Local businesses target international buyers

The network of Local Enterprise Offices has unveiled 97 different design and craft businesses, including local businesses, aiming to impress 5,000 buyers visiting the ‘Enterprise Zone’ at Showcase in Dublin later this month.

  The small craft and design businesses, representing 22 counties around Ireland, have all been supported by their Local Enterprise Office, making it possible for them to sell to international retail buyers from more than twenty countries such as the US, France, Japan, China and Italy.

  Roscommon will be represented by three craft and design businesses within the Enterprise Zone, which include: Patricia O’Flaherty, Naomh Padraig Handcrafts, Cloonshee, Strokestown; Vera Gaffney, Limited Edition Prints, Boyle; and Ethel Kelly, Ogham Wishes & Bog Buddies, Knockcroghery. Also from Roscommon with a display in the main hall is David Knight, Willow Design & Publishing Limited, Boyle.

  Showcase at the RDS runs from January 24th to 27th and is the first major trade event of the year, organised by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland and promoted internationally by Enterprise Ireland. The dedicated Enterprise Zone on the balcony area, co-ordinated by the Local Enterprise Offices, has become known as the home for emerging designers and craftspeople in recent years.

  A wide range of creative sectors will be represented within the Enterprise Zone this month, such as ceramics, knitwear, jewellery, interiors, skincare and giftware. Louise Ward from Local Enterprise Office Roscommon said: “Thanks to practical business supports through the Local Enterprise Office in the Local Authority, our local craft and design businesses are well-placed to secure substantial international orders during the four days of Showcase, helping them grow and expand into new markets.”

  She added, “On a year-round basis, there are lots of other supports available to the craft and design sector locally. These include financial assistance, microfinance loans, trading online vouchers, mentoring, business advice clinics and training programmes, which are all available through the Local Enterprise Office.”

  The Enterprise Zone is located along the balcony area of the RDS Main Hall at Showcase, which is open to trade buyers from Sunday, January 24th to Wednesday, January 27th. Further information around the Enterprise Zone at Showcase is available through www.showcaseireland.com and www.localenterprise.ie.