Enterprise Week hailed as a huge success

Published: 8th March 2016

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has been delighted with the response to its first ever Enterprise Week which was organised in partnership with Omagh Enterprise Company Ltd and Fermanagh Enterprise Ltd.

Over a five day period more than 20 free events were held at various locations across the district including Omagh, Enniskillen, Dromore and Irvinestown, attracting well over 300 local businesses and entrepreneurs.

A wide range of topical business-related seminars, workshops, talks and training events were delivered by leading experts on topics including e-commerce, digital marketing, website and Facebook training, practical support on starting and growing a businesses, pension auto enrolment responsibilities and how to tender for public sector contracts.

During the week the Enterprise Centres in Omagh and Enniskillen also opened their doors on a number of occasions when staff were available to offer on-the-spot advice and guidance on all sorts of business matters including health and safety, finance, etc.

One of the region’s most successful businesses, Euro Auctions in Dromore also opened its doors and hosted a Business Open Evening to outline the company’s history and path to significant worldwide growth.  At this event businesses were also able to meet with funding representatives from the Rural Development Programme and Invest NI.

As the Council was conscious of the need to embrace all sections of the region’s business community, events also focused on women in business and the social economy sector. This latter was highlighted and celebrated at the Council’s first ever Social Economy Conference which was held on the penultimate day of Enterprise Week.

Almost 60 people attended the Social Economy Conference in the ARC Healthy Living Centre in Irvinestown where celebrated speakers from the social enterprise arena addressed the event, including representatives from LEDCOM, one of Northern Ireland’s leading social enterprises, the Chief Executive of Viable Corporate Services and the Chief Executive of the ARC Healthy Living Centre itself.  Other participants at the conference included Omagh Enterprise Company Limited and Knockninny Credit Union

A new EU-funded Programme was also launched on the final day of the week. ‘Generating Renewable Energy Business Enterprise’ (GREBE), is a three-year programme being delivered by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council to support renewable energy enterprise.  The progamme was launched at the BALCAS Plant in Enniskillen on Friday.

Speaking about the resounding success of the five-day event, the Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Thomas O’Reilly said the Council had been elated by the response to Enterprise Week.

“The Council is conscious of the crucial importance of SMEs to our district and has always strived to offer as much help and assistance to this valuable sector as possible.  It is therefore encouraging to note that well over 300 businesses from throughout the area were able to avail of advice and guidance from the events,” he said.

“SMEs are the lifeblood of the local economy and we have listened to and taken on board what support our local businesses need and want.  Indeed feedback from those who attended events during Enterprise Week has been extremely positive and encouraging, and I know the support we offered during the week, and continue to do throughout the year, will go some way to help our businesses grow and contribute greater to the local economy”, Councillor O’Reilly added.

In conclusion the Chairman said that such was the success of this pilot initiative that the Council hoped that it would continue on an annual basis.

“Although Enterprise Week was a pilot initiative, it is evident that it was a resounding success and I am confident that it will become an annual event on the calendar of events the Council holds every year for our indigenous business community,” Councillor Reilly concluded.

 

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Downloads

Social Economy Conference
A Programme – Unlocking the Potential of Social Enterprise
352 KB | pdf | 10 Mar 2016
Annette Greer, Viable Corporate Services
300 KB | pdf | 10 Mar 2016
Brian McManus, Knockninny Credit Union
698 KB | pdf | 10 Mar 2016
Jenny Irvine, Arc Healthy Living Centre
659 KB | pdf | 10 Mar 2016
Ken Nelson, Ledcom
899 KB | pdf | 10 Mar 2016
Mary MacRory, Omagh Enterprise Centre
333 KB | pdf | 10 Mar 2016
Reps from Omagh Neighbourhood Renewal Areas
2 MB | pdf | 10 Mar 2016
Ward, Erwin, NI Housing Executive
338 KB | pdf | 10 Mar 2016

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