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Wednesday, 27th November 2019

Louth people living abroad urged to return home to start businesses

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Aileen Markey, the founder of Unglu-d (right) with Anne Derwin of the  Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Emigrants returning to Louth who are starting and developing businesses in Ireland are being urged to join the highly successful Back for Business developmental programme.

The call was launched yesterday by Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Ciarán Cannon T. D.

This is the third year of Back for Business, which is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The initiative was established to support entrepreneurial activity among returned emigrants who have lived abroad for at least a year and have returned in the last three years. Those planning to return in the near future will also be considered.  

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The 2020 programme will run from January to July 2020. There is no charge for those selected to participate and the closing date for applications is January 7, 2020. 

Last year, the 38 participants on the second year of the programme reported positive results, including:

  • Turnover for all participants combined increased by over 70% during the six months of the programme.
  • A total of 48 new jobs were created by the participants who now employ 89 people between them
  • 92% said they felt nearer to achieving their ambitions having participated. 

Former participants from Louth include Aileen Markey of Unglu-d, a dedicated gluten-free shop that she opened last year in Royal Hibernian Way, Dawson St, Dublin 2 to serve those with Coeliac disease, gluten intolerance or who simply choose to live a gluten free life. 

“Back for Business is a very welcoming and positive experience for anyone returning to Ireland with a new business idea in mind -whether early stage or more developed” Aileen said. “It helps establish networks, gain information and insights from skilled business leaders and peers, and develops confidence and resilience to face the challenges ahead.” 

Back for Business has been designed and is being implemented by Fitzsimons Consulting, specialists in areas related to entrepreneurship and growth.

Paula Fitzsimons, founder and MD of Fitzsimons Consulting, said:

Potential entrepreneurs returning home can often bring significant advantages such as a strong network of international contacts, proficiency in foreign languages and a greater understanding of export markets.

“However, they can also have gaps in their knowledge of the supports and the well-developed entrepreneurial ecosystem available to early stage entrepreneurs. Their professional and personal networks in Ireland have been adversely affected given the years that they have spent out of the country.

“Back for Business is designed to bridge these gaps, while also addressing the general challenges that all entrepreneurs face when establishing a business. I am delighted that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has made this possible.”

 The deadline for completed applications for Back to Business is January 7, 2020. For more information or to register your interest in receiving an application form, please see www.backforbusiness.com

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