Encouraging Entrepreneurship & Innovation:Cork Enterprise Month

Encouraging Entrepreneurship & Innovation:Cork Enterprise Month

As part of Cork Enterprise Month, a joint collaboration of the Cork County & City Enterprise Boards (CEB’s), a diverse range of Business Training Programmes and Seminars will be held throughout March.  These will promote and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation and help micro-enterprises thrive and develop in this new economic reality.

The Business Training Programmes and Seminars available, which are a core activity of Cork Enterprise Month, will provide Cork based micro-enterprises with relevant, high quality and highly subsidised training, covering an extremely wide variety of business topics.

In March alone, over 380 Cork businesses have benefited from participating in one of the organised CEB’s Training Programme or Seminars. These training programmes range from one day seminars, 8 week programmes, to 9 month management development programmes; all of which are a vital component in developing the business skills of Cork owner/managers and entrepreneurs.  The variety of business topics covered in the programmes include: Start Your Own Business; Financial Management; HR; Sales and Marketing; Business Coaching and Strategy Planning; Personal Productivity and Leadership and Accounting Software Training. All courses will be held in venues throughout the County and City throughout March.

The response to these courses has been extremely positive. Cork City Enterprise Board have coordinated two Start Your Own Business courses which have proven to be very popular with participants.

South Cork Enterprise Board has experienced a very busy and productive Cork Enterprise Month with a large number of business people availing of the wide range of courses available such as ‘PR- How to Generate Free Publicity’.

North Cork Enterprise Board and West Cork Enterprise Board have reported an exceptionally high volume of candidates availing of their courses with a combined total of over 150 training participants. The North Cork Enterprise Board has coordinated a Management Development Course, beginning Wednesday 16th March in the Charleville Park Hotel.

Also on offer, courtesy of the West Cork Enterprise Board, were courses such as Strategic Selling Skills for Small Businesses. Of all the courses available, the training course which is rising in popularity are those which deal with social media.

Speaking about this changing business trend, Christine Heffernan of the West Cork Enterprise Board said, “The West Cork Enterprise Board has seen a huge demand for social media training during the month of March. So much so, that we have decided to run additional website related training seminars in April and May. Clients seem to be all going on-line and looking at resourceful on-line marketing/social media tools to drive more business to their websites.”

“There is no doubt that businesses must have an online presence in order to operate effectively. We find that there is an increasing amount of demand for courses which address social media such as Facebook, blogging, Twitter, Four Square and LinkedIn. It is important, now more than ever, that business owners recognise the importance of social media and its intrinsic value to their business.”

A new management development programme was launched in March by the West Cork Enterprise Board in association with Cork County Council and Skibbereen Credit Union. This is a 9 month programme for companies that have a business concept and are ready to start their businesses in the coming months.

Sean O’Sullivan, CEO, South Cork Enterprise Board said “The training and development programmes on offer with the CEB’s are a vital component in developing the business skills and expertise of local entrepreneurs.  The variety of courses provided means that Cork businesses are well equipped to cope with change and the challenges that the current economic difficulties are presenting.”

Another activity that the CEB’s are supporting during Cork Enterprise Month, is IGNITE a 12-month programme offering graduates of any 3rd level institution the opportunity to turn innovative ideas into new products and services.  Based at the IGNITE Graduate Business Innovation Centre, located at UCC’s Western Gateway Building, the programme is delivered by UCC and Cork County and City Enterprise Boards.  Each year, 10 candidates will be selected to participate through a competitive process.

Training activities and events like these take place 12 months of the year, but in March, Cork Enterprise Month will give a flavour of the ongoing level of enterprise and entrepreneurial activity that the CEB’s engage in on an ongoing basis.  For full information on all of the Business Training Programmes and Seminars taking place throughout the month and beyond, visit www.corkenterpriseboards.ie or contact your local Enterprise Board.

Cork County & City Enterprise Boards are funded under Ireland’s EU Structural Funds Programme 2007-2013 with funding from the Exchequer and the European Regional Development Fund.

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