IT has been a challenging few years for companies of all sizes however, the resilience of micro and small businesses in Cork city is remarkable.
At Cork City Local Enterprise Office, we’re seeing local companies creating employment and sustaining employment. Businesses supported by Cork City LEO created 76 new jobs during 2022.
There is a determination among entrepreneurs in Cork to learn, to upskill and to ask for help if and when they need it. Last year, LEO Cork City provided training for almost 1,500 people. A further 100 companies availed of vouchers to enable them to trade online.
Enterprise Week is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to participate in events targeted at businesses at all stages of development. The schedule of events for Local Enterprise Week 2023, we believe, reflects the changing environment businesses and business owners find themselves in.
The week kicks off today with an event focusing on the future of retail. Our customer-facing businesses, the bricks and mortar stores are the heartbeat of our city and are constantly changing to meet the needs of the ever evolving consumer. ‘Cork City Retail Therapy - 2023 and Beyond’ is an opportunity to hear some of Ireland’s leading experts give their views and tips.
On Tuesday afternoon, the focus turns to green issues and sustainability when Cork City Council’s Procurement Officer will deliver a webinar introducing local businesses to Green Public Procurement.
We know that small changes can make a big difference when it comes to efficiencies and cost savings for companies. However, businesses need to be aware of their environmental impact if they wish to provide goods or services to public bodies and large organisations. For example, when Cork City Council tenders for goods, services and works it aims to ensure that the contract it enters will address the environmental impact of that contract in a meaningful and measurable way.
There is a strong focus on digitisation, competitiveness and productivity throughout Local Enterprise Week 2023.
On Wednesday morning, we are hosting a one-hour course in delivering courses, presentations or training online in a live online or pre-recorded setting. Judie Russell from The Vidacademy will offer her insights and advice on how to get the best out of delivering courses online.
At lunchtime, participants will have an opportunity to ‘stretch, relax and breathe’ with Anita Siegl from Happy Feet Reflexology. This 30-minute interactive session is filled with exclusive hand stretching and relaxing exercises that are specifically designed to improve mobility and flexibility in your wrists and hands. It’s important to take time out to destress, however, many people struggle with mindfulness. Anita will combine deep breathing techniques with hand movements shown to effectively reduce mental and physical tension.
Making labour-intensive tasks digital is one of the quickest ways to drive down costs for a business. Chat GPT has taken the internet by storm since it launched at the end of 2022. It’s a versatile chatbot that can be trained to do any number of tasks including writing stories, composing music and answering questions. It can even help businesses with development, marketing plans, project management, financial planning. Our webinar on Wednesday afternoon will give attendees an overview of Chat GPT and how it is changing the way we search and experience the web.
˜Partnership and Enterprise’ at the Imperial Hotel on Thursday morning is a networking event focusing on the business supports available to small and micro enterprises. It will be of particular interest to people considering self-employment but who may not be familiar with the role played by the Local Enterprise Office, Cork City Partnership and the Department of Social Protection.
On Thursday afternoon, John O’Shanahan of LeanBPI will be delivering a presentation at the Northside Business Campus on the benefits of digitisation for food manufacturers. This event aims to offer real solutions, showing how small businesses can harness the power of digitalisation to streamline operations, reduce stress, and improve overall performance.
On Friday, the attention turns to ‘Improving The Bottom Line’. The workshop by Denis Casey of Casey Business Consulting takes place at the Clayton Hotel, Silversprings. Denis will show how companies can improve their bottom line, demonstrating how to cost and price their products and services. Small business owners will also have an opportunity to attend Green Business Advice sessions throughout the day, receiving practical and strategic one-to-one guidance from experienced business practitioners.
Local Enterprise Week is an opportunity for entrepreneurs and small businesses to tap into the expertise that is available to them in Cork city. We hope that owners and people thinking about starting their own businesses will engage with us this week.
All of the events are free but booking in advance is essential. For further information on the LEO Cork City’s complete programme of events for Local Enterprise Week and to book your place online, visit www.localenterprise.ie/corkcity