Dragon’s Den investor Gavin Duffy was the keynote speaker at the launch of Erris Enterprise Week which took place in Áras Inish Gluaire in Belmullet.
In his remarks to the 70 strong audience, Mr. Duffy reserved strong criticism for the “negative” attitude in the national media and particularly RTE, which, he argued, was undermining confidence in job creation initiatives, was putting a brake on spending and was stifling the ambition of people with sound entrepreneurial ideas.
Presenting an upbeat approach to the potential for growth in the Irish economy, he suggested now was the time to invest in new ventures and to pursue new ideas.
He debunked the notion that entrepreneurship was about brilliant ideas and suggested most successful ventures were based on a clear idea with a common-sense approach to planning and pursuit of objectives.
Support and mentoring
The Enterprise Week is supported by the Corrib Gas funded Erris Development Fund and includes workshops on social media, entrepreneurial competitions with a special emphasis on young people and other capacity building workshops.
Shell’s Social investment advisor, Fiona Togher, said while the Enterprise Week was a focal point for the different initiatives the work of supporting and mentoring would continue over a much longer time frame.
“We learned from last year’s Enterprise Week that people wanted support and mentoring over a longer period to help develop their ideas. Our objective this year is to provide that support,” she said.
The event was also addressed by Frank Fullard, a member of the Erris Development Fund Board and by Michael Crothers, Managing Director, Shell E&P Ireland Limited.