Tipperary North, Kerry, Limerick City, Limerick County and Clare Enterprise
Boards have heralded the inaugural Mid-West Regional Business Week 2009 a
A total of 45 events took place during the week which ran from Monday 5th –
Friday 9th October with an extensive programme of seminars, workshops,
networking events and expos addressing relevant business topics. This
concerted, combined initiative organised by the City and County Enterprise
Boards and Enterprise Ireland was organised with the regions development
agencies and statutory authorities hosting a wide range of events relative
to their particular area of expertise.
The main regional highlights of the week included the Official Launch of the
1st Mid-West Regional Business Week by Minister for Trade and Commerce Mr Billy Kelleher T.D and the Mid-West Regional Networking Evening with Sean Gallagher from Dragons Den.
The 1st Mid-West Regional Business Week was officially launched by Minister
for Trade and Commerce Mr Billy Kelleher on Monday 5th October. Following on from the official opening, Vincent Browne of TV3’s nightly current affairs programme and columnist with both the Irish Times and the Sunday Business Post chaired a discussion panel on the topic “Doing business in the Mid-West” – the issues facing this region and how these may be addressed.
This discussion panel included Minister Billy Kelleher T.D, Brian O’Connell
MD of Westpark Shannon Ltd and member of the Government-appointed Mid West Task Force., Dr Maria Hinfelaar President of Limerick Institute of
Technology, Brendan Kenny CEO of the Limerick Regeneration Project and Rory O’Connor former CEO of Hewlett Packard. With his many years in the media and his confrontational questioning style, Browne delivered a very focused and thorough discussion with the panel.
Sponsored by Enterprise Ireland the Enterprise Expo attracted over 40 stands from professional bodies who will offered advice and guidance to business owners and those thinking of starting a business. Many of the enterprises who took part in the Enterprise Expo have received funding from Enterprise Ireland or the Enterprise Boards and are an example of the local successful entrepreneurship stories in the Mid-West Region.
The other highlight of the week’s Regional events was “Put Your Money where your mouth is” with guest speaker and Dragon Seán Gallagher which took place in the Radisson Hotel on Wednesday 7th October. In the last year, Seán Gallagher has become recognisable to the Irish public as one of the five
intimidating entrepreneurs available for investment on RTÉ’s hit show,
The evening commenced with an innovative speed networking event which gave people from Limerick, Kerry, Clare and Tipperary an opportunity to network, swap business cards and set up business meetings with other networkers.
The well known Dragon Sean Gallagher then addressed the large audience and
stated that “in this difficult time of doom and gloom it is time to stop
talking about the problems and to move forward and find solutions”.
Gallagher set a very positive and proactive tone advising the audience that
“entrepreneurship is a very viable option for people who are out of work and
we need to support the entrepreneurial spirit that is alive throughout the
county. We need to identify these entrepreneurs, provide training for them
and link them in with the education institutions and with experienced people
who are already in business. It is imperative that they have access to
start up capital”.
Gallagher continued to motivate the large audience telling them that
“success comes when people are most challenged and the survival of the
economy is dependent on the diversity of products and services these new
entrepreneurs will provide in the future”.
Mid-West Regional Business Week was sponsored by Bank of Ireland, affirming their commitment to support the survival of small to medium enterprises (SMEs).
The inaugural Mid-West Regional Business Week sent out a clear and positive
message to the small and medium sector that the Enterprise Boards in
partnership with Enterprise Ireland have an all hands on deck approach to
the real challenges being faced by the sector in the current climate. The
Enterprise Boards were established over 15 years ago with a remit to be
proactive, innovative and responsive to the needs of enterprises at a local