Two online programmes to help budding entrepreneurs in Donegal will get underway next week.
Run by Local Enterprise Office Donegal, the Start Your Own Business Programme will be delivered online for the first time to help reach those who are isolated and restricted due to COVID-19.
In addition to this, Donegal Local Enterprise Office is also running an online Food Starter Programme for people interested in setting up as a food producer in the county.
Starting on Tuesday 5th May, the Start Your Own Business programme is suitable for anyone with a business idea they want to develop, or for those who have recently started a business, or are considering self-employment. The course will be delivered online over eight half days, across five weeks and participants will receive four hours of mentoring to help develop their business plan and idea.
The Food Starter programme commences on Wednesday, 6th May and is delivered over four half days. It’s designed to help people with a food idea or those at a very early stage of setting up a food business and will provide participants with a basic knowledge of what’s involved, helping to identify and avoid the pitfalls often associated with food entrepreneurship.
Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise Donegal, said that both programmes are about encouraging and developing entrepreneurship in the county: “For many years, the Start Your Own Business Programme has been a key support available for new business start-ups in Donegal. By making these programmes available online, we want to reach those budding entrepreneurs who are isolated and restricted by COVID19 and who may want to use this time as an opportunity to work on their new business ideas. These courses will help people develop their business plans and put in place a roadmap to get their new business up and running, potentially creating employment in Donegal and helping to drive the local economy forward in a post-COVID-19 world.”
Adding to this, Brenda Hegarty Assistant Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Donegal, said: “We know a lot of people are using this time to evaluate their career and consider their options, so we want to ensure they have the support they need. Advanced planning and preparation are crucial to ensuring a fledgling business gets off the ground and continues flying. These courses will allow people to examine key questions around any start up business: Is your business idea viable? Can you develop a competitive and sustainable enterprise? Are you prepared to take the risk and what skills do you require to achieve your objectives? We will guide participants through the various aspects of business and business planning and the objective is to assist them in assessing their idea and its viability.”
The Start Your Own Business programme covers key areas including how to access support agencies and sources of funding, as well as taxation, marketing, market research, sales conversion and financial management. Participants require access to a smart phone, a computer or laptop and Broadband.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Donegal Local Enterprise Office has announced additional supports to help businesses in the county, including Trading Online Vouchers and Business Continuity Vouchers. Donegal Local Enterprise’s monthly business information session will also take place online on Friday, 1st May – this session is designed for anyone planning, scaling or growing a business in Donegal and will inform them about the supports and services available from their Local Enterprise Office. The next series of Grant Aid Workshops will also take place remotely on 7th and 15th May.
To find out more about the Start Your Own Business programme or Food Starter Programme and for a comprehensive list of the latest information and supports available to Donegal businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit: https://www.localenterprise.ie/Donegal