Grants for Exporting

ENTERPRISE Ireland has launched a programme to help ambitious entrepreneurs within the border counties, which include Sligo.

The development agency last week signed a deal with PA Consulting for a 12-month long ‘Propel’ programme. The project is an innovation and development initiative targeting entrepreneurs within the region.

The objective of the programme is to provide entrepreneurs with the skills and training required to take the next step towards globalising their service offering.

It is open to entrepreneurs currently located, or looking to locate their business in one of the six border counties of Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Donegal Louth and Monaghan.

Full-time participants on the Propel programme will benefit from in-class business start-up training, financial support of up to •30,000, incubation space to locate their business and the mentoring and networking support to get their business up and running.

A similar project was run previously as the Transform programme, in conjunction with Invest NI, which yielded positive results. Among those who benefited under it were Conor Heffernan from Rosses Point with his software applications for SMEs that helps improve productivity.

Launching the initiative, Rosemary Sexton, Border Region director for Enterprise Ireland, said: “The programme demonstrates Enterprise Ireland’s continuing support for innovation and entrepreneurial development within the border counties, which is especially relevant during these challenging economic times.”

The Propel programme will run in two phases. Phase 1 will run on a part-time basis, with around 25 participants. The series of eight workshops delivered over four weeks will provide participants with a full range of business supports, ranging from understanding what is required to get a product to market, through to improving their presentation and selling skills.

At the end of Phase 1, the participants will present on their idea to an evaluation committee who will use this as part of the evaluation process to determine the most appropriate candidates to progress to the next phase of the programme.

Phase 2 of the Propel programme will be a full-time 10 month development programme, where financial support up to •30,000 will be provided to each of the 10-12 participants selected from Phase 1. The level of financial support is based on previous salary earnings. Each participant will be provided with dedicated incubation office space, a professional mentor to support them through the 10 months, and a comprehensive series of training and development workshops.

Entry into the Propel programme is free and open to all entrepreneurs currently living or working, or looking, to locate their business within the border counties.

For further information on how to apply, call 01-6051980, or go to