4 March 2018
By Mary Bermingham
Local Enterprise Week 2018, a national initiative led by the Local Enterprise Offices across Ireland, kicks off today – Sunday March 4th – and runs until Friday March 9th. Throughout the week the Local Enterprise Office (LEO), Cork City has organised a number of events and workshops covering topics such as retail, customer service, digital, GDPR, food, finding customers, funding and much more, which will be of interest to SMEs and start-ups and those involved in the micro business sector in the city.
This is the third year of the week long initiative that provides people with information about the wide range of supports available through LEO Cork City to entrepreneurs and the micro business sector, from grants to mentoring, and from training to business advice. The week will also be a good opportunity for these businesses to learn from the experiences of others, get practical advice and make new contacts.
Most of LEO Cork City’s events are FREE to attend, however prior booking is essential for many events. The full programme of events is now available at www.localenterprise.ie/corkcit
LEO Cork City’s Local Enterprise Week will kick off at 8.30am on Monday, March 5th in the Clayton Hotel Cork City with an event called “Customers First – Setting Cork Apart”. Customer service and customer engagement have never been as important within retail circles, and the speaker line up at this event for retail businesses, cafés, restaurants, hospitality or any consumer facing business, represents some of Ireland’s leading experts who will both challenge and deliver their recipe for success with Domini Kemp, Itsa Group and Lorraine Higgins, Retail Excellence. Broken up into two sessions, an owner/ manager session will be followed by a customer service training session for front-line staff.
On Monday afternoon, food producers and buyers are invited to attend “Food Service – Meet the Buyer”, at 2pm in the Maryborough Hotel which will be run in conjunction with Taste Cork. A challenge facing every business regardless of size is understanding a modern communications environment where people have all of the control, and on Monday evening, “Growth in a Digital World” will take place in AIB, 66 South Mall at 6pm which will explore how your business can embrace digital, place it at the heart of what it does and ultimately use it to grow.
On Tuesday, March 6th, “Building your Brand: Seven Steps to Success” will be held in the Bank of Ireland Workbench, St. Patrick’s Street at 12pm. This interactive workshop with Paul Feeney, founder of Businessman to the Rescue, will discuss building your brand and converting visitors to customers. That evening, “Finding Your First Customer” will take place in the Board Room, Port of Cork at 5.30pm, where self-made businessman Pat Lynch and Stephanie Lynch of OnTheQT.ie will share their tips on finding customers and making sales.
Wednesday, March 7th will see “Partnership and Enterprise” take place in The Imperial Hotel at 11am. This event will focus on the supports available from Cork City Partnership and LEO Cork City to potential employers in an expanding market. Following that, “Being Customer Ready rather than Investor Ready” will take place in the Creative Zone, Boole Library in UCC at 1pm.
On Wednesday evening, businesses are invited bring their favourite business book and attend “Books for Business – Titles to Inspire” in the Central Library, Grand Parade, Cork City at 6pm. This interactive discussion on inspirational business books will be facilitated by Aodan Enright of Smarter Egg, with panelists Gail Condon, Writing for TiNY and Rob Horgan, Café Velo.
Thursday, March 8th will see the exciting “Entrepreneurial Mystery Tour” set off from the new Civic Offices in City Hall, Cork at 6pm. This interactive and entertaining entrepreneurial tour will take place on board a luxury coach where you will hear stories from entrepreneurs who are on the coldface. This will be a fun and entertaining evening! Book early – places limited.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming into force across the EU on May 25th 2018, and on Friday March, 9th, LEO Cork City will present a no-nonsense, simple-to-follow guide for owners/managers of small businesses to start their preparations for the GDPR. “General Data Protecting Regulation – a simple guide for small businesses” will take place in the Clayton Hotel Cork City at 9.30am and attendees will get an understanding of what has changed, what is expected of them and what they need to do to prepare their businesses for the new regulation.
Speaking at LEO Cork City’s Local Enterprise Week schedule launch, Adrienne Rodgers, Head of Enterprise, LEO Cork City outlined what people can expect from the five day programme of business events. She said “Cork City has a fantastic business community and Local Enterprise Week provides a great opportunity for budding and established entrepreneurs and businesses to connect throughout the week.
“Throughout Local Enterprise Week, attendees will hear from a range of successful entrepreneurs who will share their success stories, and we are encouraging anyone who is thinking of starting a business or has already done so to come along and find out more about the support we can offer them. Starting your own business can be a daunting prospect but there are lots of supports available to entrepreneurs through LEO Cork City, and Local Enterprise Week is a fantastic way of finding out about how we can help.”
The full programme of events for LEO Cork City Local Enterprise Week 2018 is now available to view online. Book your places on www.localenterprise.ie/corkcit