- Bank of Ireland Enterprise Towns to double in 2016 – 100 Communities Nationwide and 12,000 organisations to participate this year
- Organised by Ireland’s largest lender, Enterprise Town events give economic boost to local communities
Pictured at Bank of Ireland Enterprise Town Thurles is David Merriman, Head of Enterprise Development at Bank of Ireland with Patrick Lambe, owner of The Green Sheep, local artisan foodstore in the town.
Tuesday 15th March, 2016: Bank of Ireland today announced that it is investing in excess of €1 million in its Enterprise Town initiative in 2016. Following the success of the Enterprise Town Programme in 2015, which involved 50 communities across the country, Bank of Ireland has confirmed that 100 Enterprise Town events will take place nationwide this year.
The Bank of Ireland Enterprise Town programme aims to bring local businesses, education, sports and cultural organisations together, boosting the participating town’s economic activity. Over 600 Bank of Ireland staff are involved in supporting the initiative, with 7,000 businesses, almost 4,000 sports and community groups, and some 200 first and second level schools expected to participate. Over the course of the year it is estimated over 56,000 ‘connections’ will be facilitated through the Enterprise Town initiative, with the aim that as many of these connections as possible will lead to increased business activity for the towns taking part.
For each Bank of Ireland Enterprise Town a bespoke schedule of events is developed by a local committee including residents, local businesses and local organisations. This programme of events runs over two days and includes business, sports and community expos, participation from local schools, and a broad range of family friendly activities. Each Enterprise Town will also undertake a fundraising drive for a local cause with donations up to €1,000 being matched by Bank of Ireland through its ‘Give Together’ charity initiative.
In addition to supporting each town with funding, charitable donations, event organisation, business mentoring and supporting each local Enterprise Town Organising Committee, Bank of Ireland also provides high profile guest speakers – including Gavin Duffy, Rachel Allen, Mickey Harte, John Giles and Henry Shefflin – for many of the events. These speakers address topics such as business success, teamwork, motivation and leadership.
Speaking at the launch of the 2016 Enterprise Town programme, David Merriman, Head of Enterprise Development, Bank of Ireland said, “The feedback from communities involved in this programme since it was first piloted in 2013 has been overwhelmingly positive. This is why we are continuing to grow the initiative, doubling our numbers for the coming year. It takes a community to build a community, and through Enterprise Town local residents work collaboratively to produce an event that connects businesses, social and sports clubs, schools and organisations in one location, often for the first time.”
“As Ireland’s largest lender, and with 250 branches nationwide, Bank of Ireland is a core part of the communities we serve. Through our Enterprise Town programme we want to invigorate and re-energise communities, showcasing what is on offer in these towns and supporting economic growth and development. We are delighted to be able to double the programme for the coming year.”
The first of this year’s Enterprise Town events took place over the weekend in Killorglin, Co. Kerry, and Thurles, Co. Tipperary with the first Enterprise Campus taking place at University College Cork. To see the full schedule of activity for Enterprise Town 2016 visit www.bankofireland.com/business or download our Let’s Connect app.
Note to Editors:
Bank of Ireland Enterprise Programme
The Enterprise Town initiative is part of Bank of Ireland’s overall Enterprise programme, which incorporates bi annual National Enterprise Weeks in May and November each year, the Bank’s Enterprise Lounges and Workbenches that provide free work and meeting space for entrepreneurs, and many more sector specific seminars and outreach programmes throughout the year.