LEO promotes self-employment opportunities for people with disabilities


Unique collaboration with The Crann Centre is among an exciting line up for Local Enterprise Week 2024


Cork City Council’s Local Enterprise Office has teamed up with The Crann Centre to raise awareness of self-employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The partnership is part of Local Enterprise Week 2024 which is being launched by LEO Cork City today.


The jam-packed programme of in-person and online events is aimed at small / micro businesses in Cork and runs from March 4th - 8th. All events are free to attend but people need to book online in advance.


An introduction to self-employment for people with disabilities will take place at The Crann Centre on Tuesday, March 5th.  Attendees will hear from a number of people with disabilities who have been successful in setting up their own business.  They will also hear about the different supports available from the Local Enterprise Office.


Dr Niall O’Keeffe, Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office, Cork City, said; “It’s a very exciting week, we run as many events as possible to cater for as many types of businesses as possible, in various stages of development.  We have everything from export to digital to resilience in business and we have a focus on women and also people with disabilities in some of our events so there’s a broad range of activities.  Local Enterprise Office focuses on small / micro enterprises from pre-start-up to start-ups and growing so we have to cater for the needs and demands of the changing market for businesses of that size.  Local Enterprise Week offers a chance for people to learn and network and is always an enjoyable week.”


Another highlight of the week is a webinar on how to minimise cybersecurity risks for small businesses.  The webinar on Monday, March 4th will be hosted by Cyber Skills Lecturer at MTU, Gillian O’Carroll.


Speaking about Local Enterprise Week 2024, Gillian said; “Cyber Skills at MTU are delighted to be involved in Local Enterprise Week 2024.  Our mission is to improve Ireland’s cybersecurity skills and this is especially important for small and micro enterprises.  Regardless of the size of your business, cybersecurity is a fundamental business risk that deserves attention.  Register for the Cyber Skills Webinar on March 4th at 2.30pm to learn about the steps you can take to minimise the impact of cybersecurity risk on your business.”


Local Enterprise Week has built a profile as a highlight of Cork city’s business calendar in recent years and this year is no different.


Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Kieran McCarthy says he’s looking forward to the week: “There are so many different events on the programme which are very helpful to anyone developing small and micro enterprises.  Such businesses make up the fabric of our city and Local Enterprise Week is a great opportunity to gain advice on any supports and to share challenges and opportunities with peers. It’s a wonderful chance for businesses to connect with each other and to learn from each other.”


There will be online Business Advice Clinics on the opening day of Local Enterprise Week.  Advisors will provide one-to-one consultations and provide guidance on the steps and schemes that may support the growth of a new start-up or an established and growing small business.


There will also be an online webinar on Trading Online Vouchers, a talk on how to plan for export success and a special networking event ahead of International Women’s Day called Swimming Beyond Boundaries. 


Those interested in the impact of climate change and rising energy costs can attend online Green Advice Clinics on the closing day of the week while the week will close out with an event called Resilience for Business Success.


Other events across the week include Partnership & Enterprise, All in a Day’s Work (featuring Lean/Green/Digital supports), a National Spotlight event on future trends and a second one on green and sustainability.


All of the events are free but booking in advance is essential.  For further information on LEO Cork City’s complete programme of events for Local Enterprise Week and to book your place online, visit https://www.localenterprise.ie/CorkCity/Enterprise-Development/Local-Enterprise-Week-2024/