Goatsbridge Trout Farm, Thomastown Co. Kilkenny received funding under the Microenterprise theme of the Southern and Eastern Regional Programme 2007-2013.

The Owners of Goatsbridge Trout Farm, Margaret & Ger Kirwan

A family business in operation for over 5 decades, Goatsbridge realised action was needed as imports began to threaten their business of selling fresh trout to the fresh fish counters in shops and supermarkets right around the country. Support from the microenterprise scheme helped the company add value by helping them develop a smoked product range. Barbequed smoked trout was their first new product followed by the launch in 2012, to great acclaim, of their Rainbow Trout Caviar. This product development turned what was previously deemed a waste product, fish eggs, into a new and exciting business offer.

The supports under the micro-enterprise scheme are administered by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEO) (formerly the City and County Enterprise Boards) and are designed to assist business start-up and expansion. The LEOs use a range of aids to help small business to boost their competitiveness, innovation and technological adaptation.

Margaret Kirwan, Goatsbridge Trout Farm Director said:

We got great support from our Local Enterprise Office. Obviously, the financial support was much appreciated because it came at a time when we were expanding. We were starting to employ more people. We were adding value, doing a lot more primary processing as our business had grown. he funding was appreciated as was all the soft supports, management development, IT programmes, sales and marketing training are critical to an expanding business.