Enterprise contest to help new Carrick firms get off the ground

An enterprise competition that will train and mentor people with ideas to start new businesses in Carrick-on-Suir and award a generous package of services and supports to the overall winner will be launched later this week.

An enterprise competition that will train and mentor people with ideas to start new businesses in Carrick-on-Suir and award a generous package of services and supports to the overall winner will be launched later this week.

Details of the South Tipperary Development Company’s Local Enterprise Competition will be unveiled at the second Carrick-on-Suir Economic Forum called “The Future of our Town”.

The Forum will take place in The Carraig Hotel this Friday.

The competition will be similar to one currently being run in Tipperary Town where 15 new start-up companies are undergoing training and business mentoring to get their enterprises off the ground.

South Tipperary Development Company (STDC) will facilitate and fund the competition and the training course and mentoring for the participating entrepreneurs will be provided by a company has appointed called Dolman.

Don Davern of Dolman gave a presentation on the enterprise competition to the elected members of South Tipperary Co. Council at their May meeting.

Councillors unanimously welcomed the competition.

Mr Davern said the company had been in discussions with Carrick-on-Suir Business Association and Carrick-on-Suir Development Association and was delighted to accept their support for the contest.

He explained that Dolman planned to run an enterprise competition in Carrick-on-Suir similar to one taking place in Tipperary Town at the moment.

The Tipperary Town enterprise competition was initially open to 10 people with ideas to start their own business but such was the strength of the entries that they expanded the competition to 15 participants.

The new start-up companies ranged from organic baby food to on-line tutorials and turning chip fat oil into home heating.

Participants ranged from a person with a Phd to a mechanic.

The Tipperary Town contest is now reaching its final stage.

The prize for the overall winner will be a package of services and supports worth about E50,000, including a business premises for a year.

Mr Davern said there has been a “fantastic” reception so far to the proposed enterprise competition in Carrick-on-Suir.

In response to councillors questions, Mr Davern said they were looking for good ideas for new companies from unemployed or under employed people. Entrants need to be over the age of 18 and their business must not compete with any other business in Carrick-on-Suir.

While entrants don’t have to live in Carrick-on-Suir their business must be based there.

The competition isn’t open to existing business owners with a new enterprise idea.

As with the Tipperary Town Local Enterprise Competition, the number of entrants accepted will depend on the strength of the business ideas they are proposing to develop.

Mr Davern told The Nationalist that the training they will provide to the entrepreneurs, whose application are accepted will focus on teaching them to fully evaluate the strength of their business idea and to understand all the elements of running that business.

“The one thing that destroys a start-up company is unexpected costs. Understanding what it costs to run your company is vital,” he said.

“Anyone going looking for financial support can only go to the well once to get funding.

“You can’t go back later looking for another E5000 for something you hadn’t fore seen.

“It’s really about taking as much of the guess work out of it as you can, and the only way to do that is by knowing the business.

“The enterprise competition has been an extremely positive experience in Tipperary Town and I hope that will be replicated in Carrick-on-Suir,” he added.

South Tipperary Development Company also plans to roll out a Local Enterprise Competition for new start up firms in Clonmel later this summer.

Mr Davern said they were proceeding with the Carrick-on-Suir competition before introducing it to Clonmel because they felt the smaller town deserved the attention.

Details on how to enter the Local Enterprise. along with the closing date for entries will be announced at the Economic Forum on Friday.

According to Mr Davern, the winning Carrick-on-Suir start-up company will be selected in December.