Hogan acknowledges important role of locally run, small and medium sized enterprises

ENVIRONMENT Minister Phil Hogan has acknowledged the contribution of small and medium sized enterprises to the local economic environment when he presented Management Development Certificates to small business owner/managers from Kilkenny and Carlow.

ENVIRONMENT Minister Phil Hogan has acknowledged the contribution of small and medium sized enterprises to the local economic environment when he presented Management Development Certificates to small business owner/managers from Kilkenny and Carlow.

The Management Development Programme (MDP) which is jointly run by Carlow and Kilkenny County Enterprise Boards (CEB) is unique as it was developed specifically to enable owner managers of small businesses to take a critical look at their business. Throughout the programme they learn how to apply effective management skills across all business functions at a practical level.

This programme has been running for the last number of years by Blaise Brosnan, The Management Resource Institute and in that time has assisted over 2,000 SME’s throughout the South East in strategically assessing how they could best meet the challenges that arise naturally as part of business growth. Much of the learning is in the form of peer learning within the group. Taking part in this process allows businesses to appreciate the core competencies that they possess and recognise the competencies they must learn or adapt in order to continue to grow.

The Programme which was held one night per week for 25 weeks from mid October 2010 to April 2011 was attended by small business owners from both Kilkenny and Carlow. Local companies participating included Neil O’Connor, Surehaul Ltd; John Cleere, Red Lemonade Creative Ltd; Jennifer McCreery, McCreery Contract Cleaners; Helen Finnegan, Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese Ltd; Barry Hoyne, Jerpoint Sourcing Ltd; Paddy Langton, Langton’s Denture Clinic; Teresa Guilfoyle, Denis Guilfoyle Developments Ltd.; and Marian Alyward, Aylward Heavy Haulage Ltd.

Mr Joe Crockett, Chairman of the Kilkenny CEB and County Manager congratulated the participants on their achievement and acknowledged their time commitment and dedicated to the programme.

Dr. Ruaidri Neavyn, President of Carlow Institute of Technology, who provide accreditation for the programme, spoke of their satisfaction of in being involved in the programme. The MDP provides a good example of how both the commercial and academic communities can work together to deliver practical specialised programmes that help create better businesses through a collaborative approach.

From their experience of working with small businesses, the CEB’s have identified soft supports such as the MDP and also the Advanced MDP to assist in dealing with the financial, production, marketing and personnel challenges that they face. “As the business support agency for local small businesses, an important part of our role is to encourage the development and growth of the small indigenous sector,” said Fiona Deegan Acting C.E.O. of Kilkenny County Enterprise Board. “Upon completion of the MDP, participants are in a better placed position to improve the efficiency of resources such as capital, time and effort; provide a clear insight into where the business is going in terms of business planning and are able to anticipate and prepare for pitfalls and problems”.