Applications are invited for the Back for Business Programme, established to support Irish emigrants who want to return to Ireland and set up a business.
Back for Business is an initiative to foster and support entrepreneurial activity among returned emigrants or those returning to live in Ireland. The development programme is aimed at assisting them to start and develop a business. It addresses 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.
The programme is open to returned emigrants who have lived abroad for at least a year and have returned to Ireland within the last three years, or those currently living abroad who are planning to return to live in Ireland in the near future.
- The Back for Business initiative is a tailored entrepreneurial development programme. It is based on peer support – entrepreneurs supporting entrepreneurs.
- The applied learning model involves a series of round table interactive sessions that are facilitated by volunteer Lead Entrepreneurs, who have experience of successfully starting and growing a business. The sessions are focused on the achievement of goals and milestones and the exploration of relevant themes. The Lead Entrepreneurs will work with groups of about eight participants each in a series of round table sessions, supporting them to address the challenges they face in starting, developing and positioning their business for sustainability and growth.
- The cycle will start with a Launch Forum on 30 January 2023 in Dublin at which the first round table will also be held. All those selected for participation are expected to attend.
- Participants will then meet with their groups and Lead Entrepreneurs in five separate round table sessions between February and June. All sessions will be held either remotely or at a location convenient to the Lead Entrepreneur. The dates and locations of these three and a half hour sessions will be agreed with the Lead Entrepreneur on the first day.
- KPMG will facilitate, on a voluntary basis, a number of workshops for selected participants, as well as for those in the Back for Business community.
- A workshop will also be organised which will provide an opportunity for participants to hear from representatives of the development agencies about the various supports available.
- Selected candidates are expected to attend all events.
- Areas covered in the course of the programme will include: Establishing Good Foundations; Knowing and Reaching Your Customer; Funding, KPIs and Financial Management, and Roadmap to Progress your Business.
- Developing new networks on their return to Ireland is a key challenge for returned and returning emigrants. Accordingly, whenever possible, they will provide networking opportunities to participants.
- The cycle will finish with a celebration in June 2023 in Dublin.
- Back for Business participants will:
- Have a strong network of peers and role models from whom to draw inspiration and guidance.
- Have a reduced sense of isolation.
- Experience the benefits of ‘good’ peer pressure.
- Be motivated and have increased confidence to execute their plans for their business.
- Have a SMART Action Plan for their business, setting out a six-month roadmap to move the new business forward.
- Have practical ideas and solutions to help them overcome key challenges facing them as they settle back into Ireland and start their new business.
- Have a repository of information about supports, which may be available to their business.
- Back for Business is for returned emigrants who have lived abroad for at least a year and have returned to Ireland within the last three years, or those currently living abroad who are planning to return to live in Ireland in the near future.
- Their experience of living and working abroad will often bring significant advantages for starting a business, such as having a strong network of international contacts, fluency in foreign languages and greater cultural understanding of foreign markets.
- Suitable applicants will be (i) those who have recently started a new business in Ireland, either on their own or with another business partner; (ii) are at an advanced stage of setting up a business and expect to generate sales in the next 12 months; or (iii) 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 2020. If acquired, it will not have been acquired before this date.
- In respect of the business whether new or acquired, the returned emigrant 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.
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