Former Dargon's Den mentor Bobby Kerr pictured with members of Edenderry Chamber of Commerce
On Tuesday, November 20, breakfast was buzzing in Edenderry as Bobby Kerr was a keynote speaker at a special morning event at Larkins Bistro hosted by Edenderry Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by AIB and Offaly Local Enterprise Office.
Bobby Kerr is a presenter on Down to Business the popular Newstalk radio business show on Saturday at 10am. He was one of the original Dragons on Dragon’s Den for the first 4 years of the series and continues to be actively involved with the 9 investments he made during the series.
He is former Chairman of Insomnia Coffee Company and is also a popular business, entrepreneurial and motivational speaker. Bobby shared his story and also some valuable insights with assembled guests derived from his experience in business and also his nationwide tours with his show ‘Take Back the High St’ and current show ‘Your town, Your main street’.
Speaking to the gathering, he said “People are living their lives differently. Retail is an important part of a town but there are other factors … it’s about nightlife, it’s about tourism, it’s about students, it’s about culture, it’s about restaurants and much more."
"Analyse what you have, what have we got here in Edenderry, in a positive way, and then instill the commitment of the people for a common vision. It may not be the right vision at first but it is more important that its common and the community works together. I’m really encouraged here this morning and the approach seems absolutely on the money," he continued.
Bobby is passionate about small business. He sat on the board of Microfinance Ireland (MFI) for 3 years. MFI is a not for profit lender that provides loans to small businesses of less than 10 employees with a turnover of less than €2m. Bobby is also a member of the Small Business Advice Programme – a targeted programme set up to provide free advice and support to SMEs.
Christine Traynor, Chairperson of Edenderry Chamber spoke about the Edenderry Chamber of Commerce initiative VISION:2030, commenting, “one of the most important parts of the vision is drawing on the experiences of businesses and individuals, in realising a vision for our Town” she said “we all want to realise the full-potential of our town and we need to be ambitious."
Martin Feely, Business Manager from AIB spoke about AIB backing brave and said they are keen to speak to businesses in Edenderry. He said “we are ready to do business with local enterprises, we are backing brave and helping companies realise their dreams and ambitions…The Chamber and its achievements are cumulated in this morning’s attendance, and it is an inspiration."
Geraldine Beirne from Offaly LEO, said that grants are available for businesses. She said “LEO, Offaly County Council and The Offaly Local Development Company (LEADER) are pro-enterprise and are here to support Edenderry. I can tell you that the Chamber and local businesses will receive all levels of support from us. We are here for Edenderry."
This high-profile event is just one more indication that positive change is in the offing, that Edenderry is on the way back and of a community working together to do the very best they can for their town. A number of other Edenderry Chamber initiatives are on the horizon and membership is growing steadily. A number of sites have been identified for a new hotel and potential investors are being approached with detailed proposals to consider Edenderry as a prime location and gateway to Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands.
Working with the Council, The Chamber are progressing the Edenderry Vision 2030 Masterplan which is an exciting project to build the way for prosperity and together with the Local Enterprise Office, the IDA, Failte Ireland, Leader (Offaly Local Development Company).
The Edenderry Chamber of Commerce breakfast with Bobby on November 20 was another ideal opportunity to view and discuss all of the plans for the town and there is certainly an air of optimism making a welcome return.
To get involved and join up to build a stronger community see www.edenderrychamber.ie for details and membership.