The Midlands could become a hub for business if technology take-up is maximised, participants at the Meeting in the Middle event last Thursday and Friday were told.
Organised by Midas Technologies, the Meeting in the Middle event in the Mullingar Park Hotel was attended by over 300 participants who heard essential expert advice on accessing credit, handling bank rejection, and preparing for the Single European Payments Area (SEPA ) in 2014.
David Hearn of Deloitte Ireland said the Midlands could benefit from a combination of growing global demand for food products and improved efficiency from new technology.
“Over 95 per cent of Irish food and beverage companies are increasing investment this year, and 80 per cent are planning to hire more staff, so Ireland is very well poised to take advantage of increasing global demand for our high quality produce,” said Mr Hearn.
Niall Devitt of Social Media Strategies said new technology was changing marketing, and that “companies now use social media to seek out, engage with, and manage customer opinion, positioning themselves as both social businesses and customer-centred organisations”.
Economist and Newstalk presenter Marc Coleman who chaired the event said the Midlands can use new technologies to leverage its business advantage.
“With a low cost environment and good transport links, the Midlands now has much going for it. Embracing new technologies could be the key to leveraging that to businesses here on an equal footing with urban areas. The opportunities are huge.”
In his closing address, Minister John Perry said Local Enterprise Offices (LEO ) - which are due to replace County Enterprise Boards - will help businesses access a range of Government supports.
“The use of the local authority system to deliver business supports via LEOs is very much part of the overall reform of local government. Ensuring more micro and small businesses can start up, expand, and succeed is a key part of our plan for job creation and growth. That is why the Government has decided to implement an ambitious reform in the delivery of services to small and microbusinesses.”
The Minister said successive budgets were addressing the issue of funding for enterprise development.
“This Budget will enable the continued delivery of over €2 billion in new, non-bank credit schemes, targeted at the full range of businesses from micro-enterprises through SMEs to mid-sized Irish exporting businesses and high growth technology firms.”
For more information on organisers Midas Technologies, see www.midastechnologies.ie .