5 March 2022
By Tom Collins
Ahead of Local Enterprise Week, Cork County Council’s Local Enterprise Offices (LEO’s) have released figures of supports granted to local businesses over the past two years. During the most difficult of trading circumstances for businesses throughout Ireland, client companies of the Council’s LEO South Cork and Cork North & West availed of over €2million worth of business grant aids with over 900 local businesses improving their e-commerce capability proving to be a lifeline for micro-enterprises in the region.
The announcement was made at the launch of this year’s Local Enterprise Week which runs from March 7th to 11th with dozens of online events for business owners and would be entrepreneurs to choose from. Local Enterprise Week is a national event which runs across the country’s 31 LEO’s and is aimed at anyone thinking of starting a business, new start-ups and growing SMEs. The week-long schedule of events will include conferences, workshops, seminars, networking, and business advice clinics.
Throughout the pandemic, Cork County Council’s LEO’s hosted more than 270 business training courses and events, reaching over 7,500 business owners in the region with over 620 new entrepreneurs in the county participating in 40 Start Your Own Business programmes. More than 2,200 business owners also availed of free business advice clinics and mentoring supports which were successfully delivered by trainers online direct to business owners.
Among the events being hosted next week will be seminars covering a range of topics including “Steps to Self-Employment”, “Going Green and Sustainability in Business”, “How to Set up your Dream Business”, “First Steps to Exporting” and “Start your Own Podcast Series” as well as individual business mentoring and advice clinics, most of which are free of charge.
Mayor of Cork County, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan said, “I don’t need to state how difficult the past two years has been for businesses through the county and all of Ireland but Cork County Council’s Local Enterprise Offices have never stopped delivering what was needed in that time. This is something I am confident will stand to business owners and help them to build stronger businesses into the future. These people create employment across Cork County which also makes it our duty to do our best to keep our business local and continue to support them whenever we can, as they really are the lifeblood of our county.”
Speaking of the upcoming Local Enterprise Week, Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey said, “Although the past two years have been extremely challenging we are proud to say that the Council’s LEO’s continued to support business owners by adapting to the times and encouraging them to sustain and grow their businesses. We have built strong bonds with the business owners we work with and are led by them when it comes to hosting these events as they are topics which they have requested to be covered. I look forward to a successful week next and look ahead to further supporting our new and existing client companies in to 2022.”
Seán O’Sullivan, Head of Enterprise, LEO South Cork and Kevin Curran, Head of Enterprise Cork North and West both highlighted how, “Cork County Council’s LEO’s have aided hundreds of local businesses over the past two years. We look forward to meeting business owners in person again very soon and this has already begun. The landscape of our economy has changed immeasurably since March 2020 but Cork businesses have the determination to adapt and succeed. Enterprise Week is all about supporting them. The fact that we have a waiting list for our Start your Own Business programmes is proof of the spirit of Cork County’s entrepreneurs and we look forward to working them in the coming months.”
Most events are free of charge and can be booked through the county’s Local Enterprise Office websites. Follow LEO on social media or search #LocalEnterprise.