Never a better time to start up business

Enterprise Ireland’s Enda McDonnell says they can help you go global, writes John Daly.

There’s never been a better time to start a business in Ireland, says Enda McDonnell, new regional director for Enterprise Ireland in the South.

“Ireland has the people and the international connections needed to start a business in a global market place, and there is also a strong supportive venture capital and investment community,” he says. “Entrepreneurs that are focused on exports generate the foreign earnings necessary to drive employment growth and increased prosperity throughout all regions.”

Enterprise Ireland works with entrepreneurs and start-ups developing unique technologies and services to address new challenges and serve global customers. Enterprise Ireland’s top priority is to support the establishment of world-class Irish companies led by entrepreneurs with great business ideas and the ambition to turn these ideas into reality.

“We do this by working with entrepreneurs with the capability to start and build new international companies based out of Ireland, what we call High Potential Start-ups companies. We team up working with Irish entrepreneurs and start-ups in developing and funding strategic business plans, building leadership capabilities and accessing global markets.”

Enterprise Ireland is interested in all business start-ups once the company is involved in manufacturing or internationally traded service activities.

The regular Ideagen sessions where the research community and entrepreneurs brainstorm and spark ideas for innovative new businesses and research projects with high-growth potential could be a possible starting point.

Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Programme, run in collaboration with Institutes of Technology including CIT’s Rubicon Centre in Cork is a competitive start-up training delivered over six months to support entrepreneurs navigate the start-up journey.

Enterprise Ireland worked with 350 early stage companies through commercialisation and technical validation in 2011 and took an equity position in 95 businesses last year providing them with €200,000 to €250,000 each.

Useful Staring points

Crafts Council of Ireland

The Crafts Council of Ireland (CCoI) is the main champion of the craft industry in Ireland, fostering its growth and strength, communicating its unique identity and stimulating quality design, innovation and competitiveness. The Crafts Council offers an extensive range of services, including education and training programmes, qualitative and quantitative research and participation in international exhibitions.

* For further information: CCoI, Castle Yard, Kilkenny. T: 056 776 1804; E:info@ccoi.ie; W: www.ccoi.ie; C: Emer Ferran, Enterprise Development Manager.

Bord Bia

Bord Bia works in partnership with the Irish food, drinks and horticulture industries to develop commercially viable markets at home and abroad. This is achieved through the delivery of core services to the customer, the trade buyer, and to Irish & companies themselves. These services include the delivery of information services, the development of promotional programmes to support marketing activities and supporting participation at trade exhibitions.

* For further information: The Irish Food Board, Clanwilliam Court, Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2. T: 01-6685155; E: info@bordbia.ie; W: bordbia.ie; C: Eileen Bentley

The Irish Leader Network

This a network of 36 local action groups dedicated to the promotion of sustainable rural communities and driving rural development in Ireland. The main objectives of the leader programme are to increase economic activity in the rural community, supporting the creation and development of micro-enterprises. It provides training, mentoring and grant aid.

* For further information: The Irish Leader Network, Westgate, Business Park, Kilrush Road, Ennis, Co Clare. T: 065-6866800; E: info@irishleadernetwork.org; W: irishleadernetwork.org; C: Doirin Graham, CEO.

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