The Local Enterprise Office in Galway, in conjunction with WestBIC, are delighted to announce the roll out of a new programme to help ambitious business owners grow their enterprises. The iFactory West Programme is an ideal opportunity for eligible micro and small businesses to receive professional analysis, coaching and access to experts that will work with them to deliver their growth plans.
The hands-on programme builds on the success of the original iFactory Programme delivered by WestBIC in the Border counties and Northern Ireland, where 150 participants were supported to grow their businesses. Key successes included the development of new products and services, increased turnover and exports and the securing of over €1.2m of additional business-growth finance by participating businesses.
Suitable enterprises were referred to Enterprise Ireland and other enterprise agencies to receive additional upscaling support. In the West region, for a small commitment of just €200 (plus VAT ) a tailored support package will be provided to 30 enterprises that have ambitions and potential to grow, with up to 10 days of professional guidance and hands-on expertise, including; business audits and analysis; individual action plans for growth; innovation and growth coaching, including exploring new markets;specialist consulting to meet specific needs;signposting of further support services to facilitate further innovation and growth potential.
With a focus on business growth and exports, speaking at the project launch, Head of Enterprise with the Local Enterprise Office Galway, Breda Fox described the initiative as “very hands-on with a range of growth opportunities that will be explored with every company to suit their needs.
“It is an ideal opportunity to support businesses to scale up noting that applications are also welcome from businesses that may not have engaged to date with the Local Enterprise Office Galway, and that places will be allocated on a competitive basis”.
WestBIC Chairman, Dr Chris Coughlan also pointed out the possible ‘Brexit’ implications the programme can offer participants. “With the onset of Brexit, there are opportunities for ambitious companies in the West of Ireland to develop strategic partnerships with Northern Ireland and UK based companies, providing access to products, services and technologies to Irish companies, whilst providing direct access to EU markets for UK partners.”
The iFactory project is part of the West Region Action Plan for Jobs and is funded under the LEO Competitive Fund and delivered by Galway, Roscommon and Mayo Local Enterprise Offices in association with WestBIC and other enterprise and innovation stakeholders.
The first cohort of participants is now being recruited. The closing date for expressions of interest is Friday September 30 2016. For further information, eligibility criteria and an expression of interest form please contact Kerry Quinlan, WestBIC, [email protected] Tel: (091 ) 730850.