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“It’s the first time in the region that public and private bodies, along with educational bodies and local government, have come together to support efforts of job creation,” says Siobhan Finn.
“Cork Innovates is geared at all types of individuals. Whether they are running a business already, are on redundancy or a professional looking for a new career. We are looking to show that supports exist out there for entrepreneurs – something that is a career and a job for life.”
Job for life
Ms Forde’s take on entrepreneurial activity is a ‘job for life’ clashes with the accepted formula for such a descriptive term. ‘Jobs for life’ have traditionally been associated with members of the public service, Gardaí, nurses, teachers etc – not necessarily the risk-taking captains of industry.
“There needs to be a greater understanding of the service that entrepreneurs provide,” says Ms Finn.
“Some entrepreneurs may have 20 companies over the course of a lifetime, while others may stick with one idea. Anybody with a vision, ambition, a desire to take risks and the drive and ability to succeed in a challenged environment. Our job is to identify gaps with different agencies and identify the needle in the haystack.”
Ms Finn's responsibilities are based on implementing the work plan of the group through communicating the planning process between the stakeholders involved. From 2002 to 2010, Ms Finn co-owned and directed National Event Hire, based in Cork and operating throughout the country as the number one company outside of Dublin.
Cork Innovates is financed under the Economic Development Fund, managed by Cork City and County Councils to allow enterprises and entrepreneurs room to maneuver in the economy. The Cork Innovates programme is run with several organisations including the four regional enterprise boards, Enterprise Ireland, Cork Chamber, University College Cork, Cork Institute of Technology, the South West Regional Authority and Cork BIC.
As part of Cork Innovates, a showcase of entrepreneurs and networking, In Business In Cork, will take place at City Hall on Wednesday 14 November, as well as marking global entrepreneurship week. Speakers will include Gavin Duffy and Frankie Sheahan, along with several other entrepreneurs from a wide range of different sectors. The showcase will also feature Jane Ronayne, a student entrepreneur from University College Cork. Ms Finn stresses that the event is designed to attract not just professionals, but students and those searching for inspiration from the speakers involved.
“It’s not just about the 21st Century industries,” says Ms Finn.
“Entrepreneurs come from all sectors of the economy. While the new technologies industries are vastly important, so are the entrepreneurs who open a coffee shop down the street. There are no restrictions to the entrepreneur activities and that is why this event has no cover charge. It is about simplifying the process of finding the supports that are out there for those willing to take risks.”
To find out more about Cork Innovates and to register for the In Business In Cork Showcase at City Hall, visit corkinnovates.com.