Offaly Local Development Company and Westmeath Community Development have developed an enterprise craft training programme in partnership with Finnish Craft Producers.

This is an Innovative Programme which provides craft makers in both Countries with opportunities to develop new techniques and skills and look at the use of different materials to  adapt their current offerings of products or to create new products. It also examines retail opportunities in Finland and Ireland.

The Programme will also feed into an enterprise and product development programme and will look at the marketing and promotion of the craft makers work  exploring new technologies and use of e-commerce, social media, retail events etc as avenues for promotion and selling of craft products. This cross fertilisation of skills with makers from both countries and from different disciplines will provide a new platform for all craft makers.

The focus of this project is the development and implementation of a strategically designed professional training and development programme for the creative sector enabling enterprises in this sector to fully realise their talents – creatively and commercially.  Key aspects to be delivered on include the necessary mentoring, training and development continuity supports required that will bring businesses from inception phase through to strong, customer-driven businesses that can market and sell locally, nationally and internationally.

This will be rolled out over 2020 and will include Enterprise Development Training, masterclasses, traditional craft skills training, product and business development training. We will host Finnish craft makers here in Ireland and participants in the programme will have an opportunity to apply for specific craft and design training programmes in Finland. We will build on our online relationship with Finland and the programme will include live streaming of the craft training and selected business development training which in turn will encourage participation from Finnish craft makers. Collaboration with DCCI will be key particularly to include the Finnish makers and we propose collaborating on at least on FUSE clinic during 2020. The project will conclude in Oct/Nov 2020 with a Craft and Design Symposium and showcase event for retailers and direct to consumers.