Bank of Ireland “Ireland’s Enterprise Bank” supports SMEs as its tenth National Enterprise Week launches nationwide

Bank of Ireland “Ireland’s Enterprise Bank” supports SMEs as its tenth National Enterprise Week launches nationwide

Bank of Ireland today, (28th April 2014) announced the launch of its tenth National Enterprise Week which will run from Friday, 16th May until Friday, 23rd May 2014. Themed “Enabling Enterprise“ the Bank will focus on supporting Ireland’s SMEs, Start-ups and the Agri sector to help foster business growth and development in the Irish economy.

SME and Start-ups

Each week across the Bank’s branch network its business advisors hold over 2,000 SME meetings with its 150,000 small business customer base. The Bank receives over 1,000 credit applications per week with an 85% approval rate and is providing over 50% of the non-property lending to the SME market. Last year Bank of Ireland approved €4 billion in new and increased SME lending and it plans to release c.€33 billion in gross lending into the Irish economy between 2013 and 2017 which includes €12 billion in lending approvals to SME customers. Supporting business start-ups is a key focus for the Bank and last year alone it opened over 28,000 new business customer accounts with over 50% of these accounts being opened for start-up companies.

Commenting Gerry Prizeman, Head of Enterprise Development, Bank of Ireland said: “Supporting Ireland’s SME and Start-up enterprises’ is a key priority for us. This is our tenth Enterprise Week and each year we add more events and look at the different ways we can better support businesses.  We have a number of free events taking place throughout the country and across Donegal to support businesses. Our Show Your Business pop-up events in our branches are a fantastic platform for companies to meet prospective customers and highlight their business. Over 3,000 businesses showcased their products and services during our enterprise weeks last year which shows what a valuable resource it is for businesses”.

Dairy expansion fund

The milk quota removal is the first real opportunity for the dairy sector to grow in 30 years. Food Harvest 2020 forecasts a 50 per cent increase in milk production by 2020 and Bank of Ireland is keen to support Ireland’s farmers who wish to expand their existing dairy business or to diversify their current farm and enter the sector for the first time. Bank of Ireland is encouraging all farmers who are considering expanding or entering the dairy sector to seek advice through the many platforms available including visiting an existing dairy farm that operates at high standards and engaging with local dairy discussion groups.

Gerry continued We want to help farmers make the right decisions for themselves, their families and their businesses. The removal of the milk quota provides a significant opportunity and therefore deserves the time and effort required to take full advantage of it over the coming years.  To further support Ireland’s farmers we have a range of activities taking place during Enterprise Week and throughout the year, including a major dairy conference in Fermoy, Co. Cork on Thursday, 1st May. We’ll also be hosting agri clinics and mart visits. I encourage all farmers who are considering expanding their existing dairy business or entering the sector for the first time to come and speak to us. We are here to support farmers and want to help the industry to grow following the removal of the milk quota. Now is the right time for farmers to develop their business and we are here to help.”

Show Your Business – Branch pop-up shops

The local branch will be acting as a pop-up shop for customers throughout the week, giving businesses the opportunity to promote and sell their product or service within the branch. Customers can contact their local branch or log on to and become one of the thousands who have successfully taken part in previous National Enterprise Week’s Show Your Business activity.

Credit Clinics

Free credit clinics for small and micro businesses as well as Agri credit clinics will again be running throughout the week. Business start-ups and early stage businesses will receive advice on how to write a solid business plan, manage working capital, and understand cash flow and financial projections.

Economics & Enterprise’ breakfast seminars

Every enterprise needs to understand the economies in which they operate. Dr Loretta O’Sullivan Bank of Ireland’s new chief economist will give local business owners and entrepreneurs an insight into how domestic and global economics impact on their region. Loretta will provide an update on local, national and global economic issues and how they impact on SMEs at a series of breakfasts in five locations during National Enterprise Week with views and insights from a local entrepreneur and advice from a Bank of Ireland regional manager. Events will take place in the following locations:

Dublin ‘Economics & Enterprise’ breakfast seminar

When: Thursday, 15th May from 8:00am to 10:00am

Where:  Bank of Ireland, House of Lords, College Green, Dublin 2

Speakers: Dr Loretta O’Sullivan, chief economist, Bank of Ireland

Tánaiste, Eamonn Gilmore

Justin Keating, Founder, Version 1

Mullingar ‘Economics and Enterprise’ breakfast Seminar

When: Tuesday, 20th May from 8:00am to 10:00am

Where: Mullingar Park Hotel

Speakers: Dr Loretta O’Sullivan, chief economist, Bank of Ireland

Breon Corcoran, CEO, Betfair

Carlow ‘Economic & Enterprise’ Breakfast Seminar

When: Wednesday, 21st May 2014 from 8:00 am to 10:00am

Where: Woodford Dolmen Hotel

Key Speakers: Dr Loretta O’Sullivan, chief economist, Bank of Ireland

Phil Hogan, Minister for Environment

Michael Kelly, Integrated Communications

Limerick ‘Economics & Enterprise’ breakfast seminars

Where:Thomond Park

When: Friday, 23rd May from 8:00am to 10:00am

Speakers: Dr Loretta O’Sullivan, chief economist, Bank of Ireland

Michael Noonan, Minster for Finance

Dr Kieran Curran, GenCell Biosystems Ltd

Waterford ‘Economics & Enterprise’ Breakfast Seminar

When: Thursday, 22 May 2014 from 8:00am to 10.00am

Where: Tower Hotel Waterford

Speakers: Dr Loretta O’Sullivan, chief economist, Bank of Ireland

Sean Quish, Owner of SuperValu Tramore

Social Media Clinics

As official partner of Twitter and Facebook in Ireland for small business, we want to help businesses to interact with their customers. Social Media is an increasingly popular way for businesses to engage with their customers and suppliers and to reach out to new customers and suppliers through social media platforms.  We will hold social media clinics across the country with key social media experts.  Our social media clinics will take place in the following locations:

Social Media Clinics

Naas Social Media Clinic

When:  Friday, 23rd May from 8:00am to 10:00am

Where: Palmerstown House, Johnstown

Speakers: Brian Lavery, Twitter

Sligo Social Media Clinic

When: Wednesday, 28th May from 8.00am to 10:00am

Where: Radisson Hotel, Sligo

Guest Speaker: Aileen O’Toole, Social Media Expert

Wexford Social Media Clinic

When:  Friday, 30th May from 8.00am to 10:00am

Where: Talbot Hotel

Speakers: Aileen O’ Toole, Social Media Expert

Agri Marts

We will also be attending a number of marts over the course of May providing advice and support to the agricultural community. Agriculture is a key sector in the Irish economy and the Bank is investing in the sector, providing expertise on the ground through our Agriculture Development Managers, attending local marts, providing agri credit clinics and our on-going association with the National Ploughing Championships.

“We are striving to be “Ireland’s Enterprise Bank” and are here to support businesses and farmers as they look to grow and develop their businesses. During Enterprise Week we firmly focus on Ireland’s businesses, it is the ideal opportunity for them” concluded to Gerry Prizeman.

Cork Agri Conference

Theme:   ‘Supporting the Agri sector- ‘2020 Vision- Opportunities in the Diary and Agri Food industries: Irish Agri Enterprise at its best’

Where:Corrin Mart, Rathcormac, Fermoy, Co.Cork

When:Thursday, 1st May at 7.30pm to 10.00pm

Speakers: Richie Boucher, CEO, Bank of Ireland

Valerie Kingston- Owner, Glenilen Farm

Jim Woulfe, Managing Director Dairygold

Jack Kennedy, Dairy Editor, Irish Farmers Journal