Are you running a business in County Donegal or are you thinking of starting a new business? Then look no further than the Local Enterprise Office.
Michael Tunney, the Head of Local Enterprise has been working with local businesses and sharing a wealth of business knowledge for almost 30 years. He encourages local business owners and entrepreneurs to take that leap of faith in starting their own business and is on hand to provide the necessary support and advice.
“We are a nation and a county of small and in particular micro enterprises. We need local entrepreneurs and sustainable local business as they create local wealth and employment and contribute to every village, town and parish in the county. Our challenge is to create the environment and conditions which encourages more and more people to set up their own businesses and to work with them to ensure they succeed and grow and ideally export.” said Michael.
The Donegal Local Enterprise Office (LEO) has been in operation since April this year having formally operated as the Donegal County Enterprise Board. The Board had been in operation for over twenty years and had operated as the agency for enterprise promotion and micro business support in the county over this period. The Local Enterprise Office will continue to fulfil this role and function.
What is the Local Enterprise Office and what do they do?
The LEO is the “first point of contact” or first stop shop” for anyone in business or thinking about starting a business in Donegal. The LEO provides a range of supports from information, through training and management development, to mentoring and direct financial support.
The overall aim is to support businesses to achieve their ambitions and to increase the number of successful businesses in the county. Already the LEO is working closely with other Council services to identify funding opportunities to support businesses and sectors within Donegal.
Michael talks about the Local Enterprise team and their wealth of experience in business and is confident that they can help Donegal business’s grow in today’s challenging economy.
“The LEO was launched in April however the staff in the Local Enterprise Office has many years of experience in working with businesses in the county. We have an amazing team of staff who have been with the Board for over 14 years so they all know the business world inside out.
“We are always looking at new opportunities to develop business in Donegal and one of our key initiatives is The Food Coast – Donegal’s Good Food Initiative. Our aim is to promote and develop opportunities for the food sector in Donegal by branding Donegal as a “food county” – a place with a vibrant food culture and food economy. The initiative is open to anyone with an interest in the County’s food sector – from start-up businesses to part-time food producers, from on-farm added value producers to established primary producers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and restaurant.
“This is only one of a number of initiatives that we are currently driving and we are here to support businesses and entrepreneurs to flourish and grow in Donegal.
Facts about the LEO
The LEO has four key areas of operation-
- Providing business information, advice and referral
- Providing enterprise supports such as Start Your Own Business and Small Business Accounts training, mentoring and management development programmes and access to financial assistance both by way of grant aid and/or micro loans.
- Promotion of entrepreneurship including schools enterprise, youth entrepreneurship, female entrepreneurship and the development of clusters and networks.
- The provision of local enterprise development services which include contributing to county and area specific development plans, delivery of national initiatives and the development of appropriate enterprise infrastructure.
If you have a business idea and are unsure of where to start you can call the Local Enterprise Office at 0749160735 and arrange to meet with an executive or sign up for one of Start Your Own Business Programmes.
For further information visitwww.localenterprise.ie/donegal