News & Events

Cavan’s Micro-Enterprise owners develop and grow their market share

What is Tradelinks? Vincent Reynolds, Cavan County Enterprise Board has announced details of how this cross border initiative has helped small business owners in County Cavan develop and grow their business in the past twelve months despite the challenging economic environment.

What is Tradelinks? Vincent Reynolds, Cavan County Enterprise Board has announced details of how this cross border initiative has helped small business owners in County Cavan develop and grow their business in the past twelve months despite the challenging economic environment.

Tradelinks programme has helped micro enterprise owners grow their market share by providing experts to advise them in the areas of Marketing, Finance, Market Research, IT, Processes/Systems, Exporting and Innovation. Over 400 micro-business owners have already availed of this programme and have attributed growth in their business to the expert advice and help they have received as part of the Tradelinks programme, which is very heartening news in this current economic climate.  

Helen O’Reilly, Regional Tradelinks Co-ordinator is asking business owners: “Do you need to develop a better marketing plan? Do you want to research new markets? Do you want to export and don’t know how to go about it? Do you need help with product certification? Do you know how to tender for public procurement work? Is your pricing/costing model reviewed or do you need financial management mentoring? All of these and much more are addressed in the Tradelinks programme”. Helen adds: “Notwithstanding the challenges that face small-business owners both North and South, we have witnessed first hand that participants on Tradelinks programme have grown their market share. The expert team we provide to the participants on the Tradelinks programme empowers business owners to address weaknesses that may be hindering business growth and success in the current economic climate The programme also provides a number of Networking events where linkages are created and complementary businesses can partner in order to develop and grow the business”.

According to Elaine Nolan of Impact Creative Graphic Design in Baileborough who has availed of the Tradlinks Programme from Cavan County Enterprise Board, “The biggest benefit of the Tradelinks Programme to my business was the mentoring I received in the area of Finance. It forced me take a look at what needed to be looked at and it ended up having the biggest benefit which has been evident in the books over the last eight months. The advice and mentoring on the Tradelinks programme is practical rather than theoretical, so once implemented, benefits are seen quite quickly”   

Bernard Connolly of Milestone Productions who are based at Tullyco, Cootehill, provide audiovisual hire and event production with a unique offering “Audience Voting System” and are the largest supplier of audience voting equipment and services in Ireland said:  “Being at the early stages of the Tradelinks programme we have only started to receive support from the mentors, but so far what we can see how the program allows us to explore new markets and opportunities for our business. All too often being a small business owner can lead to only looking inwards; Tradelinks challenges us to look at new geographic and niche opportunities”. Bernard went on to say “Our core goals for the programme include using marketing techniques to fully leverage our brand awareness both north and south of the border and also to explore the potential for our products and services to be utilised fully within the region”

Cootehill based Dr Colin O’Reilly of Envirologic Ltd who provides consulting in hydrology (surface water) and hydrogeology (groundwater), including flood risk assessments, surveying and wastewater management. sums up the value of the Tradelinks Programme to the micro-enterprise owners by saying  “In short, the programme assists with the transition from that first step of registering a company name, to having the confidence and know-how to actually run a business properly, and more importantly make it profitable with a viable, long-term future”.

Helen O’Reilly Cavan County Enterprise Board concluded “Although the economic climate has changed significantly over the last number of years, it is now more important than ever before that businesses look at new markets both in geographical and sectoral terms. The Tradelinks programme is designed to assist the micro-enterprise sector to pursue new opportunities with the help of a network of business mentors and advisors.”
Tradelinks is funded under the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme to help support the micro enterprise sector across Northern Ireland and the Border counties of Cavan, Monaghan, Louth, Sligo and Donegal. The programme is a partnership initiative delivered by Enterprise NI, the network of local Enterprise Agencies and the Border County Enterprise Boards. It is also supported by both governments, through the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

Image: Helen with Alan & Tommy Brady, Pottle Meats, one of the first Cavan businesses to take up the offer of working with the expert team from Tradelinks, Tommy said that the support he has received through this programme to grow sales and manage the financial area of his business was invaluable.