A day-long enterprise event in North Dublin has expanded into a free five-day event this year, due to a surge in demand for information and advice from small business owners and others thinking of setting up a business. Serial Irish entrepreneurs including Bill Cullen, Sean Gallagher and Nicola Byrne are amongst those taking part in the Fingal Enterprise Week.
Having run the event over a single day for the past four years, organisers at the Fingal Enterprise Board had to extend the event to a full week for the first time, to accommodate the unprecedented level of requests for information and supports.
Fingal Enterprise Week runs from Monday, September 27th to Friday, October 1st with seminars, workshops and clinics throughout the region. The week boasts an impressive schedule including ‘The Business Panel Q&A’ with John Bowman; ‘Finance and Funding’ seminar with RTE’s personal finance correspondent, George Lee; ‘New Opportunities – Innovation and Green Business’ featuring speakers from Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and the Ecology Foundation; ‘E-Business Ireland’ seminar with representatives of Cisco, Realex Payments and the Irish Internet Association, concluding on the final day with SME Case Studies and the Fingal Enterprise Awards.
“Every County and City Enterprise Board has reported an explosion in the demand for information and advice around setting up a new business. Added to this, is the strong demand for business support services from companies affected by the current economic environment. In Fingal, the number of people seeking our assistance over the past two years has doubled,” commented Oisin Geoghegan, CEO with Fingal Enterprise Board.
“It’s vital that people know what supports are available to them from funding to mentoring to training. Thanks to the support of Fingal County Council, Bank of Ireland and Newstalk, we are able to host a very exciting series of events in this inaugural Fingal Enterprise Week and we anticipate strong demand for places at all events.”
“There are still plenty of business opportunities out there, but you have to go out and find them,” according to Bill Cullen, star of The Apprentice TV series and founder of the Europa Academy in Swords, the location for several of the Fingal Enterprise Week events.
“My advice to small business owners and new start-ups is to open up your own window of opportunity, roll up your sleeves and prepare for the tough road ahead. There are state agencies out there, such as the Fingal Enterprise Board, who can help prepare you for that road,” he added.
Mentoring clinics, networking sessions and information seminars also feature heavily in the line-up and organisers expect to attract over 2,000 people to Fingal Enterprise Week. The full schedule of events, which is supported by Fingal County Council, Bank of Ireland and Newstalk is available at www.fingalenterpriseweek.ie; organisers advise early booking as all events are free of charge.