In thirteen weeks’ time, the National Ploughing Championships (September 18th – 20th), Europe’s largest outdoor event, returns to Offaly and small businesses from all over the country are getting ‘ploughing-ready’ thanks to the Local Enterprise Offices.
Under plans for the ‘Local Enterprise Village’, launched today (June 20th) by the Minister for Trade, Employment and Business Pat Breen T.D., Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) are helping 30 small businesses and start-ups launch products and services to the thousands of visitors expected at the three-day event. 291,500 people, a record-breaking number, attended the National Ploughing Championships in 2017.
Minister Breen met several Local Enterprise Village entrepreneurs at a LEO-run training day in the Crowne Plaza in Blanchardstown today, where they were learning about business development, product marketing and how to secure more sales for their small business. A second training day is taking place later in the month in Limerick.
Minister Breen said: “The Local Enterprise Office network is a key pillar in the Government’s support for the growth and development of micro and small enterprises. By having dedicated supports in place to help small businesses at international events like the National Ploughing Championships, we are promoting trade and driving innovation and export growth for all business sectors across the country. I would encourage all visitors to the National Ploughing Championships in September to pay a visit to the Local Enterprise Village to support Ireland’s start-ups and small businesses. The Local Enterprise Offices are central to the delivery of these dedicated supports, which help build a culture of entrepreneurship and enterprise, delivering jobs in every County in Ireland.”
Minister Breen was joined at the launch by Oisin Geoghegan, Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices, Anna May McHugh, Managing Director of The National Ploughing Association, Martin Corry of Enterprise Ireland and Paula Butler, Assistant Chief Executive of the Local Government Management Association and representative of the County and City Management Association.
Oisin Geoghegan, Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices said: “As Europe’s largest outdoor event, the National Ploughing Championships are an international showcase for Ireland’s small business sector. To help small businesses get ‘ploughing-ready’, Local Enterprise Offices are providing expert training, marketing and project management support to maximise selling opportunities through the Local Enterprise Village.”
Anna May McHugh, NPA Managing Director said: “It is inspiring that so many small businesses and start-ups will be launching new products and services at this year’s National Ploughing Championships’ at the ‘Local Enterprise Village’ with the support of Local Enterprise Offices. This is a unique opportunity for these small businesses, with 291,500 visitors in attendance last year, to showcase their companies to the large number of visitors that Ploughing attracts.”
The 30 small companies inside the Local Enterprise Village represent a diverse range of business sectors, such as skincare, fashion, technology, artisan food and drink, sports equipment and horticulture.
More details around the Local Enterprise Village and the supports on offer through the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) are available at www.localenterprise.ie.
The 87th Annual National Ploughing Championships take place from September 18th to 20th at Screggan, Tullamore, County Offaly.