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Review of Local Enterprise Week 2020: 5ive Global wins Longford Enterprise Award

Longford Leader reporter

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A fledgling education delivery firm, 5ive Global, run by Vincent English of Vernier Europe Ltd is this year’s winner of the Longford Enterprise Award, picking up the award at a County Final presentation held in Nine Arches Restaurant, Ballymahon.

5ive Global is a consortium of international universities, colleges and football clubs offering specialist blended leaning qualifications to students all over the world.

It will be anchored in Longford Town, offer unique courses up to MBA level and compete for students in that blended delivery space.

Other small businesses recognised at the event included Dial-A-Chef, Ballinamuck, Midland Lighting and Droplink, both from Ballymahon.

Dial-A-Chef are a leading contract and events caterer based in Ballinamuck employing eighteen staff. Midland Lighting are suppliers of premium LED products for industrial, commercial, agri-business and retail sectors, while Droplink, offer complete logistics solutions with warehousing, transport, supply chain management and pick and pack order fulfilment services, from their depot in Ballymahon. 

5ive Global will now go forward to compete against finalists from every local authority area for a share of the €40,000 prize representing Longford in the ‘Future Focus’ awards category.

The Enterprise Awards was a highlight event in a very successful Local Enterprise Week programme of events, with over 300 events taking place across the country, run by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices from March 2 to 6. 

Other events that took place in Longford included a Greening Your Business Seminar with well-known TV personality Duncan Stuart, the launch of a Going Green Programme to support micro-enterprises to implement Green actions, and a Jobs Fair held in association with Longford INTREO.  The week concluded with a Women in Business Networking event where guest speaker was Niamh S. Barry of the Fairy Door Company.

Over 25 individual Business Advice clinics were also delivered during the week.

Reflecting on the week Michael Nevin, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Longford emphasised that the value of small firms to our local economy cannot be overstated. He added that ‘ it is important to keep promoting enterprise and entrepreneurship and to profile success among small firms as they are the job creators and the wealth creators that help to keep our economy going’. 

Commenting on the impending crisis around the COVID -19 virus and potential impact on small firms he believes that the current health crisis will be very damaging to the small firm’s sector and many small businesses will face a fight to survive. He advised all small business owners to seek help from all available quarters including the local LEO office. While many small firms particularly those in the hospitality area will have to close completely for a period of time, cashflow will be a serious issue for those that remain trading and supports from banks and government agencies will hopefully help to see them through the crisis. 

The business climate is very uncertain as we speak, and potential supports are only starting to take shape so business people should monitor the Department of Enterprise website and press releases for announcements around new supports. www.dbei.gov.ie 


Greening Your Business and Duncan Stewart launches new Going Green initiative

Award-winning architect and television producer, Duncan Stewart led our Greening Your Business event. Mr Stewart, a leading Irish advocate for environmental issues, as well as a supporter of local businesses, was joined by Maria Kelleher of Goodness Grains and Roy Davis of Super Valu, Longford who represented local businesses in the discussion on climate change and the environment. 

Ms Kelleher and Mr Davis spoke about the work they had done to improve the environmental impact of their companies and how such work provided a beneficial return-on-investment.  

Michael Nevin, Head of Enterprise, Longford Local Enterprise Office introduced a Going Green Programme, a new LEO-led initiative for the four midland counties that will offer 32 micro-businesses across the midlands a €5000 grant to drive environmental changes in their business. Further details on the initiative will be available on the LEO website shortly. 

Longford jobs fair proves to be huge success during Local Enterprise Week

Longford Jobs Fair organised by Local Enterprise Office Longford in association with Longford INTREO took place on Thursday, March 5 as part of Local Enterprise Week and Jobs Week. Temperance Hall was a hive of activity with local businesses and employment support agencies coming together to showcase what is on offer to the over 500 jobseekers in attendance.

Key employers at the event included Center Parcs, Tool & Plastic, Pat the Baker, Avery Dennison, Goodness Grains, and Framespace Solutions, as well as Enterprise Award finalists Droplink, with jobs on offer in areas including engineering, research and development, quality and sales, as well as general operatives and driver roles. The event attracted attendants from across the midlands, bringing people into Longford for employment and showcasing the diversity of businesses and job roles available to jobseekers. 

Women Making it Happen

Leitrim, Longford and Westmeath Local Enterprise Offices came together to draw Local Enterprise Week to a close in the Mullingar Park Hotel and celebrate International Women’s Day with talks and networking amongst inspirational business women of the midlands. Niamh S Barry of the Fairy Door Company gave an inspirational talk on setting up her business in the face of adversity and offered advice on how to deal with challenges as they arise.

Business Advice, Marketing and Website Clinics

The Longford Leo office continued to roll out business-focused mentoring clinics to individual business owners during Enterprise Week. These clinics cover all business functions and are designed to offer practical advice and guidance to local entrepreneurs and start-ups. The LEO office has access to an experienced and knowledgeable business mentoring panel who are available to meet with local entrepreneurs at short notice to help address current issues or set plans for the future. Anyone looking to avail of training or mentoring support should contact Anna Lane in the local Enterprise Office on alane@leo.longfordcoco.ie or 043 3343349.


Local Enterprise Week is organised every year by the Local Enterprise Offices and supported by Enterprise Ireland, local authorities and the Government of Ireland.                                                                   

For all information around the County Enterprise Awards or Local Enterprise Week, please contact Longford Local Enterprise Office by phone: 043 334334, email: info@leo.longfordcoco.ie or call into us at Longford County Council, Áras an Contae, Great Water Street, Longford

Droplink

In 2015, John Byrne and Olive McKeogh purchased T & M McCormack, a haulage business in Ballymahon. Both Olive and John identified an opportunity to develop the business and grow to a larger scale. Since 2015, they have grown the workforce from 12 employees to 39 in 2019. They have also undertaken a rebranding campaign and are now trading as Droplink, offering a complete logistics solution.  

Under this new brand Droplink is a complete logistics solutions company offering additional services to all their customers.  Warehousing, Transport, Supply Chain Management along with a Pick and Pack Order Fulfilment 

W: droplink.ie Tel: 09064 322045 E: john@droplink.ie

Dial A Chef / Eat Smart Meal Plans

Established by Eilish McLoughlin, Dial A Chef is a leading contract and event caterer based in Ballinamuck.  Eilish, a qualified chef herself with over 30 years’ experience in the food industry, has successfully grown a home-cooked food operation started in her own kitchen into a significant business operation from a dedicated food grade facility in Ballinamuck.

Eilish leads a team of 18 staff and is continually developing and growing the business.  Alongside this business Eilish is now in the process of setting up an online business, Eat Smart Food Plans, specialising in the preparation and supply of nutritionally balanced prepared meals for the time limited, health conscious consumer.

W: dialachef.ie Tel: 043 3324816 E: eilish@dialachef.ie


Midland Lighting

Established by Michael Delaney, Midland Lighting are suppliers of premium LED products for Industrial, Commercial, Agri Business & Retail Sectors.  Midland Lighting pride themselves on offering a client focussed solution supplying high end quality products. Michael attributes much of his success to his policy of customer first.  He started the business over 12 years ago supplying the local market and since then has built up a nationwide customer base by building on a strong reputation for quality and value for money.  Midland Lighting have adapted their services to target niche markets and maintain a flexibility that allows them to adjust quickly to changing markets.  

W: midlandlighting.ie Tel: 087 7927512 E: michael@midlandlighting.ie

Vernier / 5ive Global

Founded by Professor Vincent English along with four others, 5ive Global is a supplier of online and blended degrees from bachelor, master and doctoral level to the business and sports industries. The degrees are prestigious and highly valued in their respective industries. Their flagship degree is the Doctor of Business Administration that has been running successfully for two years educating students from across the UK, Germany, Austria, Italy, Australia, USA and Nigeria.  Four new MBA degrees will launch in September in association with Leeds United Football Club and Sheffield Football Club. The degrees will focus on football industries and will be the first of their kind in the world. For example, MBAs in Professional Football Agent, Professional Football Scout, and Football CEO. 5ive Global work with professionals within the clubs and well-known professionals working outside the clubs for programme content. For example, John Viola, one of Football’s leading agents teaches and holds workshops for the Football Agent MBA. 

Vincent has established an authorised remote campus in Longford for the Italian Uninettuno University.  

W: www.5professional.com   Tel: 043 3341980 E: info@5iveglobal.com