Innovative Business Workshop targets Creative Economy Entrepreneurs

The Western Development Commission (WDC) has announced its support for the Féile Icarus business planning workshops which will be held in Connemara on the 27th and 28th August 2010. The full-day workshops will provide a supportive platform for entrepreneurs, start-ups, innovators and creatives to identify their strategic challenges and devise practical ways to unlock their business potential.

“Given our strategy to promote and develop the creative sector in the Western Region, we are delighted to endorse the Féile Icarus project” said Joanne Grehan, Regional Development Executive at the WDC.

“Our 2009 study ‘Creative West: The Creative Sector in the Western Region’, showed that there are 4,779 creative businesses operating in the Western Region, directly employing over 11,000 people. This generates an annual turnover of €534m and directly contributes €270m to the Gross Value Added of the regional economy. It is therefore a major economic contributor to the region that we believe can be grown significantly, and events like Féile Icarus are critical to driving that growth”, she added.

Féile Icarus promoter, Chris Mortimer said, “Entrepreneurs are driven by their passions and learn from their failures. Through this event, we endeavour to make use of those learnings and devise actionable plans that will capitalise on the passions.” He continued, “Traditional training programmes tend to overlook these elements, whilst at Féile Icarus we aim to harness them as a springboard for business and creative planning.”

During the workshop, participants will work through a number of business critical questions, drawing on the expertise and insights of the group. All delegates will develop a ‘flight plan’, and identify a ‘tag-team’ partner, with whom they will collaborate after the event, as they implement their action plans.

“Féile Icarus adopts a unique approach to helping entrepreneurs by encouraging them to learn through facilitated peer discussions set against a backdrop of clear structure, discipline and a value proposition. By supporting entrepreneurs like these to turn their ideas into viable businesses, we move closer to realising the potential to create an extra 2,000 jobs in the creative sector in the Western Region”, added Ms Grehan.

Féile Icarus is inspired by the Greek tale of Icarus who fashioned makeshift wings to aid his escape, only to fall fatally from the sky due to flying too close to the sun.

“Modern entrepreneurs have a lot to learn from Icarus,” said Chris Mortimer. “Icarus had the passion to succeed and the creativity to devise an innovative solution. His biggest mistake was not recognizing when he was failing and changing his focus accordingly. As entrepreneurs we know that failure can be a fantastic catalyst for change, however we must be honest about where there is scope for improvement”.

The workshops provide an opportunity to bring together the different sub-groups that make up the creative economy. Tickets for the events are priced at €19.50 per day and can be purchased at

For further information please contact:

Chris Mortimer, Féile Icarus, 087 096 3818
Joanne Grehan, Western Development Commission, 086 856 5802
Bernadette Mullarkey, Bane Mullarkey, 086 806 2540

Notes to editors on Chris Mortimer

Chris Mortimer has been involved in start-up companies, developing products and helping other start-ups since 1997. He has a background as a communications trainer, web marketer and entrepreneur and is passionate about change, innovation, empowerment, the web and making a difference. In his past he has developed practical, learning models and educational games as well as online communities and services.