TWO Clare business owners are encouraging returned emigrants who are setting up a business, or those living abroad thinking of returning home with an idea they want to get off the ground, to get involved in a government backed programme.
Back for Business is a development programme, funded by the Government’s Emigrant Support Programme, that was established to foster and support entrepreneurial activity among emigrants returning to live in Ireland.
It is aimed at those who have lived abroad for at least a year and have returned in the last three years or those planning to return in the near future.
It was launched last month by Colm Brophy TD Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora and now the programme is looking for applications for the 2023 programme from those living or hoping to return to County Clare.
There is no charge for those selected to participate and the closing date for applications is Thursday, January 12.
Former participants from Clare include Ciara Petty of Ciara Petty Design and Enda Gallery of Welcome to the New World. Having experienced at first-hand the benefits of participation in Back for Business, they both encourage others to apply for the programme.
Ciara says, “Back for Business is an essential first step for those returning to Ireland with an idea for starting a new business. It is a stepping-stone back into the Irish business world, helping to bring your vision into focus by expanding your network and helping you realise you are not alone in your entrepreneurial journey. It has been a challenging and extremely rewarding experience; one I would highly recommend.”
Enda says, “Back for Business has been an incredible experience that has been so helpful to me in building my business in Ireland after returning from abroad. I’d recommend it to anyone in the same position and I feel lucky that I could take part.”
This is the sixth year of Back for Business. The support initiative addresses the challenges that all early-stage entrepreneurs encounter, but also focuses on the additional barriers faced by those who have been living outside Ireland for some years. Their personal and professional networks in Ireland have weakened since they have been abroad and their knowledge of the entrepreneurial eco system is not well developed.
There are places for up to 50 entrepreneurs to participate in Back for Business 6. Those interested in learning more can download a brochure and register their interest in receiving an application form by visiting www.backforbusiness.com
Those selected to join Back for Business 6 will take part in round table sessions, focused on goals and milestones, which are facilitated by voluntary Lead Entrepreneurs, who have experience of successfully starting and growing a business.
The Lead Entrepreneurs, who participate in a voluntary capacity, are the backbone of the Back for Business initiative. This year’s Lead Entrepreneurs are: Hannah Wrixon, founder of WrkWrk, formerly known as Get the Shifts; Morgan Browne, CEO of Milner Browne and Enterpryze; Paul Duggan of The Gardiner Group; Seamus Reilly, co-founder and formerly of Critical Healthcare; and Thomas Ennis, founder of the Thomas Ennis Group.
Colm Brophy TD Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora said,“Back for Business has been a great success in supporting new businesses founded by returning emigrants across Ireland. New businesses generate economic activity and additional employment across the country.
“I welcome the establishment of a Back for Business Community offering additional support to past participants to further develop their new enterprises. Past participants have made significant progress and I am proud of their achievements.
The deadline for completed applications for Back to Business is Thursday, January 12, 2023. For more information or to register your interest in receiving an application form, please see www.backforbusiness.com