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Barefield man a driving force in Enterprise Evolution Programme

EOIN Conroy, from Barefield, is the driving force behind the successful Enterprise Evolution Programme (EEP), which last week announced 100 new places for jobseekers.
EEP is a Springboard-funded programme designed to bridge the gap between education and entrepreneurship. It is a partnership between Innovo Training and Development, the Synergy Centre at the Institute of Technology in Tallaght and the business school at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology and offers unemployed applicants the opportunity to upskill and develop new business ideas, while retaining their social welfare benefits.
Eoin of Innovo Training and Development explains, “Our last two rotations have proven that this programme can really help people get a business off the ground, develop their careers and fulfil their potential. A firm focus on idea generation and entrepreneurship is exactly what the country needs at this time. We have the people and talent. We just need to foster, harness and support them,” he said.
This year’s participants will be invited to pitch their final business ideas to a panel of entrepreneurs and industry experts, with seed funding of €5,000 available from Bord na Móna plc for the most feasible business concept. All successful graduates of the EEP will be awarded a special purpose diploma in Enterprise Innovation, equivalent to 60 credits at Level 8 on the National Qualifications Framework.
To date, 80 participants have been through the programme over two previous rotations, generating more than 500 business ideas. At least a third of these people are currently establishing businesses of their own across a range of sectors such as medical devices, mobile applications, e-commerce platforms and pharmaceutical services. A significant number of other participants have gone on to further study or to work in industries as diverse as telecommunications, sales and marketing, social media and insurance.
Funded through the Higher Education Authority (HEA) Springboard initiative, EEP aims to encourage and stimulate enterprise development through peer to peer learning, academic lectures and workshops delivered by successful, experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders.
The programme, which commences in September, is open to anyone who meets the minimum entry requirements of either a Level 7 degree (or equivalent) and/or relevant industry experience in any sector. Applicants must be unemployed for a minimum of six consecutive months before the start date. 
To apply for the EEP or for further details about the programme and speed-storming event, visit www.enterpriseevolution.ie.

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