FOURTEEN budding entrepreneurs were praised for their courage and enthusiasm in taking the leap to set up their own business, following the completion of six month business development programme.
The Business Development programme, which is funded by FAS and sponsored by Offaly Local Development company, aims to assist people with business development and management skills and offers a variety of business related skills.
Carmel Ormond welcomed everyone to the presentation ceremony, held in Millennium house, Tullamore on Monday morning as she outlined the details and objectives of this specialised Community Employment scheme.
Brendan O’Loughlin, CEO of Offaly Local Development Company, noted that it was the 28th time this business programme had been run since its inception in late 1997. Addressing the programme participants, Mr O’Loughlin explained that it was all about the participants and the confidence that it took to undertake this programme.
He complimented the participants on the variety of businesses put forward during the programme as well as their enthusiasm in undertaking the 26 week programme. “It is fantastic to see people with the courage and the drive to set up their own business in these economic times,” he added.
Congratulating all the participants, the CEO re-assured the entrepreneurs that OLDC would continue to support them in their future endeavours as well as a helping a new group of programme participants.
Laois/Offaly TD, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy also added her congratulations to the participants. Having met the group previously, the Fine Gael deputy was delighted to see the group “moving onto the next stage”. “It is a fantastically courageous thing to do this,” the TD enthused as she pointed out the importance of such business development programmes.
“This is a huge step and I wish you the very best of luck. In difficult times, we often have to fall back on our own resources.”
The 14 participants were then presented with their certificates of completion - Martin O’Dowd (KSC Paving and Gardening Services), Eamon O’Connor (OCMS), Trish O’Neill (Forever Living Products), Enda Doolin (Doolin Windows & Doors), Robert Heavin (building, carpentry and maintenance), Joelene Minogue of JM Technical Training, John Lawlor (gardening services), Lavinus Devine (tyres and light repairs), Bill D’Alton (health and safety advice), Sean McCann (Central PVC), Teresa O’Connell (Happy Paws Grooming), Fergus Dunne (Pigs of the Green), Dean Guidera (Tiling and Flooring) and Robert Dickinson (pest control business).