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Be Inspired with Local Enterprise Week in Donegal

Businesses across Donegal are being encouraged to take advantage of the array of events and topics on offer at this year’s Local Enterprise Week, which runs from Monday 6th to Friday 10th March. Local Enterprise Week is a collaboration between Local Enterprise Office Donegal and its partners.

In total 23 separate events will make up Local Enterprise Week 2023, with partners including WestBIC, ATU Donegal, Údarás NaGaeltachta, Ernact, Donegal County Council, Alpha Innovation, Donegal ETB, Donegal Women In Business Network, Inishowen Development Partnership, Inishowen Innovation, Fáilte Ireland, WiSAR Lab and Enterprise Ireland all contributing to the comprehensive schedule.

At a photo-call to mark the launch of the programme, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr. Liam Blaney highlighted the necessity for all small enterprises to use the opportunity to tap into the wide range of supports available to them: “Through our Local Enterprise Office, Donegal County Council is providing vital services and assistance to our local businesses. We want to ensure that our businesses utilise the various programmes and supports available to them through the LEO and other agencies”.

Commenting on this year’s programme of events, Brenda Hegarty, Head of Enterprise Donegal said: “The theme for this year’s Local Enterprise Week is ‘Be Inspired’, and this year’s events will stimulate creative thought, motivate action, encourage businesses to be ambitious, and get out there to realise their vision successfully. Working closely with our stakeholders, we have put together a comprehensive programme of events taking place from Monday, 6th to Friday, 10th March, that will inspire and help fuel people’s entrepreneurial instincts. From our Digital Marketing Expo to Building Firm Foundations and Stories of Donegal’s Fashion and Textile Industry and Inspirational Leadership Lessons, this Local Enterprise Week has everything required to ‘Be Inspired.

The official launch of Local Enterprise Week Donegal takes place on Monday, 6th March in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny with guest speaker Bobby Kerr, one of Ireland’s best-known businessmen who will share his experience of success and failure and valuable take-home lessons for local enterprise. Bobby will be joined by a panel of entrepreneurs featuring Larissa Feeney, Paul McNulty, and Malachi Eastwood who will share their stories of starting and growing businesses throughout Donegal.

Also taking place on Monday, 6th March is “LEAN - Inspire Productivity & Efficiency in Your Business”. Robert Herman will be at the Radisson Blu Hotel to discuss LEAN and the tools and techniques to encourage and increase your business’ performance and competitiveness. Learn how Donegal Innovation Hubs can support start-ups to assist their growth at “Supporting Start-ups through the Donegal Digital Innovation Hub Network”. This will take place at 3pm in the CoLab, ATU and online. Guest speakers include Leah Fairman, Evelyn Smith, Anne Marie McLaughlin and Mícheál Ó Duibhir.

On Tuesday, 7th March a “Digital Marketing Expo” event will take place at the Clanree Hotel with guest speakers Eric Roberts, Cathal Sheridan and Laura Willis. Keynote speaker Louise McDonnell and host Greg Fry will bring together inspirational leaders, idea-provoking panellists, engaging presentations and networking opportunities that will help small businesses to grow online. Donna McDade and Emma Murray will also discuss digital trends for 2023 at the event.

On Wednesday, 8th March, which is also International Women’s Day, “Building Firm Foundations” will take place at Lough Eske Castle, where speakers Brenda Hegarty and Louize Carroll will focus on the importance of firm foundations for personal and business growth. Jo Daly, President of Donegal Women in Business Network and Carole Murray of Pearl & Lace, will share insights of growing your business online and how firm foundations play an important part.

On Thursday, “Inspired Yarns: Stories of Donegal’s Fashion & Textile Industry” will take place at Crolly Distillery. This event will explore the unique role that the fashion and textile industry has played in Donegal’s cultural and economic development. Guest speakers are Lorna Macauley, Donnchadh Ó Baoill, Muiris Kennedy MBS, Chris Weiniger and Kieran Molloy. Hosted by Deirdre McQuillan, Fashion Editor of the Irish Times, who will explore her current passions, including the campaign for PGI status in Europe for Donegal Tweed.

On the final day of Local Enterprise Week “Business & Sport: Inspirational Leadership Lessons” takes place in the Clanree Hotel. Enda McNulty, Brent Pope, Michael Murphy and Nina Carberry will share the experiences and sacrifices that made them a success in their field and in the business industry.

Local Enterprise Week is the perfect opportunity for businesses to dip into a specific area of interest and gather information on a topic that may be relevant to their business now or in the future. Along with the Donegal events, there are also five national Spotlight events available online. These events are free to join and are open to all small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country, covering everything from digitalisation to exporting and future proofing your business. Booking is essential. See for more information.

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