€645,000 worth of sales generated by small businesses at the ploughing championships last year, with the help of the Local Enterprise Offices
Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Mary Mitchell O’ Connor T.D., have unveiled plans for the ‘Local Enterprise Village’, which will be home to 84 small businesses from around the country for the three days of the National Ploughing Championships.
Managed and funded by the Local Enterprise Offices, the Local Enterprise Village opens its doors from September 20thto 22nd at Screggan in Tullamore, offering Irish start-ups and small businesses a launch-pad for new products and services, giving them the chance to impress the 280,000 visitors expected at European’s largest outdoor event.
Last year, small businesses inside the Local Enterprise Village generated sales and orders worth €645,000* to the Irish economy, according to figures from the Local Enterprise Offices.
Supported by Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West, local companies that are showcasing their products and services at this year’s Local Enterprise Village include: Ocean Bloom from Beara which produces seaweed skincare and Chart Datum from Castletownbere which produces beautiful wooden products.
The plans for the 2016 Local Enterprise Village include a new product launch and demonstration area, where small businesses and start-ups can invite visitors to preview and sample new Irish brands. A new award scheme, the Local Enterprise Village Awards, is also being introduced for the first time, to highlight ‘up-and-coming’ brands and companies.
Announcing the plans for the Local Enterprise Village, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mitchell O’ Connor said: “The National Ploughing Championships is a wonderful event which attracted 281,000 visitors last year and it continues to grow in scale and importance, especially for small businesses looking to launch new products and services to a mass audience. Creating jobs across the country is a key priority for me as only a strong economy supporting people at work can pay for the services needed to create a fair society.”
The Local Enterprise Offices in the local authority network want the Local Enterprise Village to become a “must visit” destination for anyone travelling to the Tullamore site in September. Kevin Curran, Acting Head of Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West said:
“We want to welcome as many visitors as possible through the doors of the Local Enterprise Village, to support the local businesses that will be launching new products and services there.”With fashion, food, craft, homeware and gifts from all over the country under the one roof, we’re expecting record crowds this year.”
The National Ploughing Association Chairman, PJ Lynam, said: “This is a unique opportunity for these small businesses, with 281,000 visitors in attendance last year, to showcase their products to the large number of visitors that Ploughing attracts.”
The entrepreneurs that met with Minister Mitchell O’ Connor at this week’s announcement included the founders behind ‘Toby Wagons’ in Wicklow, ‘Celtic Gent’ in Fingal, ‘De Mad Food Company’ in Offaly, ‘Melanie Hand Design Jewellery’ in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, ‘Tumbledown Media’ in Carlow and ‘Scotts Irish Cider’ in Cavan.
More details around the Local Enterprise Village are available through www.localenterprise.ie and by searching #localenterprise on social media. The 85th Annual National Ploughing Championships runs from September 20th to 22nd 2016 at Screggan in Tullamore in County Offaly with tickets on sale from August through www.npa.ie.