Charleville’s Heart of Munster Business Networking Group is beginning 2014 on a very positive note having had another successful past year for its members. The non-profit making business support group was set up in 2011 by local business woman Maria O’Donoghue, who is involved in Office Assist, and videographer Pat O’Hara. Both had been involved in other networking groups and, as there was none in Charleville, they set about redressing that situation and so the Heart of Munster group was initiated.

Today there are twenty-four businesses attending their fortnightly meetings which take place at 7.30am either at the Charleville Park Hotel or in the E Centre at Baker’s Road, Charleville. “We have come a long way for our initial meeting, which had only eight people, to our present compliment of twenty-four and we are still open for membership. We have a limit of one member per category of business but if a second business in any category wishes to join, it is up to the incumbent to decide if they want that second business in the group. Business is regularly passed between members at our meetings and the support and advice also imparted by invited guests is invaluable.

“Outside speakers are also invited to address the attendance on a range of topics at our early morning meetings which finish well in time for members to attend to their individual businesses on the day. Each member may give a 60 second presentation of their own business and one-to-one inter-business sessions are all part of the networking group’s activities. Members may also be asked to give a 10 minute presentation on their business,” said Maria O’Donoghue.

The present chairman is Martin Hennessy of U Drive School of Motoring and the group consists of a wide and varied number of businesses ranging from engineering to financial services to a legal representative, to advertising, accounting, auctioneering, banking and catering. The building, landscaping, hospitality, electrical, bespoke furniture, white goods, insurance, printing and mobile phone sales, building solutions, web solutions, water systems, automotive, quality consultancy and Charleville E Centre are also represented. Membership is €75 payable in January and July of each year. Any small business anxious to join the group should contact Maria at 087-36666939 or Pat on 086-8528904 for further details.