The Local Enterprise Offices have launched their programme for Local Enterprise Week, which will consist of over 220 virtual and physical events nationwide from March 7 to 11.

Companies have been urged to take advantage of Local Enterprise Week events across the country after what has been a turbulent couple of years for small businesses.

The events are open to both entrepreneurs and established businesses.

They give them the opportunity to get expert advice on key areas of business from financial skills, raising finance, exporting and boosting your business online to future trends such as sustainability and digitalisation.

Events are being run by each of the 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the county, supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Local Authorities, and they are free to attend.

12 free National Spotlight events will also take place online and are open to everyone across the country. Some of the topics include "Future Proofing Your Small Business", "Internationalising Your Business", "Going Green" and "Show Me The Money".

Tánaiste and Minster for Enterprise, Trade and Employment,Leo Varadkar said businesses have largely been preoccupied with dealing with the urgent and unexpected over the past two years due to Covid and Brexit.

"This year's Local Enterprise Week is a fantastic opportunity to look forward and plan for a more predictable future. There's a really interesting programme of events with some really practical sessions to help take your business to the next stage or help with a problem you are facing," Mr Varadkar said.

"I'm particularly happy to see the events planned in new areas such as sustainability and digitalisation. There is something for everyone and every business at Local Enterprise Week so I would encourage all business owners to check out what's on and use this opportunity to reflect and plan," he added.

The Chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices, Padraic McElwee, said Local Enterprise Week offers the perfect opportunity for small businesses to dip their toe in the water of areas where they may have little or no knowledge.

"Local Enterprise Week is the perfect opportunity for small businesses to analyse their position and set a course for the future. Following two years of change, small businesses will hopefully have a sustained period of stability to plan and to grow," Mr McElwee said.

He also said that a new wave of entrepreneurs stemming from the pandemic will have great ideas for a business or want to create a business that better suits a new life balance.

"Local Enterprise Week will have an event for all these people and a chance to link in with their Local Enterprise Office to see how they can be supported in the future," he stated.

12 National Spotlight Events (Online & Free to attend)

Monday March 7

9:30am-10:45am – Drive Growth by Digitising Your Business (Hosted by LEO Dublin City)

2:00pm-3:30pm – Food: Consumer Trends for 2022 (Hosted by LEO Limerick)

7:00pm-8:45pm – Retail: Adapting and Innovating in an ever-changing trading environment (Hosted by LEO Louth)

Tuesday March 8

10:00am-12noon – Internationalising Your Business (Hosted by LEO South Dublin)

2:00pm-4:00pm – From Good to Great: Using Lean for a Competitive Edge (Hosted by LEO Kildare)

Wednesday March 9

9:00am-11:00am – Going Green: Small Steps, Big Impact (Hosted by LEO Cork N&W)

11:00am -12:30pm – Agile Ambition: Funding for Innovation (Hosted by LEO Galway)

2:00pm-4:00pm – Intellectual Property: First Steps in Protecting Your Business (Hosted by LEO Donegal, Sligo & Leitrim, New Frontiers and EEN)

Thursday March 10

9:30am-12:30pm – Future Proofing Your Small Business using Smart Tech Tools (Hosted by LEO Wicklow)

2:00pm-4:00pm – Social Media Mashup: Future Opportunities for your Business (Hosted by LEO Waterford)

Friday March 11

11:00am-12:00noon – Boost Your Business Online: How to stand out from the crowd (LEO Clare)

2:00pm-3:45pm – Show Me The Money: How to raise finance for your business (LEO Fingal)