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Minister Cannon launches 'Back for Business' a programme to support returning emigrants

Minister Cannon launches 'Back for Business' a programme to support returning emigrants

An initiative to help returning emigrants start and develop businesses in Ireland has been launched today by Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Ciarán Cannon.

The Back for Business entrepreneur mentoring programme, funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, runs over six months.  There is no charge for those selected to participate.

The programme was run on a pilot basis last year to support entrepreneurial activity among those recently returned or planning to return to live and set up business in Ireland. The call is open today for applications for the 2019 programme, which will run from February to July 2019.

The closing date for applications is 25 January. Those interested in learning more can download a brochure and register their interest in receiving an application form from www.backforbusiness.com.

Back for Business is specifically designed for recently returned emigrants who have lived abroad for at least a year and have returned in the last three years. Those planning to return in the near future will also be considered. (Eligibility criteria in notes below)

 

Launching the programme, Minister Cannon said:

 ‘Global Irish – Ireland’s Diaspora Policy, is committed to facilitating, in practical ways, those who left Ireland and want to return home. Back for Business reflects this commitment. More and more Irish emigrants are returning home to Ireland to live and to work and as we have seen in the pilot, this is an initiative that can make a real difference to returned and returning emigrants who have a keen desire and ambition to be entrepreneurs. It is designed to support them to go beyond just creating a job for themselves and to aim higher and create a thriving business that can provide employment for others and value added in their local community.’

Many potential entrepreneurs returning home can often bring with them significant advantages of starting a business such as a strong network of international contacts, proficiency in foreign languages and a greater understanding of export markets.

However, these men and women can also have gaps in their local knowledge, contact base and professional and personal backgrounds. Back for Business is designed to bridge these gaps, while also addressing the general challenges all entrepreneurs face when establishing a business.

Last year, the 38 participants on the pilot programme, which ran from November 2017 to May 2018, reported positive results on the programme.

  • At the end of the six months programme over half of them were trading,
  • Six had become exporters for the first time
  • 46 people were employed between them, and
  • Overall turnover across the 38 businesses almost doubled during the six months of the programme
  • Some 12 of those who were pre-trade at the start started trading within the cycle
  • A total of 27 jobs new jobs were created by the participants during Back for Business
  • Six of the company owners started exporting within the six months
  • 100% said they would recommend the programme to others

 

PARTICIPANTS’ QUOTES

 

“Back for Business provided the focus and experience necessary to get my business off the ground. It is a great programme.”

  • Aidan Mehigan, Gortinore Distillery

 

I found Back for Business helpful in giving me focus, keeping me on track and creating goals to bring me to the next level. I began the programme with ideas and samples. I am now trading with a luxury product on the market. “– Clare O’Connor

Those selected to join Back for Business this year will take part in round table sessions, focused on goals and milestones and facilitated by voluntary Lead Entrepreneurs, who have experience of successfully starting and growing a business.

 

These high-profile business leaders volunteer their time to encourage participants to set and achieve personalised goals and milestones to address the opportunities and challenges they face in starting and developing their businesses.

 

This year’s Lead Entrepreneurs are: Áine Denn, co-founder of Altify; Julie Currid, co-founder of Initiafy; technology entrepreneur and angel investor Mary McKenna; Micheal Hoyne, founder of Merlyn Bathrooms; Nikki Evans, founder of PerfectCard; and Thomas Ennis, founder of the Thomas Ennis Group.

 

 


Julie Currid, one of the Lead Entrepreneurs who worked in London before retuning to Ireland to cofound Initiafy with her business partner, commented: “Working abroad opened my eyes to the size of potential markets for an Irish headquartered business.

 

Back for Business has been designed and is being implemented by Fitzsimons Consulting, specialists in areas related to entrepreneurship and growth. Paula Fitzsimons, founder and managing director of Fitzsimons Consulting, said:

 

“Those who have had experience abroad and are returning to live in Ireland are extremely well placed to become an entrepreneur by either starting a new business or by acquiring a business already established. Back for Business is about helping them to achieve their entrepreneurial ambitions. I am delighted that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has made this possible.”

 

The deadline for completed applications for Back to Business is 25th January 2019. For more information or to register your interest in receiving an application form, please see www.backforbusiness.com

 

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact Paula Fitzsimons on +353 87 2774385 or Martha Kearns at StoryLab on +353 87 2720212

 

ENDS

Press Office

17 December 2018

 

An initiative to help returning emigrants start and develop businesses in Ireland has been launched today by Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Ciarán Cannon.

 

The Back for Business entrepreneur mentoring programme, funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, runs over six months.  There is no charge for those selected to participate.

 

The programme was run on a pilot basis last year to support entrepreneurial activity among those recently returned or planning to return to live and set up business in Ireland. The call is open today for applications for the 2019 programme, which will run from February to July 2019.

 

The closing date for applications is 25 January. Those interested in learning more can download a brochure and register their interest in receiving an application form from www.backforbusiness.com.

 

Back for Business is specifically designed for recently returned emigrants who have lived abroad for at least a year and have returned in the last three years. Those planning to return in the near future will also be considered. (Eligibility criteria in notes below)

 

 

Launching the programme, Minister Cannon said:

 

 ‘Global Irish – Ireland’s Diaspora Policy, is committed to facilitating, in practical ways, those who left Ireland and want to return home. Back for Business reflects this commitment. More and more Irish emigrants are returning home to Ireland to live and to work and as we have seen in the pilot, this is an initiative that can make a real difference to returned and returning emigrants who have a keen desire and ambition to be entrepreneurs. It is designed to support them to go beyond just creating a job for themselves and to aim higher and create a thriving business that can provide employment for others and value added in their local community.’

 

Many potential entrepreneurs returning home can often bring with them significant advantages of starting a business such as a strong network of international contacts, proficiency in foreign languages and a greater understanding of export markets.

 

However, these men and women can also have gaps in their local knowledge, contact base and professional and personal backgrounds. Back for Business is designed to bridge these gaps, while also addressing the general challenges all entrepreneurs face when establishing a business.

 

Last year, the 38 participants on the pilot programme, which ran from November 2017 to May 2018, reported positive results on the programme.

  • At the end of the six months programme over half of them were trading,
  • Six had become exporters for the first time
  • 46 people were employed between them, and
  • Overall turnover across the 38 businesses almost doubled during the six months of the programme
  • Some 12 of those who were pre-trade at the start started trading within the cycle
  • A total of 27 jobs new jobs were created by the participants during Back for Business
  • Six of the company owners started exporting within the six months
  • 100% said they would recommend the programme to others

 

PARTICIPANTS’ QUOTES

 

“Back for Business provided the focus and experience necessary to get my business off the ground. It is a great programme.”

  • Aidan Mehigan, Gortinore Distillery

 

I found Back for Business helpful in giving me focus, keeping me on track and creating goals to bring me to the next level. I began the programme with ideas and samples. I am now trading with a luxury product on the market. “– Clare O’Connor

Those selected to join Back for Business this year will take part in round table sessions, focused on goals and milestones and facilitated by voluntary Lead Entrepreneurs, who have experience of successfully starting and growing a business.

 

These high-profile business leaders volunteer their time to encourage participants to set and achieve personalised goals and milestones to address the opportunities and challenges they face in starting and developing their businesses.

 

This year’s Lead Entrepreneurs are: Áine Denn, co-founder of Altify; Julie Currid, co-founder of Initiafy; technology entrepreneur and angel investor Mary McKenna; Micheal Hoyne, founder of Merlyn Bathrooms; Nikki Evans, founder of PerfectCard; and Thomas Ennis, founder of the Thomas Ennis Group.

 

 


Julie Currid, one of the Lead Entrepreneurs who worked in London before retuning to Ireland to cofound Initiafy with her business partner, commented: “Working abroad opened my eyes to the size of potential markets for an Irish headquartered business.

 

Back for Business has been designed and is being implemented by Fitzsimons Consulting, specialists in areas related to entrepreneurship and growth. Paula Fitzsimons, founder and managing director of Fitzsimons Consulting, said:

 

“Those who have had experience abroad and are returning to live in Ireland are extremely well placed to become an entrepreneur by either starting a new business or by acquiring a business already established. Back for Business is about helping them to achieve their entrepreneurial ambitions. I am delighted that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has made this possible.”

 

The deadline for completed applications for Back to Business is 25th January 2019. For more information or to register your interest in receiving an application form, please see www.backforbusiness.com

 

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact Paula Fitzsimons on +353 87 2774385 or Martha Kearns at StoryLab on +353 87 2720212

 

ENDS

Press Office

17 December 2018

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • About Back for Business

    Back for Business is for Irish emigrants who have lived abroad for at least a year and have returned to Ireland in the last three years or are planning to return to live in Ireland in the near future.  Designed and developed by Paula Fitzsimons of Fitzsimons Consulting, a pilot programme has been run successfully and 38 entrepreneurs completed the pilot in May 2018.
  • Eligibility criteria

    Applicants will (i) have recently started a new business in Ireland, either on their own or with another business partner, or (ii) will be well advanced in their plans to start a business and have moved well beyond the concept stage, or (ii) they are becoming/have become entrepreneurs through the acquisition of an existing business.

    If the business is newly established, it will not have generated sales before the end of October 2016.

    If acquired, it will not have been acquired before this date.

    In respect of the business whether new or acquired, they will be a major shareholder and key decision maker in the venture. Furthermore, they will have the ambition and expectation of becoming an employer of others within three years.

    There is no restriction on the sector in which the new business is focussed. 
  • Lead Entrepreneurs

    This year’s Lead Entrepreneurs are: Áine Denn, co-founder of Altify; Julie Currid, co-founder of Initiafy; technology entrepreneur and angel investor Mary McKenna; Micheal Hoyne, founder of Merlyn Bathrooms; Nikki Evans, founder of PerfectCard; and Thomas Ennis, founder of the Thomas Ennis Group. Mini bios of the Lead Entrepreneurs may be found on the website https://www.backforbusiness.com/

     
  • According to the Central Statistics Office of Ireland, of the people who moved to Ireland in the 12 months to April 2018, 28,400 were returning Irish, up 1,000 on the previous year. GEM research has shown that Irish people who have lived abroad for some time are more likely to be early stage entrepreneurs than those who have never travelled.

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