Opportunity knocks for potential entrepeneurs

A new business programme for potential entrepeneurs will commence at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology at the end of March.

The “New Frontiers Programme”, run in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland, aims to target high-potential entrepreneurs who possess the commitment and capability required to develop and deliver sustainable businesses. It is expected the programme will produce a pipeline of companies eligible for Enterprise Ireland’s high-potential start-up investment and supports.

GMIT Galway will accept 25 applicants for the first phase of the programme where their business idea and their capabilities as a potential entrepreneur will be tested. During this part-time four-week phase, participants will benefit from workshops on the business value proposition, market research and validation, innovation, business models and entrepreneurship.

Of those 25 applicants, up to 12 will qualify for phase two - a six-month intensive programme focused on developing the person as an entrepreneur. Participants will be equipped with the practical skills they need to run a business and challenged to realise their business goals.

Phase 2 participants will receive financial support of €15,000 from Enterprise Ireland as they focus all their efforts on developing a business during this six-month period. They will also be given office space in the institute of technology’s incubation centre, mentoring and access to networking opportunities with potential investors.

Tony O’Kelly, New Frontiers’ programme manager, is encouraging people to apply for the new programme.

“Since the GMIT IiBCs have been established, more than 60 jobs have been created with the potential to create many more with programmes such as this. New Frontiers is a very structured programme aimed at developing the next high potential start-up companies here in our region.”

The programme may also be of interest to expatriates who are hoping to return home to set up their own business in the west of Ireland, he says.

Phase 1 commences on March 31 in the Innovation in Business Centre at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology which provides incubation space and a range of business development supports to new start-up companies

Applicants are invited to visit the New Frontiers section of www.gmit.ie/iibc for further information and application form.

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