The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2015-2017 is funded by the Irish Government and co-funded by the European Social Fund and includes a special allocation under the Youth Employment Initiative
The importance for new small businesses in maintaining links with key service providers was stressed at a networking event hosted by South Kerry Development Partnership in Killorglin recently. The event was aimed at giving businesses, started up through assistance under the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance programme, the chance to meet with other entrepreneurs and to find out what potential additional supports were available to them.
SKDP Enterprise Officer Anne O’Riordan congratulated all of those present on having the courage to set up in business for themselves. “There seems to be a renewed vibrancy again in the economy and these new businesses will hopefully benefit from that” Anne said. She highlighted the importance for these new businesses in linking in with all of the services available through SKDP and added that where SKDP cannot assist them, they will be referred on to the appropriate service provider to ensure they get the best possible assistance.
Other speakers at the event included Suzanne Ennis from the Tralee/Killorglin Credit Union who outlined the services credit unions offer to small businesses and highlighted that as members, these businesses were in fact shareholders in the Credit Union also. Heidi Grimwood of TOA Digital Marketing stressed the importance of having a proper on-line presence for small business owners. She also noted the importance of using more direct methods of communication with customers such as e-mails as these go directly to the person’s personal mail box and thus can communicate your message more directly.
Tracey Teahan of South Kerry Skillnets outlined the opportunities for small business owners to avail of reduced cost training for both themselves and their staff through the Skillnets initiative. “This training can help to greatly improve the skillset and the efficiency of small businesses” Tracey pointed out, adding that the reduced costs meant that it was possible for all small business owners to access such training in a very cost effective manner.
SKDP Enterprise Officer Joanne Griffin advised those in attendance of both the Enterprise Support grant and the South Kerry Development Partnership Capital Grant that are available to businesses started up with support through the BTWEA programme and SICAP funding. “These grants are only available to businesses while they are on the scheme so I would encourage all of you to plan for the future and help ensure your success through applying for the assistance available through utilising these grants” Joanne said.