Time to showcase how we can help Cork SMEs

Local Enterprise Week got underway Monday, March 2 and continues until Friday, March 6. Here Paul McGuirk, Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office talks about some of the highlights
Time to showcase how we can help Cork SMEs
Jonathan Healy of Healy Communications with Derval O’Rourke, (Derval.ie) pictured at the launch of Local Enterprise Week 2020 which is being run by the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Cork City. Local Enterprise Week 2020 got underway Monday March 2 and continues until Friday March 6 around Cork City. All of the events throughout the week are free of charge. Picture: Clare Keogh

THE vibrant SME sector in Cork is the lifeblood of our city’s economy.

Recently, at the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Cork City, we launched Local Enterprise Week 2020. This year the schedule is packed with events from a walking networking session on South Mall to a food event on sustainability.

Local Enterprise Week 2020 got underway yesterday and runs until Friday March 6. The best part of all is the events throughout the week are free of charge. It is an opportunity to network, keep up with developments and find the right supports for your business. The series of events is designed to appeal to all entrepreneurs, whatever stage of development they are at, pre-start, start-up or growth.

Local Enterprise Office supports are there throughout the year but Local Enterprise Week helps us to celebrate the diversity of businesses we work with and encourages more budding entrepreneurs to engage with us and take advantage of the broad range of supports that we offer.

Local Enterprise Week is a highly anticipated national event organised by Local Enterprise Offices around Ireland and is a cornerstone of the business calendar here in Cork. The week is jam packed with events and opportunities for businesses in the city to learn more about the supports on offer at the Local Enterprise Office, Cork City. We have a highly experienced team based in City Hall who are always on hand to support local businesses.

We look forward to Local Enterprise Week each year as it is always a great week to showcase how we can help SMEs all around Cork City. This year we have a very exciting and varied line up of events and I would encourage anyone interested in or developing a business to reach out to us as LEO Cork City can help ‘’Making It Happen’’ for you and your company.

The week is packed with informative workshops, talks and conferences aimed at supporting owners and managers of small businesses in the city.

One highlight of the week will be a “Red Chair Interview” in Ballincollig with Peter Coppinger of Teamwork and Kate Hyde of Glencove Group. There will also be a Health and Wellbeing for Entrepreneurs’ event on Thursday March 5 at 9am at Republic of Work.

Other events include a timely workshop on Brexit “Brexit — it hasn’t gone away” which takes place at the Clayton Hotel Silver Springs today. The workshop, facilitated by Denis Casey of Casey Business Consulting, will outline how small businesses can prepare for Brexit, now that it has become a reality.

There are also events targeting specific sectors such as ‘Food Sustainability - Dilemma or Opportunity’. The sustainability agenda is moving fast — so fast, that some food stakeholders are encountering a dilemma when trying to answer the question “Where to next?”. This short seminar will bring together a panel of experts who will share their views on the journey they have undertaken to date. For food manufacturers and foodservice operators attending, this will be the perfect opportunity to develop your thinking and explore a positioning for your business in relation to this topic. The speakers represent both those leading Ireland’s sustainability agenda and those who will bring an international perspective. This event will be a unique opportunity to hear some great view points and input directly with your own views in the panel discussion at the end of the event. This event will be facilitated by international expert James Bourke of James Bourke and Associates and speakers will also include Clare Condon from Good Day Deli, Virginia O’Gara from My Goodness, Donal Flynn from The Happy Pear and Julie Dorel from Musgrave.

Also “On the Starting Line” is a Start Your Own Business workshop targeting full or part time sports people interested in entrepreneurship as a career. It will take place in City Hall this evening, at 5.30p.m. This Start Your Own Business workshop with Derval O’Rourke is targeted at full time or part time sportspeople. In conversation with Aodan Enright from Smarter Egg, Derval will share insights from her own transition from elite athlete to digital health and wellness entrepreneur. Have you got an idea and need to know how to go about making it a reality? What services are out there to help you? How could you leverage your network and profile? Has your sports career given the determination and skills that entrepreneurship demands? LEO Cork City is keen to assist you in this journey and we can also link you to a range of supports that can contribute to your business success.

Cork has a strong tradition of family businesses as the week will end with an interview with two of the Northside’s finest, Phil Cone of Academy Crests and Michael Finn Jnr of Northside Glass. This will focus on how they are innovating in their businesses. For example, Academy Crests have been trialling a four day work week for the last year and have implemented several other changes to their work practices following participation in our LEAN for Micro programme. This event is being run in conjunction with Bank of Ireland and Northside for Business and will take place on Friday, March 6 at 8am in Bank of Ireland workbench on St Patricks Street.

We are very excited about Local Enterprise Week this year and we are really looking forward to welcoming people from all across Cork city to our events.

For further information on the list of the free events and activities taking place in Cork City during Local Enterprise Week visit www.localenterprise.ie/CorkCity.

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