First Virtual Local Enterprise Week a Success for Fingal
Over 2,000 budding entrepreneurs and business owners in Fingal have taken part in online events this week, marking Local Enterprise Week (LEW), from the 1st – 5th March, which has been hailed as a success by Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Fingal.
An annual initiative from the 31 LEOs around the country, including LEO Fingal, more than 270 events took place online under the theme of ‘Making It Happen’ attracting over 10,700 bookings nationally.
Supported by Fingal County Council (FCC) and Enterprise Ireland (EI), LEO Fingal hosted 11 events for local businesses this week, in addition to 10 Spotlight events which were open to businesses across the country.
An Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar T.D. officially opened the first Spotlight event for LEW 2021 and launched the new Green for Micro Programme on Monday, which helps small businesses decarbonise and become more sustainable. The Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Robert Troy T.D. spoke at another Spotlight event on the opening day, which focused on developing leadership and resilience.
Speaking at the “Working Smarter to Future Proof Your Business” webinar on Monday, to kick-off LEW in Fingal, Mayor of Fingal, Cllr. David Healey highlighted the necessity for all small enterprises to use the opportunity to tap into the wide range of supports available to them in these challenging times: “Through our Local Enterprise Office, Fingal County Council is providing vital services and assistance to our local businesses. We want to ensure that our SMEs take advantage of the various programmes and supports available to them through the LEO and other state bodies”.
Highlights from the week included: multiple guest appearances by National Enterprise Awards winner Derya Sousa; the ever-popular “Instagram for Business” webinar; the Fingal Enterprising Women Network (FEWN) online session featuring acclaimed TV presenter and entrepreneur Gráinne Seoige—celebrating International Women’s Day; and the official launch of the first season of the “Fingal Business Podcast”—with the first episode featuring last year’s keynote speaker: Daytime Emmy nominee, celebrity chef and businesswoman Catherine Fulvio.
At the final Spotlight event for LEW on Friday, which was hosted by LEO Fingal, the Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English T.D. focused on how small businesses could gain a digital advantage through the Trading Online Voucher Scheme—offering small businesses the opportunity to develop their website or digital marketing strategy by availing of a grant of up to €2,500.
Ms. AnnMarie Farrelly, Chief Executive of FCC, closed LEW Fingal, at the annual FEWN lunchtime event. Speaking to over 200 businesswomen, she said: “Almost a year since the launch of the Fingal Enterprising Women Network online events, Fingal County Council remains committed to providing an online platform for all businesswomen in the region, which allows them to connect with one another and build much-needed support networks”.
Summating LEW 2021, Head of Enterprise in Fingal, Oisín Geoghegan, stated: “We moved all our events for Local Enterprise Week online for the first time, making them as accessible as possible for local businesses. It’s been a phenomenally successful week as we had over 2,000 start-ups and businesses from the county learning about areas like the green economy, becoming more competitive and leaner, exploring new opportunities online as well as finding out what supports could benefit their business in 2021.”
He further added: “I’d like to thank all the companies that joined us online this week and all the speakers and contributors that shared their experiences, challenges and insights at every event. I’d also like to give a special word of thanks to our team here in Local Enterprise Office Fingal for rolling out such an impressive programme of events and to our partners this year, Enterprise Ireland, Fingal Chamber, and Technological University Dublin.”