The Piltown Community Enterprise group gave a boost to the area back in 1988 when it held a “Start Your Own Business” competition – and is now hoping to duplicate that success all over again.
The group has been around for over 20 years but became dormant when there was less need for it in the boom years, said Gerri Hickey of the Piltown Enterprise Centre.
“For a number of years we undertook only small local projects because there was full employment and enterprise wasn’t talked about at all,” she said, “but about two years ago we got active again and we started doing small things.”
Now their aim is to move on to bigger things.
They have started by launching a business directory for the Piltown area, which is online at www.piltowndirectory.ie and is due to be released in printed form in December.
And their next move is to launch a “Start Your Own Business” competition in early November to provide a boost to local employment.
“The competition is designed to encourage new and innovative commercial enterprises in the parish and to create an entrepreneurial culture among the people of South Kilkenny. Its primary focus is on job creation and the winning entry will show how innovation and creativity can achieve this aim,” Ms Hickey explained. “They will have the full backing of our Business Support unit in getting started.”
The prize fund has a total value of €25,000, including cash prizes worth €10,000 for the winners plus “soft” supports such as legal, accounting, tax and web design advice and mentoring. (Further information is available on www.piltown.ie or contact the Enterprise Office at 051 643152.)
The group had initially purchased a site for an enterprise centre in Fiddown, with support from the local GAA, businesses and the IDA, and a 6,300-square-foot Enterprise Centre was completed in 1989, going on to foster numerous businesses over the years. Following the sale of the centre to T. Butler Engineering in 2002, the group purchased the old creamery building in Piltown with the aim of redeveloping it into a new community enterprise unit. Now, their hope over the next two years is to make that aim a reality.