Chance for entrepreneurs to see their Greenshoots grow

Calling all budding entrepreneurs in Co Cork — now’s your chance to get real support for smart ideas.

Applications are being accepted from people with good proposals for business start-ups from all over the county.

It’s part of the Greenshoots programme which will get under way in March at Macroom E Enterprise Centre.

Since it was established five years ago, the innovative programme has supported a total of 55 aspiring businesspeople in Co Cork, enabling them to develop their ideas from the embryonic stage to the launching of new companies.

During each programme, Greenshoots participants avail of free shared office space; weekly training workshops on key areas of business development; individual mentorship; business coaching; links with local and national support agencies; guidance from excellent established entrepreneurs; and lots of peer-to-peer support.

Catherine Costello, the enterprise programme manager at Macroom E, said the recruitment process for the programme is always an exciting time as they meet the applicants and hear hundreds of fabulous new ideas.

“We’re looking forward to getting to work with a new group and eager to see what successes emerge.

“Also, this year, we are delighted to have the support of the North and West Cork Local Enterprise offices, so we will be able to extend the reach of the programme geographically,” Ms Costello said.

She explained that during the past five years, she has seen many success stories emerge as a result of the programme.

“Of the 55 businesses that have taken part, 76% are still in operation, collectively creating over 100 new jobs.

“Turnovers range up to €1.5 million and four of those businesses are now employing more than 10 staff members,” Ms Costello added.

An information session, open to anyone interested in applying for the latest Greenshoots programme, will take place on February 3 at Macroom E Enterprise Centre, between 10am and 11am.

Anybody interested in putting their entrepreneurial ideas forward should log on to www.greenshoots cork.ie. for an application form.

The deadline for applications is Friday, February 12.

After this date, applicants will be shortlisted for an interview presentation and selected based on the viability of their business idea.

Due to start in early March, Greenshoots involves a six-month start-up support programme based at the Macroom E-centre. It is funded by Cork County Council’s Economic Development Fund and the Local Enterprise Office in South Cork.

Anyone wishing to examine some of the success stories the centre has assisted in launching should view the following websites:

  • JOKAMIN — illustrations and artwork by Joanna Kaminska Wujek — www. jokamin.com
  • Two Hearts Meet — a traditional, offline matchmaking service, at www.twoheartsmeet.ie
  • 3DS Designs — bringing designs to life, allowing customers to ‘walk through’ their new-build plans (domestic or commercial) in 3D before any building begins: www.3dsdesigns.ie.


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