Expert advice on starting a new business in Donegal event held in Kilcar

“Look after your customers well and your business will succeed” - key message

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Expert advice on starting a new business in Donegal event  held in Kilcar

Some of the audience at WestBIC’s “Starting a new business in Donegal” event recently.

“Look after your customers well and your business will succeed” was one of the themes which ran through an invigorating business workshop which took place recently in WestBICs’ Fiontarlann Incubation and Enterprise Centre in Kilcar.

The event “Starting a new business in Donegal” was organised by WestBIC in conjunction with Údarás na Gaeltachta and as a part of LEO Donegal’s Enterprise Week.  

The meeting heard from James Doherty, Drioglann Shliabh Liag in Carrick and the challenges he faced in setting up a new distillery business in the Gaeltacht having moved from Hong Kong to live in Donegal, the home of his family. Another local, Declan Gallagher, founder of Oileán Glas Teo in Kilcar spoke of how he grew the business from small beginnings in 2004 to the present day where 35 people are now employed supplying seaweed fertiliser products to worldwide markets. Local entrepreneur, Domhnall Mac a’ Bháird of MacB Ltd in Cork told of how he started his fasteners and electronic hardware business as a one man operation and grew the business until he at one point employed over 40 people and had a turnover of over €8m. The session was chaired by entrepreneur and co-founder of Oideas Gael, Liam Ó Cuinneagáin – Oideas Gael.

From left to right at WestBIC’s “Starting a new business in Donegal” recent event, standing: Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise, Donegal Local Enterprise Office, Micheal Mac Giolla Easbuig, Regional Manager, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Liam Ó Cuinneagáin, Oideas Gael, Eunan Cunningham, WestBIC. Sitting left to right: Domhnall Mac a’Bháird, MacB Ltd., James Doherty, Drioglann Shliabh Liag Teo, Declan Gallagher, Oileán Glas Teo.

A number of common themes ran through the evening, including the importance of customer care (including face-to-face meetings and building relationships), how to raise finance from investors, banks and sometimes friends and relatives.  All speakers referred to the inevitability of hard work and dedication and the resulting rewards.

Earlier in the evening, Eunan Cunningham from WestBIC welcomed everyone and outlined the services offered by WestBIC to new start-ups. He drew people’s attention to the incubation facilities offered in Fiontarlann and the special offers currently available on office space and desk-space for new start-ups. He also highlighted how start-up capital can be accessed through WestBIC’s HBAN Business Angels Partnership and he stated that in 2016 WestBIC raised over €10m for their clients through private equity, state, EU and other finance sources.

Both Micheal Mac Giolla Easbuig, Regional Manager of Údarás na Gaeltachta and Michael Tunney from Donegal Local Enterprise office were present and outlined that both organisations were available to offer their support to new start-up businesses.

At WestBIC’s “Starting a new business in Donegal” event recently: Declan Gallagher, speaking at the event with  James Doherty, Drioglann Shliabh Liag Teo (far left) and Domhnall Mac a’Bháird, MacB Ltd.

“I hope that tonight’s event will encourage some of those present to start a business in Donegal. All speakers gave encouragement and motivation to anyone who might have aspirations of becoming self-employed. We in WestBIC are always available to discuss innovative ideas with potential entrepreneurs” said Eunan Cunningham, WestBIC, organiser of the evening.

The meeting continued with a networking opportunity after the presentations and those present could speak on a one-to-one basis with speakers and with the state funding bodies that were present.

Picture 1:

From left to right at WestBIC’s “Starting a new business in Donegal” recent event, standing: Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise, Donegal Local Enterprise Office, Micheal Mac Giolla Easbuig, Regional Manager, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Liam Ó Cuinneagáin, Oideas Gael, Eunan Cunningham, WestBIC. Sitting left to right: Domhnall Mac a’Bháird, MacB Ltd., James Doherty, Drioglann Shliabh Liag Teo, Declan Gallagher, Oileán Glas Teo.


Picture 2:

At WestBIC’s “Starting a new business in Donegal” event recently: Declan Gallagher, speaking at the event with  James Doherty, Drioglann Shliabh Liag Teo (far left) and Domhnall Mac a’Bháird, MacB Ltd.


Picture 3:

Some of the audience at WestBIC’s “Starting a new business in Donegal” event recently