Border Bizcamp… What to Expect

Border Bizcamp is back, and attendees can once again expect a day jam-packed with positivity and business inspiration.

Whether you are in business in Monaghan or elsewhere, or thinking about setting up a business, there is something for everyone in the varied programme of talks.

Keynote speakers this year include journalist Vincent Browne, who will be speaking about how business success is always a collaborative endeavour; and Monaghan native, banker-turned-business coach John McCormick, who was recently appointed a non-executive director of the National Bank of Greece.

The remaining 18 talks are split across three themes with three talks taking place at any one time, giving you the chance to hear 8 speakers in total, including the two keynote talks. View the full lineup and schedule of talks here. This year’s themes are:

Once Upon a Time, a series of inspirational stories from business owners such as: Paddy Matthews from Matthews Coaches, whose coach hire company has grown from a second-hand 16-seater minibus to one of the biggest fleets in Ireland; and Eavan Rooney, founder of Thrive Occupational Therapy, a specialist paediatric consultancy which serves children from all around Ireland from its Clones Business Technology Park base.

Into the Future, examines future trends, growth possibilities, directions, opportunities and business ideas. Aidan McKenna, regional director for Enterprise Ireland imparts his own experience of cracking the US and Middle Eastern markets whilst at Combilift. Monaghan student, Paul McPhillips, will talk about reaching the finals of the Student Enterprise Programme earlier this year, with his concept, Freeflow Bunkers. The Digital Bakery founder, Gwen Noone, is to discuss future trends in social media and how to stay ahead of the curve.

Mind People, Mind Yourself promises to arm you with the practical tools, techniques and how-tos, focused on you, to make your business even better. Talks cover a diverse range of topics, from stress management and how to create a happier workplace, to harnessing diversity in organisations.

Border Bizcamp takes place at Monaghan Institute on Saturday 22ndSeptember. The day-long event is free to attend and includes refreshments and lunch. Pick up your ticket here.

Taste of Monaghan: Food Businesses to Watch

Hot on the heels of foodie destination success, where Monaghan and Glaslough placed fifth in a list of the top culinary destinations in Ireland – the county’s highest ever placing, comes Taste of Monaghan 2018. The event runs 28-30 September and will showcase the very best that food businesses in Monaghan have to offer.

Monaghan is home to world-famous produce, from duck to mushrooms, pork, poultry and so much more. Here are some of the Monaghan food businesses to watch among this year’s exhibitors:

Rucksnacks used the state-of-the-art incubator kitchen facility at the Ballybay Enterprise Park to develop their protein-packed beef bites, which are on sale at SuperValu stores and at gyms throughout the county – soon to be available nationwide. Founder, Colm Connolly, came up with the idea of turning the beef, which his family had farmed for five generations previously, into a healthy on-the-go snack.

Baked With Love recently secured a nationwide contract to supply Lidl stores throughout Ireland. The family-run food business expanded to a dedicated 500-sqm facility last year, and now boasts a separate gluten-free bakery in additional to its regular production facilities.

Blasta: Gourmet Street Kitchen is up for ‘best emerging franchise’ at the upcoming Irish Franchise Awards 2018/19. Seany and Nikita set up their Tex-Mex food truck business after four years eating their way around the world. The duo spotted a gap in the market for good quality private catering, as well as “food trucks people were not afraid to eat from”, and soon turned their passion for Mexican food into a thriving business.

Seany and Nikita of Blasta: Gourmet Street Kitchen – Best Emerging Franchise Nominees

Dairy farmer Seamus McMahon’s response to a slump in milk prices was to turn disused sheds on his property into a microbrewery. In addition to managing the dairy, which supplies the cream to make Bailey’s, Brehon Brewhouse’s beers are supped in bars up and down the country. The company is now eyeing expansion into the US, where the thirst for craft beer is growing exponentially.

Chef Martina Woods was inspired to set up her business, Harry’s Dog Bakery, when she discovered regular dog treats made her pup unwell. Martina went on to study dog nutrition before setting up her natural dog treat business. Earlier this year, Martina won a prize worth €3,000 for an elevator pitch she made at the Enterprise Ireland Fuelling Ambition road show.

Enterprising Monaghan will also be at Taste of Monaghan 2018. Pop along to our stand to meet to team, find out about the Monaghan test kitchen facility and to learn about other available supports for food businesses in the county.

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