Carlow Local Enterprise Office is launching a new round of Kickstart Your Business and Start Your Own Business programmes designed to support people in their journey to develop profitable businesses.
The programmes, delivered by the Local Enterprise Office in association with Carlow County Development Partnership and the Work Matters programme from Carlow Libraries, provide an opportunity for people with a start up business idea to work out if it can become a feasible business.
Launching the programme, Carlow County Council cathaoirleach Cllr Tom O'Neill said: “We are delighted to work with our partners in Carlow County Development Partnership to offer a cohesive service to those looking to start their own business here in Carlow.”
Amidst the lockdown over the past year, people are identifying all sorts of new opportunities for businesses, some associated with more people working from home and societies changing lifestyles.
The Local Enterprise Office in Carlow is working with a large number of people assessing their situations and looking to become self employed.
Speaking about the programmes, Carlow Local Enterprise Office business advisor Gabrielle Carroll said: “The programmes are designed in such a way as to embrace online technology and offer blended learning opportunities through one-to-one coaching and mentoring.
"Once you’ve decided that your business idea is feasible, further support in the form of a six week Start Your Own Business programme is available to help you to develop your business plan.
"This year we are delivering this in two ways: one is a flexible, self directed online programme backed with weekly one-to-one coaching session and the other is trainer led focused on weekly group workshops and delivered online."
Speaking about the programme, County Carlow Libraries librarian John Shorthall said: “Libraries are so more than just books, and we can offer a variety of supports to people starting and developing their business in particular around business research with access to online services and also internet access and printing.
"Your local library is a hub for many services and we would encourage people to engage with us and our colleagues in the Local Enterprise Office and Carlow County Development Partnership to discuss their support requirements.”
While developing online retail and technology are obvious growth areas in the business start up area, there are many people looking at how they can offer traditional services to the local market in new ways.
Partnering on the project is Carlow County Development Partnership, with social inclusion manager and Annette Fox adding: “We are delighted to be working with Carlow County Council on this project and bring a wealth of experience in supporting clients on the back to work enterprise allowance and other supports.
"For all of us in Carlow Development it is about putting the client at the centre of the support experience so that they can evaluate if self employment for them”.
Booking for the Kickstart and Start Your Own Business programmes can be made online or by calling 059-9129783.