Donegal Local Enterprise Week is up and running

Packed programme with opportunities in food marketing

Donegal Local Enterprise Week is up and running

Guests pictured at the official launch of Enterprise Week on Monday

As part of Local Enterprise Week, which runs until this Friday, food businesses in Donegal can now avail of a unique opportunity to attend a food marketing programme in one of the world’s leading universities.

Local Enterprise Office, (LEO), Donegal is running the programme through St Joseph’s University Philadelphia, where local food businesses will attend a tailored food marketing programme, complemented with in-market store and food business visits in Philadelphia and New York.

Taking place in May, the trip will give Donegal food businesses access to leaders in their field, helping them gain insights and inspiration from international food businesses and experts.

To be eligible for the trip in May, food businesses must first attend an in-depth workshop this Thursday, March 5, led by George Latella, of St Joseph’s University, who is in Donegal for Local Enterprise Week.

Taking place in Castlegrove Country House Hotel, the workshop is part of a series of food events organised by The Food Coast for Local Enterprise Week.

Commenting on the programme, Eve-Anne McCarron, LEO, said: “We’re delighted to have George Latella of St. Joseph’s University with us for Local Enterprise Week. His in-depth workshop will help prepare the selected businesses for the trip to Philadelphia and New York in May.

The objective is to ensure the selected companies have a schedule for work, which they will complete in advance of the trip. George and his team at St Joseph’s University have put together a full schedule of events, so it will be a busy few days, with huge opportunities for businesses to learn things that they can then apply to their own businesses in Donegal.

Those on the trip will take part in academic classes, as well as market visits to both retailers and food manufacturing businesses and distribution centres in Philadelphia and New York, with a view to inspiring them to further develop themselves and their business.”

The Food Coast project is a partnership between the public and private sectors and has been working to make Donegal famous for food since its launch in 2012.

Funding for this trip was secured late last year, when Local Enterprise Office Donegal was awarded €230,375 for the Food Coast Project, helping the initiative to build on the momentum it has gathered to date.

The Philadelphia Here We Come workshop takes place in Castlegrove House Hotel, Letterkenny on Thursday, March 5 from 1.30 – 4pm and includes a light lunch.

Another key food event for Local Enterprise Week is Finding The Right Ingredients, a food marketing event which aims to bring together food businesses, from across different sectors, to consider how they can market their business to connect with the customers in a meaningful way — allowing them to gain the long term benefits of adopting a more strategic approach.

This event also takes place on Thursday, March 5 in the Castle Grove Country House Hotel, Letterkenny, from 10am-1.30pm, where guest speaker George Latella of St Joseph’s University, Philadelphia will be joined by Joseph Doherty, owner of Simply Inish, and Aisling Arnold of Arnold’s Hotel.

Local Enterprise Week Donegal kicked off yesterday with an energetic and exciting leadership event with world-renowned communications’ expert, Gina London, above left.

The international speaker gave an insightful presentation on the importance of having a vision in business to a packed house in the Radisson Hotel.

Three local businesses joined Gina for a panel discussion: John Molloy of Natural Dairies, Martin McElhinney of McElhinney’s Department Store and Keith Moran of SL Controls shared their personal stories of how they scaled their respective businesses.

Head of enterprise Donegal, Michael Tunney pictured with Gina London

On Thursday of Local Enterprise Week, the Local Enterprise Office will bring together all the key funders from both the public and private sector for a finance event, Show Me The Money in An Grianán Hotel, Burt.

Hosted by Lar Burke, this informative and interactive session will guide businesses on where to go when looking for finance. Representatives from Enterprise Ireland, Údarás na Gaeltachta, LEADER, Allied Irish Bank, Bank of Ireland, WestBic and Halo Business Angel Network will all be in attendance.

Leadership Lessons From Sport takes place in The Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny this Friday.

Closing Local Enterprise Week 2020 is a conference around leadership lessons from sport. Kilkenny hurling legend Brian Cody will join Arlene Boyles and Martin McHugh to share some of the secrets and sacrifices that made them champions in their field and discuss the parallels their leadership, sporting approach and achievements have with the business

All Local Enterprise Week events are free to attend, but some events have already booked-up so early booking is advised. For a full list of events for this year’s Local Enterprise Week and to book, visit or call the Donegal Local Enterprise Office on (074) 916 0735. For more information on The Food Coast visit:

Local Enterprise Office Donegal is supported through co-funding from the Irish Government and the European Regional Development Fund 2014 – 2020.

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