From developing and researching your ideas, to learning basic business start-up skills: In association with the Local Enterprise Office (LEO), our weekly ‘begin your own business guide will help you get things in order.

The Local Enterprise Office is a one-stop shop for anyone seeking information and support on starting, or indeed, growing a business in Ireland.

The 31 dedicated LEO teams across the country work to promote entrepreneurship, encourage business start-ups and support existing small and micro businesses (those with than less than 10 employees).

The main objectives of LEO is to drive job creation and to provide accessible, high-quality supports for your business ideas.

As well as providing in-house training and advice, the LEO teams will connect you with the appropriate state agencies for your business plan, where necessary.

If you wish to avail of a business loan, LEO may put you in touch with Microfinance Ireland, who offer financial borrowings to micro businesses, while getting their feet on the ground.

Whether you are starting from scratch, or need to refresh your current business model – upskilling in modern marketing, technology and trade is important. Your LEO officer can advise you on the various educational programmes, offered by your local Education and Training Board (ETB).

If you have been refused credit by your bank in the past, don’t give up so fast, LEO will guide you towards the Credit Review Office (CRO). The CRO provides practical support and review services to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), sole traders and farm enterprises who have been refused a loan or whose credit facilities have been reduced or withdrawn.

Check out next week’s career pages to read how to best test your business idea, tips on reviewing your own business skills and how to establish whether or not there is potential for your product or service.

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'Anyone can run a business; believe in yourself'

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