Social investment + development opportunities = economic benefits
Shell E&P Ireland Limited (SEPIL) successfully hosted its third annual Erris Enterprise Week in October. This year’s agenda focused on providing advice to local businesses on procurement and tendering, online trading and future digital opportunities. The support sessions which were also open to sporting groups and charities active in Erris, is a key element in Shell’s social investment programme which addresses the needs of the community around three key themes; Enterprise, Community Development and Safety.
Interest and attendance has grown year on year and specialists from Intertrade Ireland and the DCENR made the trip to Belmullet to speak with, inform and encourage local businesses.
At the launch of Erris Enterprise Week SEPIL also announced it would invest €750,000 in a 132Km high capacity fibre broadband in partnership with the State. In effect broadband capacity along the route from Bellanaboy in North Mayo to Athenry in Co. Galway will be made available to the DCENR and third party providers through a tender process for the potential benefit of residents and businesses in towns along the route.
A session held during Enterprise Week on future digital opportunities explained what the impacts of the broadband announcement would have for businesses and their development.
Speaking in Belmullet, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, T.D., said “I am delighted to launch Shell’s Enterprise Week, which is bringing local SMEs and start-ups together to debate and innovate. Shell’s announcement of a €750,000 investment in broadband will light up the North West coast and will transform the region’s access to the internet. High speed broadband connectivity is absolutely vital to business and modern life, and this investment will make a huge difference to the west of Ireland and the many thousands of people and businesses who will benefit from the new services.”
“Being based in a rural location on the periphery of Europe presents challenges for entrepreneurship and business development”, says Shell Social Investment Advisor Fiona Togher. “Erris Enterprise Week continues to be a fantastic opportunity for enterprises to explore ways to enhance their long term sustainability and diversification, in what remains a particularly challenging environment for SMEs”, she said.
Pic Caption: Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Michael Crothers (MD SEPIL) and Fiona Togher (Social Investment Advisor SEPIL) at the Erris Enterprise Week launch.