Waterford News


Join us in February for an essential training course for Directors and Trustees of Boards. Taking place over two Wednesday evenings (19th & 26th) from 6-8.30pm at the Park Hotel, this comprehensive overview of the role and responsibilities of trustees/directors will cover a wide range of topics including legal requirements, documentation, planning and governance. This training is CPD certified and costs €150 Chamber Members or €180 Non Chamber Members – contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 058 45054 to book or find out more.

Dates: Wednesday 19 Feb and Wed 26 Feb 2020

Time: 6-8.30pm. Registration at 5.45  

Location: The Park Hotel, Dungarvan

Cost: €150 Chamber Members. €180 Non Chamber Members (Payment in advance)

Understanding Governance and the Board’s role – Trustee/Director Training

This training provides a comprehensive overview of the role and responsibilities of not-for-profit board directors/charity trustees and is tailored towards prospective, new, and existing board trustees/directors looking to strengthen their role on the Board. The training will cover charity and company law, board meetings, board papers, board relationships, the Charity Regulator’s Governance Code, reviewing the board, and succession planning. This training is Certified by The CPD Certification Service. This training amounts to 5 CPD Hours.

The training has a not-for-profit/charity focus, however the content is also relevant to those on corporate boards as well (when talking about company law, board behaviours, board meetings, etc.). In the past Boardmatch have trained attendees who were not on charity boards, although there is a charity board/non-executive director focus.

Please note that this course has been tailored for Dungarvan and West Waterford Chamber, to be spread over two days instead of one day. In order to be eligible for 5 CPD hours, individuals must attend both days in full. The course is certified by The CPD Certification Service. Please find the provisional schedule below (division of topics over each day are subject to change).

There is strong demand for this training even at this early stage. Bookings are already underway so please secure your place now in order to avoid disappointment.

LEO Retail ExcellenceWaterford City and County Council’s Economic Development and Local Enterprise Office Waterford are seeking expressions of interest from retail business owners or managers in Waterford city, Tramore or Dungarvan who wish to avail of a heavily subsidised place on the Retail Excellence Ireland Management Development programme.

Now in its seventh year the programme is regarded as the most influential and formative retail management development programme in Ireland, with over 1,000 retail store managers, supervisors and independent retailers partaking.

David Walsh, Business Advisor with LEO Waterford said this programme will provide a great opportunity to those in the retail industry to hear from innovative and engaging experts in the field of retail. “There are challenges in all industries and retail is no exception. By offering a number of subsidised places on this valuable course, Waterford retail businesses will have the chance to learn from the experts and apply that advice and insight into driving business success. The programme explores a myriad of topics including harnessing staff talent, marketing and promotions and creating a target driven sales culture.”

The Book Centre in John Roberts Square is a member of Retail Excellence Ireland and completed the programme in 2018. According to Maeve Ryan, Managing Director, the benefits of the programme were manifold.

“There are many business courses available to the retail sector, but from our experience, the REI Management Development programme is the most effective. Our managers who completed the course were impressed with the expertise and calibre of the speakers and what they learned from them. The programme sets out a roadmap for retailers that is not only engaging and informative but more importantly delivers results.”

Lisa Grant, Economic Development Officer, Waterford City and County Council added that Waterford, as principal retail destination in the South East, has a large number of independent retailers that could benefit from this programme. “Waterford Council also recognises and values the key role that retail plays in Waterford’s economic development and as a key employer for the county. We see this programme as a way to support our local retailers to grow to meet the new challenges facing the retail sector.”

The REI Management Development Programme takes place on March 11th, March 25th, April 8th and April 22nd at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blanchardstown and some of the topics include Strengthening Management Skillsets (James Burke & Associates), Understanding KPI’s (David Fitzsimons, Group CEO Retail Excellence), Customer Experience (Susannah Hewson, CX Change) and How to effectively manage a store (Eamonn Kelleher, Co-op Superstore) and many more.

If you are a small retail business owner or manager (less than 50 employees), located in Waterford City, Tramore or Dungarvan and are interested in availing of a subsidised place on the REI Management Development Programme with LEO Waterford and Waterford City and County Council, expression of interest forms are available on www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford/.

Closing date for completed EOI’s is midday Wednesday, February 26th, with successful applicants being notified by COB on Friday February 28th.

ATTENTION ALL YOU CREATIVES OUT THERE CREATING ALL THAT CREATIVE 'STUFF' this is a workshop that you should be attending the first of our 2020 TALK N' LUNCH, 5th Feb at #Boxworks INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY'....this is a workshop that is going to explain how to protect that 'stuff' that you are creating.

LEO Waterford and Boxworks have joined forces to create a series of monthly lunchtime talks titled 'Talk n' Lunch.' The next event in this series of talks will be presented by David Hyde of The Intellectual Property Office of Ireland.

5th Feb starting at 12.45 - to give you some time to network, eat some lunch (provided by the wonderful Enterprise Board) and finishes at the latest, 2pm. 

Places are limited people  so BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL!


Boxworks Desk Programme


Applications are now available for the 3rd phase of @LEOWaterford scholarship desk programme at @BoxWorksCoWork. Check link for details and be part of this amazing programme. Closing date for applications 31st January 2020.

The Offer

The LEO desk Programme will provide a desk space for six months to four chosen businesses who will participate in the programme. This is aimed at those with a business idea or who have recently started up their business. The aim of the scholarship is simple, to facilitate potential start ups by providing a coworking creative and networking environment while they put their specific goals in place with the aid of monthly meetings with a LEO business advisor.

If you are interested, please complete the Expression of Interest for Boxworks Desks by Friday, 31st Jan 2020 12 noon.


Tidy Towns CharterWaterford Tidy Towns, Waterford Chamber of Commerce and Waterford City and County Council are joining forces to encourage all Waterford City Centre businesses to be part of an exciting collaboration to invest in the presentation of the City Centre to support Waterford City’s bid for Tidy Towns 2020.

#BITT (Businesses Invested in Tidy Towns) was launched on 6th September 2019 as part of the Waterford Harvest Festival in Arundel Square. The Charter Scroll, unveiled at the launch, showcases how the majority of City Centre businesses have agreed to come on board. #BITT is a unique initiative and is an example of collaboration between Waterford Chamber, Waterford Council, Tidy Towns and the businesses which have committed to:

  • Working with the community to bring about improvements in the City Centre environment,
  • Foster civic pride,
  • Support Waterford City’s bid for Tidy Towns.

Please support the bid by doing your #BITT and signing up to the Tidy Towns Charter. Each committed business will be listed on the Master Charter on permanent display in the magnificent Port of Waterford building on George’s Street where the Waterford Chamber offices are located. Each subscribing business will also receive an individual scroll for display on site. Michael Garland of Waterford City Tidy Towns Bid team said, “It is vital. It is important. No, it is essential, that ALL businesses get behind the Tidy Towns bid. The launch of #BITT, Businesses Invested in Tidy Towns, along with the Tidy Towns Charter Scroll are one way of supporting this collective effort to win a Tidy Towns crown. Yes, it is a huge task, but by working together we can achieve so much. Support the #BITT!” 

The outcome for individual businesses, Waterford Chamber and Waterford City and County Council will be an improved presentation of our City Centre and an increased opportunity to compete in the Tidy Towns 2020 bid.

LEO Showcase 2020Waterford’s craft and design industry will have strong representation at this year’s Showcase Creative Expo, which takes place from January 19th to 22nd in The RDS in Dublin.

Eight craft and design companies will be showcasing the very best of Waterford creativity, design and innovation, with the assistance of Local Enterprise Office Waterford.

The city and county-based enterprises, Irish Handmade Glass, Mireog, Urban Aran Knit, Polly and Andy, Monkey Cups, Criostal na Rinne, Pippa Sweeney Designs and Amanda Murphy Ceramics, have been working closely with LEO Waterford in order to prepare them for one of Ireland’s largest craft exhibitions.

Running for over forty years, Showcase has an impressive track record in attracting Ireland’s most talented makers and designers, along with buyers from over twenty countries. This year’s Expo is a great platform for these Waterford designers to introduce their products to national and international buyers.

Artist Amanda Murphy, who creates hand-made ceramics inspired by the rugged beauty of the Waterford coast, said that the exhibition is an invaluable experience for any artist or designer.

“I’ve exhibited at Showcase several times and am looking forward to returning again this year. It is a wonderful event to not only build relationships with new customers and buyers, but also to fortify relationships with current customers.”

“Showcase is also pivotal for artists and designers as it gives us the opportunity to unveil new designs and concepts and get balanced and constructive feedback. I definitely feel that we can take full advantage of our previous experience and the support we’ve received from LEO Waterford at Showcase 2020.”

Working in partnership with the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, the 31 Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) around the country set up a dedicated area within Showcase every year - the Local Enterprise Showcase - enabling up to 100 designers, manufacturers and craftspeople to sell directly to international buyers.

Brid Kirby of LEO Waterford said that Showcase is an invaluable stepping stone to any craft-maker or designer getting an audience with potential clients.

“These eight Waterford craft and design enterprises have shown ingenuity and flair with their products and will certainly be amongst the most talented craft and design artists this country has to offer at Showcase.”

“Some have availed of training and bespoke briefing days, while others received financial support in order to help them appear at Showcase, perfect their pitch and give them the tools, advice and insights to take full advantage of this fantastic opportunity.”

“With buyers from Ireland, Europe, the USA and Asia, Showcase is truly established as the must-see trade event. For anyone in the fashion, jewellery, home or giftware business the four-day event offers exposure to new international markets.”

If your business in pre-start, start-up or established business phase and would like to find out more about what business support services are available from LEO Waterford visit www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford/ or call to LEO Waterford offices at 35, The Mall, Waterford or the Civic Offices in Dungarvan.

LEO edit 796A0486 copy 002On Thursday, December 12th, Local Enterprise Office Waterford celebrated the best of business in Waterford with a fun and festive networking event “Celebrate YOU, Celebrate Yule” at a very seasonal Coach House Coffee in Kilmacthomas.

The event charted the journeys of local entrepreneurs who have made an impact on the entrepreneurial landscape in 2019. Hosted by LEO Waterford Head of Enterprise, Richie Walsh with MC Damien Tiernan of WLRfm, the panel comprised of Mailo Power of Monkey Cups, Jean Curran of Just Create, Sinead Quealy of Virtual Vet and Conor Walsh of Encon.

According to Brid Kirby of LEO Waterford the premise of the event was to celebrate the achievements of start-ups and small businesses in Waterford. “This is one of our favourite events in the LEO calendar. It gives small business owners and entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet in a relaxed festive setting and hear from inspirational business owners as they share their experiences, both good and bad.”

The four panelists recounted their respective journeys, the highs and the lows and shared their vision of their business future. The panelists were unanimous in their message that there is support available for anybody thinking of starting a new business and all you have to do is ask for help!

 “It also acknowledges the achievements of every single entrepreneur in the city and county. Starting a business can be daunting, so knowing that most successful entrepreneurs have had the same doubts, have had similar challenges and have faced the same obstacles can be reassuring when one hears of how they overcame them.”

 “LEO Waterford would encourage any entrepreneur or small business owner to get in contact if they want to develop or grow their idea or company. Small businesses are the backbone of the community and each day Local Enterprise Offices help small businesses to get off the ground. The range of supports on offer from the Local Enterprise Office will help anyone seeking to start or grow a small business through highly practical services such as professional business and management training, mentoring, networking opportunities, finance and much more.”   

 If you’re planning on starting a business in 2020 or are already in start-up or are an established business, find out more about the business support services available from LEO Waterford by visiting www.localenterprise.ie/Waterford/

WIT Social Enterprise Seminar DunhillThe Department of Education at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) recently hosted a seminar exploring the role of higher education in supporting the emerging social enterprise sector in Dunhill Multi-Education Centre, Co Waterford.

WIT offers a level 7 Certificate in Social Enterprise Management commencing in January 2020 and the seminar, supported by the National Forum for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, highlighted the growing importance of the social enterprise sector and identified practical ways in which Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) could support its development.

Five speakers addressed the conference, including: Dr Senan Cooke, Author of The Enterprising Communities; Tammy Darcy, Founder Shona Project; Laura Dennehy, Head of Development, Enactus Ireland; John Evoy, Social Enterprise Development Manager, Social Innovation Fund and Richard Gavin, Department of Rural and Community Development.

These thought-leaders challenged HEIs to support the development of a world-class social enterprise ecosystem by: (i) formally acknowledging social enterprise in institutional strategy and priorities; (ii) creating a community of practice to develop links between practitioners and academics; (iii) including social enterprise in curricula; (iv) offering incubation space and accelerator programmes to social enterprises; (v) linking social enterprises to government and EU agencies, philanthropists and HEI alumni. A key message of the seminar was the need for HEIs to conduct rigorous research to measure the impact of social enterprises, which would lead to greater recognition of the sector.

Speaking after the seminar, Dr Mary Fenton, Head of Department of Education, WIT said “It is a really exciting time for the social enterprise sector, which is on the cusp of real growth and development. Today was a first step in developing a community of practice, where over 50 practitioners and academics came together to discuss the potential for both to work together.

There was a real energy in the room and the challenge now is for HEIs to meet the needs and expectations of the sector in practical and meaningful ways.” She continued “I am confident that WIT and other HEIs will play a vital role in building the capacity of those working within the sector and in raising awareness amongst students of ways in which they could contribute to the sector as volunteers, employees or researchers.”

WIT offers a level 7 Certificate in Social Enterprise Management commencing in January 2020. This part-time programme enables people working in the social enterprise and community and voluntary sectors to develop their knowledge, skills and competencies as social enterprise managers.

The seminar took place in Dunhill Multi-Education Centre, which is an example of best practice in social enterprise nationally.

WIT graduates 2019Recently released data on secondary ‘feeder’ schools to universities, institutes of technology, and colleges shows Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) continuing to feature as the leading provider of higher education across the counties of the south east.

WIT ranks number 1 in attracting students through the CAO from across the five counties in the south east of Ireland – Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Tipperary (South Riding), and Carlow.

Over 1,600 of the 5,000 plus new higher education-going students in the region in 2019, or almost 1 in 3 (30%) chose WIT.

When it comes to individual counties, well over 50% of higher education-going students from Waterford choose WIT.

The data shows something similar in Wexford where 30% of higher education going students go to WIT.

In Kilkenny and South Tipperary, 1 in 4 students go to WIT.

Dr Derek O’Byrne, Registrar and Vice President for Academic Affairs said the statistics are reflective of the emphasis WIT puts on assisting students in the CAO decision-making process.

“In line with our 'right student, right programme’ ethos we have invested in helping students make the right choices for them. This includes a suite of common entry courses to help students decide on what areas they want to specialise in during their first year in college."

In November this year more than 5,000 people attended two open days at the WIT Arena. Two booklets for parents of applicants and for students on how to do thorough research into courses and colleges are also popular resources. By the end of the next academic year about 1,000 secondary school students will have had a chance to attend a ‘Try WIT’ event.

“This year WIT has expanded the number of discipline-specific ‘Try’ events where second level students will have the opportunity to try out areas they interested in studying at third level. So far we have scheduled Try Music, Try Computers, Try Nursing, Try Architecture, Leaving Cert Music Day, Try Law, Try Business, Try Engineering Technology, Try Sport, Try Art, Try Social Sciences, Try Hotel, Try Languages, Try Theatre Studies, Try Science, and Try Gaeilge for the 2019/2020 period,” added Dr O’Byrne.

WIT’s strategic plan has a strong focus on developing the institute’s leadership role in the south east region. “The feeder schools report show very clearly the regional impact of WIT on the south east,” said Dr Richard Hayes, WIT Vice President for Strategy. “The report also clearly shows that WIT is operating in the university ‘space’ and is filling the deficiency left by the lack of a university in the South East. We are focused on delivering a university for the region that will further enhance our position and create additional opportunities for students in the region.”

Notwithstanding the strong performance of WIT, 60% of the region’s students are leaving the region to study, typically in universities. The long-awaited Technological University of the South East, it is proposed, will go some way to addressing this ‘brain drain’.

“While these figures are very encouraging they also highlight the ongoing need for enhanced higher education provision in the South East,” said Dr Hayes. “This will come in the shape of the Technological University. Concentrated and strategic investment in improving and developing higher education here will open up greater choice for students and their families.”

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