “Ideas Generation” workshop, offering practical tips specially designed for aspiring business owners who currently have a business idea they would like to progress, or perhaps are still looking around for “the right idea” for their new business takes place on Thursday, March 10th at 9.30am in the Clarion Hotel.
An introduction to “Office in the Cloud” takes place on Friday, March 11th at 10.30am at the Lifetime Lab on Lee Road. This seminar will give participants an initial intro to the Cloud Office and an overview of the main enterprise apps available to businesses. The idea is to change people’s perception of technology and what it can achieve with a business in terms of cost savings, increased efficiency and collaboration with others.
Most of the events are free to attend, however prior booking is essential. The full programme of events is now available to view online at www.localenterprise.ie/CorkCity.
Speaking at the Local Enterprise Week schedule launch, LEO Cork City’s Head of Enterprise, Adrienne Rodgers outlined what people can expect from the five day programme of business events “We’ve planned an action-packed programme of free events designed to provide excellent learning, tips and networking opportunities for local business people. Our series of events is aimed at stimulating business growth and new business creation to drive economic prosperity in Cork City.
“The schedule offers something for everyone, regardless of whether you want to develop a business idea, start a business, or grow an existing enterprise. We hope to promote, inspire, and increase Cork City’s entrepreneurial spirit with helpful and interesting events that will be value adding to anyone’s business or future plans and ideas.” she continued.
To celebrate the launch of Local Enterprise Week, Jamie Monagan, founder of Loominations Irish Custom Throws, a company which is supported by LEO Cork City, presented Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Chris O’Leary with a full-colour cotton, Easter Rising 1916 Centenary throw which respectfully weaves the Proclamation of Independence and the G.P.O. into a tasteful throw commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising.
Speaking at the launch, Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Chris O’Leary said “The Local Enterprise Office Cork City is the first port of call for any businessperson or entrepreneur in the city looking for advice and support, and Loominations is a very good example of a beneficiary of this support. Whatever stage your business is at, a call to their office in City Hall will be advantageous. And indeed, participation at any of the events during the upcoming Local Enterprise Week is sure to inspire.”
The full programme of events for Local Enterprise Week is now available to view online. To avoid disappointment, book your places on www.localenterprise.ie/CorkCity