The Local Enterprise Village at this year’s National Ploughing Championships will provide a snapshot of the cream of the crop of Ireland’s small businesses according to Heather Humphreys T.D., Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, who launched the Local Enterprise Office initiative today in Dublin.

The Local Enterprise Village will feature over 30 small businesses, each a client of their Local Enterprise Office across the country. There are 31 Local Enterprise Offices located in Local Authorities nationwide funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation through Enterprise Ireland. This year the Local Enterprise Village will have a slightly Welsh theme with 6 clients involved who have taken part in Catalyst and Bucanier programmes strengthening partnerships between Ireland and Wales ahead of Brexit.

There will be a variety of products and services on show for the visitors to this year’s Ploughing Championships to enjoy, which includes food, fashion, agtech products, farm safety equipment, board games, sportswear, skincare and even a dog bakery!

There were several Local Enterprise Office clients in Dublin today to help launch this year’s Local Enterprise Village along with Minister Humphreys. These included Oscar Wilde Water from Local Enterprise Office Tipperary, Little Red Design Studio from Local Enterprise Office Dublin City, Harry’s Dog Bakery from Local Enterprise Office Monaghan, BackBaller from Local Enterprise Office Clare and Orwell & Browne Irish Tweed from Local Enterprise Office Donegal.

Minister Humphreys put emphasis on the key role these businesses play in Ireland’s economy; “The Local Enterprise Village is a snapshot of the wide variety of businesses supported by the Government through the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs). These firms are the bedrock of local economies right across the country, which is why we are putting an increased focus on the LEOs under the Future Jobs Ireland strategy. This event is a fantastic opportunity for the businesses involved to showcase their products and services, and I look forward to seeing them all in Carlow.”

Kieran Comerford, from the Local Enterprise Offices, outlined what a significant opportunity this is for these businesses; “You are looking at a potential footfall for these businesses of over 250,000 people across the 3 days of the Ploughing Championships. That is simply incredible for them, to be given that size of a captive audience to sell to, does not happen to small businesses like this. We have put in extensive work with each business to ensure they are as best prepared as they can be for the ploughing and the maximise this opportunity through sales and marketing training and stand development. The Local Enterprise Village is always a hub of wonderful products and innovative services and will no doubt be a big hit again with the visitors to Ballintrane.

The NPA Kildare Director John Dunne said; “It is marvelous to see that so many diverse and interesting businesses, from every county in Ireland, will be represented at this year’s National Ploughing Championships’ ‘Local Enterprise Village’.  This is an ideal and unique opportunity for these companies to showcase their products & services to the huge number of visitors that Ploughing attracts.”

This unique initiative by the Local Enterprise Offices means that over 30 small businesses from across the country get the chance to exhibit and sell at Europe’s largest outdoor event, something that would not be financially viable most small businesses across the country. The Local Enterprise Offices are located nationwide and play a key role in helping small businesses to start and grow. Since their inception in 2014 they have helped create over 18,000 jobs in indigenous companies all over the country.

The 88th National Ploughing Championships take place from the 17th to 19th of September in Ballintrane, Fenagh, County Carlow. For more information on the Local Enterprise Village and the supports that the Local Enterprise Offices give to small businesses go to www.LocalEnterprise.ie

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