A Bright Future for Entrepreneurship in Cork

A Bright Future for Entrepreneurship in Cork

05 December 2012


Over 1,200 entrepreneurs and SME owners attended the inaugural INBusiness INCork Showcase and Expo on November 14th in City Hall, Cork.


The event, which was the first of its kind in the Cork region, opened the the door of entrepreneurship to people interested in starting their own business; and gave those already in business, additional insights into how they could generate growth within their own organisation.


INBusiness INCork marked the official launch of Cork innovates, whose shared vision is to actively support the creation of new sustainable jobs and encourage regional economic wealth by connecting Cork entrepreneurial and business community within the region and beyond. The initiative sees the coming together, for the first time ever, of specific public and private sector stakeholders including Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Cork Chamber of Commerce, County & City Enterprise Boards, Enterprise Ireland, UCC, CIT, South West Regional Authority, and Cork BIC along with a number of leading entrepreneurs from the region.


 Commenting on the tremendous success of the day, Michael O'Connor, CEO of Cork BIC said "INBusiness INCork was different to so many other business events I've attended. I would say it was very much a ‘horizontal' event, meaning it was accessible to everyone, with something for entrepreneurs at whatever stage they're at. I was delighted to see the vision of Cork innovates captured so magnificently on November 14th - it truly was an event everyone could benefit from."


Speaking on behalf of the County and City Enterprise Boards, Michael Hanley, CEO, West Cork Enterprise Board said "The County and City Enterprise Boards are proud to be associated with Cork innovates, and in particular the inaugural INBusiness INCork Showcase. It was fantastic to see so many key support agencies come together under one roof, to offer entrepreneurs and SME owners advice and guidance on the best route for them. While many of the visitors to our stand would already have been known to us, it was very encouraging to see a "new breed" of entrepreneur attend and we met many new contacts on the day."


Claire Davis, Project Manager, South West Regional Authority said "INBusiness INCork allowed us to disseminate our project information to a wider range of stakeholders, and develop a number of new contacts that are interested in the project activities, so overall it was a very beneficial initiative to be involved in."


The extensive expo area in particular proved very popular, and hundreds of attendees availed of the opportunity to link with key support agencies; as well as products and service providers free of charge throughout the day. Here, they were able to identify information sources, network with peers, and engage with like-minded individuals.


Noreen Walsh, Regional Business and Personal Manager, AIB Bank, Cork Central who hosted a stand at the event said "The exhibition area at INBusiness INCork was so well organised, and there was something for entrepreneurs at all stages of their exciting journey, whether they were just getting started or further down the road with their venture. Interaction at our stand with the attendees was very positive, and we have plenty new leads to follow up on."


Following the success of INBusiness INCork, it is clear the future is bright for entrepreneurship in Cork and this needs to be built on. Rónán Ó Dubhghaill, Director of Strategic Planning at UCC said "It is clear that a comprehensive range of active and engaged structures are now in place for entrepreneurs and start-ups, and we need to maintain the energy and enthusiasm that was so evident at the INBusiness INCork showcase."


Kieran Moynihan who is Entrepreneur-in-residence at CIT added "The event highlighted the tremendous entrepreneurial spirit and capacity we have in the Cork region. We now have an exciting challenge before us, to translate that into sustainable job creation and the Cork innovates group are looking forward to playing a key role in this entrepreneurial drive."


Speaking on behalf of all involved in the coordination of INBusiness INCork, Paul Hands, Chairman of Cork innovates said "We really couldn't have asked for a better start to our initiative, we would like to thank all who engaged with us and contributed to the success of the day. I'd like to remind everyone that Cork innovates is a free resource, available to anyone interested in entrepreneurship or starting out in business, so don't forget about it."

For more information visit www.corkinnovates.com.