West Cork Retains Title as Ireland’s Capital of Food
Twelve food entrepreneurs have been chosen to partake in a brand new Start your Own Food Business programme funded and run by the West Cork Enterprise Board. The course which takes place over six months will provide participants with the knowledge and expertise to progress their early food business ideas and develop new and innovative products which will add value to the local economy.
The six month programme will see participants from a variety of professional backgrounds partake in specially designed training workshops as well as receiving mentoring from two of Ireland’s top food and retails consultants, programme managers, James Burke and Yvonne Scully. Participants will also be teamed with a “Big Brother/Sister” established business in the region who will offer extra advice and guidance on the challenges of starting a food business. Training workshops will cover validating your business idea, market analysis and research, branding and packaging, and route to market.
Start up businesses range from dessert treats to cream cheeses and salsas as well as specialised foods for specific dietary requirements. The course will run in to November with each start up aiming to have a fully branded product ready for roll out to local shops and supermarkets throughout the country by completion.
Speaking of the course, Michael Hanley, CEO, West Cork Enterprise Board said, “demand for this programme has been extremely strong with a high number of applications. We originally had space for just ten but due to the calibre of applicants we decided to accept twelve on the course. Many of the participants are completely new to the food business, coming from backgrounds as varied as forensic science, and show jumping, and of different nationalities, proving that West Cork continues to be a melting pot of fresh ideas. By the end of the course I am confident that each of them will go on to showcase their products to a larger marketplace and create employment in the region.”
He continued, “By focusing on their strategic business plans and continuing to innovate, food businesses can harness the distinct competitive advantage which tailor-made professional development programmes such as this can offer.”
Also speaking of the course, programme manager James Burke said, “After the six month course I expect to see our course participants preparing to launch their branded products onto the Irish market and generate employment in West Cork as a result. Such a programme gives food entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from each others experiences and develop strong brands within a period of time that would have otherwise taken much longer without the support of the West Cork Enterprise Board and local mentor companies”.
Note to Editor;
County & City Enterprise Boards are Funded under Ireland's EU Structural Funds Programme 2007-2013 with funding from the Exchequer and the European Regional Development Fund.