DCSIMG

Business centre in Newcastle West up and running

Minister Phil Hogan cuts the tape at the officially opening of the Red Door Business Incubation Centre in Newcastle West last November

Minister Phil Hogan cuts the tape at the officially opening of the Red Door Business Incubation Centre in Newcastle West last November

  • by Norma Prendiville
 

THE Red Door Business Incubation Centre in Newcastle West is waiting for your call. Better still, says centre manager Belinda Murphy, drop in and see for yourself what the centre has to offer.

The centre is the brainchild of the Newcastle West and District Chamber of Commerce and was officially launched last November.

Since then, it has run its first programme for start-up entrepreneurs and the first eight “graduates” recently finished the programme.

Now a second start-up business course is set to take place next month, Ms Murphy told the Limerick Leader this week.

The centre ran its first networking coffee morning last Friday, aimed at food start-ups. These coffee mornings will take place on a regular basis, Ms Murphy explained and will have different themes, bringing together people from different sectors. The idea is to let people see they are not alone and that there is support, and knowledge, to be gleaned from netoworking and sharing.

Another major aim of the incubation centre is to provide a ready-made office space for new and start-up businesses. The Red Door centre currently has six “hot desk” spots, spaces equipped with a desk and chair, a landline connection and high-quality wi-fi broadband.

These spaces are for rent on a weekly or monthly basis at reasonable rates. “We are very flexible,” Ms Murphy stresses.

There is also a meeting room for rent which

Agnes Boucher-Hayes is a key member of the food development unit at Limerick Institute of Technology and attended last Friday’s networking session to link up with potential food entrepreneurs from West Limerick.

“It really is about making people aware that there a a food development service at LIT,” she explained. “We work with local small companies and do a lot of research.”

Among the areas they cover are consumer testing, shelf-life testing, recipe testing and costing, all critical to any food start-up company. They also have expertise in marketing, design and photographs, all elements which go into any successful launch of a food produce.

Crucially, they also help companies in their applications for Innovation Vouchers with Enterprise Ireland.

“Food is one of the developing areas in enterprise,” Ms Boucher-Hayes underlined. And they hope to run a programme in Newcastle West for food entrepreneurs.

“West Limerick has huge potential,” she added. “We are part of the Golden Vale and we already have a national profile because of Ballygowan and Plassey Foods.”

The potential for export of food producets, she stressed, was huge.

If you want to find out if the Business Incubation Centre can work for your start-up business and if you would like more information about courses and networking opportunities your can contact info@reddoorbic.ie or belinda@reddoorbic.ie. Or just drop in to The Red Door in the Square, Newcastle West.

The phone number is 087-9584430.

 

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