A new green enterprise support has been launched today to mark the beginning of Local Enterprise Week, which runs from March 1 to March 5.

The Green for Micro programme is an initiative from the Local Enterprise Offices with support from Enterprise Ireland.

It is being rolled-out nationwide to help prepare small businesses for the low carbon, more resource efficient economy of the future.

With the help of a green consultant, small businesses with up to ten employees can get free advice and technical support on resource efficiency, how to better understand their carbon footprint.

They will also get advice on how to implement an environmental management system to reduce costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Organised by the Local Enterprise Offices and supported by Enterprise Ireland and the local authorities, "Making It Happen" is the theme for Local Enterprise Week. 

Virtual events include information webinars, online networking and masterclasses with entrepreneurs and experts, designed to help those looking to start, grow or pivot their business in 2021.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment launched Green for Micro on the first day of Local Enterprise Week as part of a "Spotlight" event today, organised by Local Enterprise Office Dublin City. 

Leo Varadkar said he knows the past year has felt like constant firefighting for many businesses, and he hopes this week is an opportunity to take a bit of time out, to reflect, network and grow. 

He said that Local Enterprise Offices across the country are always there to help no matter what challenge a business is facing. 

The Minister said the new "Green for Micro" initiative is designed to helping small businesses decarbonise and become more sustainable.

"Making your business more sustainable is not just the right thing to do from an environmental point of view, it also makes good business sense," Mr Varadkar said.

Padraic McElwee, Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices, said that because of Covid-19 restrictions, more than 200 events are moving online for Local Enterprise Week and as a result, it is making events as accessible as possible. 

"Local Enterprise Week is the ideal time for business owners and those thinking of starting a business to find out what supports and programmes can help them face the challenges ahead,"Mr McElwee said. 

"From existing schemes, like the Trading Online Voucher or Brexit Mentoring to new programmes, like Green for Micro, there is a whole suite of training, mentoring and financial supports that we're encouraging small businesses to sign up for," he added.