Protecting The Future Competitiveness Of The Local Economy

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Tue Sep 16 2008

Mayor of Clare, Cllr. Madeleine Taylor Quinn and Minister of State Mr. Tony Killeen launched the initiative, which takes place from October 6-10 2008.

Clare Enterprise Week 2008 will showcase the wide range of supports to local enterprises.

The week will also include special training and information sessions and workshops on innovation and leadership, creative industries, internet marketing, planning and environmental matters for business, energy management for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), opportunities for women, HR and Employment Law, succession planning for family business, technology transfer and schools' enterprise programmes among other events.

Commenting on the launch of Clare Enterprise Week 2008, Mayor Taylor-Quinn, said she hoped that the initiative would become an annual event.

‘In the current economic climate, it is important to promote the advice and support available to assist in setting up and developing a business, either new or established’, stated the Mayor.

She continued, ‘I am delighted to see that Clare Enterprise Week has been developed as a mechanism to promote entrepreneurship as an opportunity to all sectors, levels and people in Clare – from schoolchildren to the retired with a desire to do more; to showcase the supports available; to get entrepreneurs to speak honestly and openly about their experiences; to inspire and encourage potential entrepreneurs and to encourage investment in the county’.

Councillor Joe Arkins, Chairperson of the Clare County Development Board, commented, ‘Considering the downturn in the Irish economy it beholds us all to renew our endeavour to assist and facilitate, to the greatest possible extent, any enterprise that is striving to contribute to the local economy.’

‘The future competitiveness of County Clare depends on the entrepreneurial skills of local SMEs. It is incumbent on the Clare County Development Board to work in conjunction with all enterprise agencies in the county and wider region to create a supporting environment for these companies’, he added.

Mr. John Quinlivan, Shannon Development Regional Manager and Chair of the Clare County Enterprise Board, stated, ‘Shannon Development are delighted to be part of the Clare Enterprise Week. It is important for people to be exposed to the facilities and supports that are available in starting and more importantly in expanding their business. Funding may not always be the most important aspect for business survival and the County Enterprise Board has a wide and diverse range of supports, which includes training, mentoring and technical support.’

Speaking ahead of Clare Enterprise Week 2008, Ms. Harriet Cotter, Senior Regional Development Executive with Enterprise Ireland, said, ‘Clare Enterprise Week is an important vehicle for Enterprise Ireland in achieving its goal in Clare; it provides an opportunity to meet with entrepreneurs and to outline the sort of support that we can provide to new businesses. It is also a demonstration of the level of partnership amongst agencies locally all of which support business and the business environment in important ways’.

Enterprise Ireland (EI) is focussed on developing the entrepreneurial culture regionally and driving the growth of export focused innovation based start-ups. The Mid West team works to proactively drive innovative start-ups, develop existing client companies in all sectors in the Region and also facilitates local and rural enterprise primarily through the Community Enterprise Centres scheme.

Ms. Cotter explained, ‘High Potential Start Ups (HPSU’s) are a key area for Enterprise Ireland and we are proactively seeking out and supporting entrepreneurs interested in starting high growth businesses’. HPSU’s are usually companies that are knowledge based, export oriented and capable of growing sales to greater than EUR1m in a three to five year period and led by an experienced entrepreneur and team. Enterprise Ireland can assist these companies at an early stage in a variety of ways.’

Clare Enterprise Week 2008 takes place less than six months on from the launch of a major inter-agency enterprise strategy for County Clare.

‘Collaborating to compete - County Clare Enterprise Strategy’ features six high-level strategic enterprise goals that merge with national policy objectives while seeking to maximise the competitive advantage of enterprise in Clare.

Work has already commenced on implementing the strategy, including actions on Research and Development (R&D), increased third level activity in the county and the development of the community enterprise centres.

According to Mr Alec Fleming, Clare County Manager, the upcoming Clare Enterprise Week will focus on promoting the key elements of the strategy to local enterprises.

Mr. Fleming continued, ‘By networking the enterprise support agencies, third level institutes, and collaborating with the business community, national objectives and targets for enterprise development can be achieved at county level and Clare can ensure that it extracts maximum benefit from enterprise-related NDP funding.’

He went on to highlight the importance of growing local enterprises,

‘Clare County Council is committed to engaging with local business and communities on enterprise development. Traditionally we in Clare have fared well in FDI, and while we continue to actively pursue this, the county can, however, boast some fantastic indigenous enterprises which have contributed significantly to the local economy and we need to acknowledge this and support these to develop further’, concluded Mr. Fleming.

The Community & Enterprise Directorate of Clare County Council and the Clare County Development Board, in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland, Shannon Development, Clare County Enterprise Board, local chambers, Clare VEC and the enterprise support agencies in the county, are coordinating Clare Enterprise Week.


Note to Editor:
- Mayor of Clare, Councillor Madeleine Taylor Quinn; Councillor Joe Arkins, Chairperson of the Clare County Development Board; and Mr Tom Coughlan, Director of Services, Community& Enterprise, Clare County Council, are available for interview. Please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 086-8534900 or
- A high-resolution image of today’s launch event is available on request

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
Company: Dunphy Public Relations
Contact Name: Dunphy Public Relations
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Contact Phone: 00353868534900

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