CALLING all aspiring entrepreneurs in Mayo: The first Open Fair in the county has been set for Sunday 4th December at the Royal Theatre, Castlebar.
If you can make or do something - knit a jumper, fix a roof, bake a cake, design a website - then the Open (One Person Enterprise) Fair is for you. It's aimed both at people who want to start a viable new business, and at people who just want to supplement their income.
You may have abilities or qualifications that people in your community don't know you have. Perhaps you have a latent talent that you've always wanted to cultivate. The Open Fair can be your first step towards self-employment. It will connect you with a potential market for your skills, and give you the chance to meet other people in a similar situation to yourself.
Remember, too, that the Open Fair is absolutely free, both for exhibitors and visitors, so give it a try; you have nothing to lose.
The Open Fair, a Rural Resettlement Ireland project, is a national movement of skills expos taking place all over the country. The first Open Fair was held in Ennis, Co Clare, on 28th August and was officially opened by Bobby Kerr, chairman of Insomnia Coffee Company and star of RTE's Dragons' Den. There were over 2,500 visitors and the 100 exhibitors achieved sales worth more than €7,000. A second Open Fair is now planned in Clare in November, along with Open Fairs in Dublin and Roscommon in the coming weeks.
The Open Fair has been made possible by the generosity of anonymous Irish-American donors via the Ireland Fund. The movement is kindly supported by Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, broadcaster Miriam O'Callaghan, and Independent Senator and businessman Feargal Quinn.
Visit www.openfair.ie for more information and to download an application form.