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Opportunity knocks for Ennistymon Enterprise Centre

While it’s a lot easier said than done, one way of dealing with being made redundant is to establish a small business.
This applies particularly to people in Ennistymon or surrounding areas, who may have been laid off recently and are thinking about what to do next.
Ennis woman Sharon Malone has recently been appointed by Project Ennistymon as business development manager for the Ennistymon Enterprise Centre in Deerpark, just outside the town.

Sharon Malone, Business Development Manager with the Ennistymon Enterprise Centre. Photograph by John KellyIn her new role, Sharon is responsible for promoting the enterprise centre and attracting new tenants. She is also available as a mentor to tenants offering support and advice on the various aspects of running a business.
There are 12 units in the centre, four of which are light industrial units, while the remainder are offices, located on two floors.
The idea behind the enterprise centre, which is supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Clare County Enterprise Board, is to provide an environment where businesses will be given every opportunity to help them to succeed and flourish.
“It’s to get businesses into the centre here and promote the area. The whole thinking behind the centre is to promote and foster enterprise in the local community,” Sharon, who has extensive business experience with a number of multi-national companies and the family business in Ennis, explained.
“We’re aiming at start up businesses because the reality of it is that there’s a lot of people out of work and people have to think about their life and work in a way they’ve never had to do before. The more business you have based here, the more people working in the area, who live and spend here and generally improve the economics of the area. Keep people living here as opposed to having to have to move away,” she added.
Sharon has a management degree from Trinity College, Dublin and an advanced diploma in marketing from DIT. She has a rounded view of the challenges businesses at all levels face and the relevant background to provide advice and point clients in the right direction.
“In a small business, you are expected to be a Jack-of-all-trades, from doing what you are good at, to promoting, selling, book keeping and credit control. It’s difficult to do everything well,” Sharon said.
She feels that the Ennistymon Enterprise Centre will be an attractive proposition to fledging businesses because they will have a mentoring service available. They won’t be left to their own devices.
“For a business to survive, they need to know where they can get help. I have the background with the companies that I’ve worked in. So I know the headaches and the worries and the options that are out there as well. I hope it will be a major selling point and that it might differentiate us from other units that might be out there, where you’re very much on your own,” she said.
The centre manager says that one of the big weaknesses of potential start-up businesses is the absence of a comprehensive business plan, while she points out that any type of business, excepting retail, is welcome to talk to her, with a view to renting a unit at a very reasonable cost.
The enterprise centre is the result of years of hard work by the voluntary community development group, Project Ennistymon. The organisation was set up by a group of local people, both residents and business people, who recognised the needs of the community and the latent potential of the town. They realised that a lack of available enterprise space was hindering the development of the town and undertook the challenge of addressing this difficulty.
Sharon Malone can be contacted at 065 707 2999 or by e-mail at sharon@projectennistymon.com for further information.
Even if an individual has an idea that they may not have yet fully developed, Sharon will be available to advise them. All contact will be in the strictest confidence.

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