40 committed early stage entrepreneurs have recently completed Back for Business, a new pilot initiative to foster and support entrepreneurial activity among emigrants returning or recently returned to live in Ireland.
The programme, which ran from November 2017 to May 2018, addressed the challenges that all early stage entrepreneurs face with a particular focus on the additional barriers and challenges faced by those who have been out of the country for some time. This can often result in their local knowledge, contact base and professional and personal networks being less developed than those of typical entrepreneurs.
The programme was developed and designed on the principle that entrepreneurs learn best from each other. This applied learning model involved a series of round table interactive sessions that were facilitated by Lead Entrepreneurs who have experience of successfully starting and growing a business. National in scope, but run on a regional basis, the six Back for Business groups were spread throughout the country from Donegal to Cork.
This innovative initiative is funded through the Emigrant Support Programme by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade which seeks to facilitate in practical ways those who left Ireland and want to return home. Thanks to the support provided there will be no charge for those selected to participate in the initiative.
“The quality of the people organising, leading and participating will help anyone. Doubts turn to determination, and ambition to action.” -Ian Keogh, IKEO Group ltd.
“This programme has literally changed my life for the better. I have no doubt it will encourage others to move home and follow their dreams. I’ve never been happier” -Niamh O’Sullivan, Carb Cup Ltd.
“As a tech founder, Back for Business really helped me to focus on developing my business and not just the tech! Having a forum to openly discuss ideas, share knowledge and experience was invaluable.” – Noel McKeown, Teeze
“Back for Business has been the single most important thing I have done for our business.” -Lisa Caffrey, Cabochon & Co Diamonds.
“Back for Business has allowed me to open a new door, walk through, and make my dreams come close to reality” – Adam Kennedy-Ryan, Surfstr.com
“Back for Business helped me realise that starting a business was possible, and that Ireland was the place to do it.” -Zarah Lawless, Calendar Coffee
For more information about the initiative, please see the website here